The Reilly Center Releases its 2018 Top 10 List of Ethical Dilemmas in Science and Technology

Author: Jessica Baron

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The John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values at the University of Notre Dame has released its sixth annual list of emerging ethical dilemmas and policy issues in science and technology. The annual list is designed to get people thinking about the ethics of potentially controversial technology, but the 2018 list shows that many of these issues are already here. See the list at

This year’s list was created by a team of Notre Dame undergraduates participating in a course titled “Man and Machine: Humanity, Technology, and the Future” through the Reilly Center’s popular Science, Technology, and Values Program.  

This year’s issues are:

  • Helix – A digital app store designed to help you read your genome.

  • The Robot Priest - BlessU-2 and Pepper are the first robot priest and monk, respectively. 

  • Emotion-Sensing Facial Recognition – Optimizing retail experiences by assessing your reactions.

  • Ransomware – Holding data hostage until you pay up, whether you’re an individual or a large corporation. 

  • The Textalyzer - A new tool in the battle against texting and driving that tells cops if you were on your phone before an accident.

  • Social Credit Systems – China will debut theirs in 2020, but do we already live in a world where online reputation is king? 

  • Google Clips – This little camera will watch you all day and capture your most picturesque moments. 

  • Sentencing Software – There are already Americans being sentenced with the help of a mysterious algorithm.

  • The Rise of Robot Friendship – Can we create a chat bot out of our loved ones’ old texts and social media posts? 

  • The Citizen App – Live crime reporting may lead to vigilante justice. 

The Reilly Center explores conceptual, ethical and policy issues where science and technology intersect with society from different disciplinary perspectives. Its goal is to promote the advancement of science and technology for the common good and demonstrate the integral role of the humanities in science and technology. 

For more information about the Top 10 list, contact Jessica Baron

Originally published by Jessica Baron at on December 04, 2017.