Ning Wang

Ning Wang, Dr.

Ethics 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 ethics 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 and complex 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 on insights gained through trans-disciplinary research in co-creation processes.

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 policy development 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 organizations.

Research Projects

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

  • BRIDGE «The BRIDGE Lab: Bridging the Wisdom Gap», funded by the DIZH and DSI for 2022-2024. The project seeks to create a collaborative platform as a structural vessel to promote research and innovation, by connecting science with industries, government, regulatory 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 deep and nuanced understanding about 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 and teaching include:

  • EVSET «Enhancing Value Sensitivity in Emerging Technologies», funded by the UZH Open Innovation Teaching Fund for 2021-2022. This blended course seeks to introduce the concept of «value sensitive innovation» from inter-disciplinary perspectives, and to equip young scientists and future innovators with a value-based innovation mindset and a set of practical toolkits.
  • 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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