About the end of the world, at least as we know it

Luís Moniz Pereira, António Barata Lopes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


AI has become the axis of an unprecedented cognitive and technological revolution. If other gains in the past have been perceived as threatening, the current changes justify fears and concerns. It is not only the right to work that is most threatened, but also the power structures that may become reinforced by the holders and manipulators of scientific and technological knowledge. Traditional functions of the State, such as currency issuing, are being challenged by technological multinationals, which aim to create their own virtual currencies. The promised humanization of life, as a result of the allocation of routine work to machines, may be but a mirage. Present and future changes are demanding and challenging; they force us to rethink the distribution of the wealth generated, otherwise the dynamics underlying the concentration of wealth will be further leveraged. With the current Social Contract, all points to increasing concentration of wealth and power via scientific and technological innovation. We must question meritocracy and revise the dominant neoliberalism, on pain of a caste society emerging, in which technology holders will exercise great dominance over the whole of society. In short, issues of social and political ethics must be rethought alongside scientific and technological developments.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMachine Ethics
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-39630-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-39629-9
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameStudies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics
ISSN (Print)2192-6255
ISSN (Electronic)2192-6263


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