top of page

Keeping Technology from Breaking Society: Wendell Wallach - Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs

In today’s world, there is so much technology at our fingertips that we don’t know how to manage it all. Technologies like artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, nanotech and chemicals have important benefits, but they could also destabilize society, destroy democracy, crash the economy, create the next pandemic or ruin the environment. And competition between companies and countries is driving advancement SO FAST. How can we reap the benefits of technology, while seriously managing the risks? And who should have the power to make these decisions?

Wendell Wallach offers promising approaches to regulating humans’ use of technology. Wendell is a Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, where he co-directs the AI and Equality Initiative (AIEI). He is also a senior advisor to the Hastings Center and a scholar at the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, where he has chaired Technology and Ethics studies for 11 years. Wendell has written several books on how to avoid misusing technology and the moral considerations that factor into those actions.

By improving our governance systems, we humans can be more thoughtful, forward-looking, organized and international in our management of technology. In truth, the consequences of mismanaging technology are already here. But it’s not too late for positive change. If we act quickly and collaboratively, we can shape our future for the better.


Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs:

Wendell Wallach Bio:

AI & Equality Podcast:

Article - A Framework for the International Governance of AI:

A Dangerous Master: How to Keep Technology from Slipping Beyond Our Control by Wendell Wallach

Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right from Wrong by Wendell Wallach


0:00 - Introduction

2:53 - Description of Wendell Wallach.

5:01 - Where is humanity at?

7:16 - Problems with technology and governance.

16:15 - Seeing risks before they happen.

18:44 - Computers consume lots of energy.

20:52 - AI is worsening the unequal distribution of wealth.

22:37 - Humans mismanage their technological powers.

23:50 - Who should control the frameworks?

28:30 - OpenAI and commercialization.

30:14 - We need governments to put up guardrails.

35:55 - Salt March Moments, like Gandhi.

41:42 - Teaching citizens to create their own sense of meaning.

43:01 - Managing competition between countries.

44:55 - Acting with a global mindset.

49:50 - Short-term and long-term risks of AI.

53:22 - We need rules.

56:30 - Executive agency with multidisciplinary expertise.

59:34 - How do we enforce rules?

1:03:10 - Reevaluating our focus on other issues.

1:04:56 - America needs immigrants to fill jobs.

1:06:17 - Laws of armed conflict and unnecessary wars.

1:08:10 - We need a trustworthy system to enforce our agreements.

1:10:12 - Keep working and acting on opportunities.

1:15:21 - Direction of government funding.

1:19:50 - Responding earlier.

1:23:09 - Good change can happen quicker than we think.


bottom of page