United States Capitol Building east facade at sunset, Washington DC, United States.

Ethics and Governance

The nation must adopt the right policy to ensure autonomous systems benefit society. Just as the design of technology has dramatic impacts on society, the development and implementation of policy can also result in intended and unintended consequences. Furthermore, the right governance structures are critical to enforce sound policy and to guide the impact of technology. As the pace of technological advances continues to increase, policy and governance must evolve simultaneously with the evolution of technology to ensure autonomous systems will serve to improve people’s lives.

Ethics and governance are essential to ensuring the adoption of autonomous systems into the greater society. It is difficult to overestimate the ramifications that autonomous systems will have on society. People are concerned about the potential dangers of these systems and want to be assured they will behave legally, ethically, fairly, and transparently. Furthermore, effective ethics and governance are critical to ensuring a thriving environment to fully leverage the benefits of emerging autonomous technologies and ecosystems. New insights are needed to understand how autonomous technologies integrate into society and where they are going, and new policies must be explored and developed to ensure they will only enhance people’s lives.