Ning Wang

Ning Wang, Dr.

Ethical Assessment and Responsible Governance of Emerging and Future Technologies

ning.wang@uzh.ch

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Research Area

I have a broad research interest in the ethical assessment and responsible governance of emerging and future technologies, such as robotics, autonomous systems, and artificial intelligence. Through empirical studies of these transformative technologies of both enabling and disruptive nature, I aim to address the ethical, social, legal, and regulatory challenges new technologies pose to society, explore responsive analytical approaches in the understanding and evaluation of them, and propose practical governance tools for the design, development, and use of them. On the normative level, I am interested in exploring philosophical conceptions such as identity, agency, autonomy, responsibility, justice, and the good life. Methodologically, I seek to draw an empirical perspective into ethics, and a normative perspective into science and technology studies.

Academic Career

I am an ethicist and a political scientist based in Switzerland since 2010. I hold a PhD degree in Biomedical Ethics and Law (2021) from University of Zurich, and two Master’s degrees in Political Science (2011) and Applied Ethics (2008) obtained in Sweden and Norway respectively. In between my academic endeavors, I managed projects related to ethics for international organizations across government, industry, and NGOs. In 2022, I joined the Digital Society Initiative (DSI), carrying out research and teaching activities around the notion of «value sensitive innovation». As a strong advocate of bottom-up forces for social change, I am dedicated to bridging the gap between science and society, with active engagement in foundations, professional associations, and civil society.

Research Projects

Currently, I am the Principal Investigator (PI) of the following projects:

  • BRIDGE «The BRIDGE Lab», funded by the DIZH and DSI for 2022-2024. The project aims to promote research and innovation through a collaborative platform – as a structural vessel – to connect science with industries, public authorities, and civil society around conditions of successful implementation of digital innovations in Switzerland.
  • SADUS «Societal Acceptance of Drones in Urban Switzerland», seed-funded by the UZH Strategic Partnership Program and DSI for 2022-2023. The project aims to develop evidence-based knowledge for the ethical and social implications of high-impact technologies in the Swiss context.
  • E-HUD «The Ethics Assessment Tool for the Humanitarian Use of Drones», funded by the DIZH Innovation Program for 2022-2023. The project aims to operationalize an ethics assessment framework for the use of drones in the humanitarian settings, which was resulted from an earlier research project FEAHD.
  • VSSI «Value Sensitive Social Innovation: The “Tichajil” Drone in Guatemala», seed-funded by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for 2022-2023. The project aims to gain a thick understanding on how the value sensitive design approach can facilitate novel technological breakthroughs in incorporating human and societal values through social innovations.

Completed projects from my past research include:

  • FEAHD «Value Sensitive Innovation: Framework for the Ethics Assessment of Humanitarian Drones», funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS) for 2018-2021. The project aims to investigate how to integrate ethical values in the humanitarian and development use of drones through empirical studies and multi-stakeholder collaboration.

External links

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