Technology and Humanity: The Place of the Law -By Ater Solomon Vendaga 

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INTRODUCTION

 

The rise in technology-related inventions recently has left much to be desired. From Edutech, Fintech, Health tech, and Agrotech to Legal tech are brands of industry-specific technologies been developed and wired to handle the jobs that were hitherto performed by humans. Besides these industry-specific technologies,  we also have inventions and discoveries like Metaverse, NFTs, Cloud computing, Web 3, and the rest. Billions of dollars are now being invested into these inventions. For instance, when Facebook adopted the metaverse in 2021, it invested about 10 billion dollars in the concept. While so many industries are also following the trend by building and taking their investments to the space. McKinsey & Company 2021 projected that by 2030, the metaverse economy will be at $1 trillion.  The same applies to other tech inventions. We now have digital assets in NFTs and other blockchain products.

People can own children today without necessarily having to have to go through biological means, different varieties of plants and animals can be produced, and robots can take up human work and do so with precision and less time. As if this is not enough, Tech giants are already building the fastest systems like ChaptGpt, AI-specific products, robots, and the rest to improve efficiency in human communication and related activities. This shows the unique traits of humans as creative beings. It also presents a world where things can be done so easily and quickly. It is an ideal world for the 21st Century man.

 


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THE WORRY

But what is worrisome? For me I think is a place of nature. The place of humanity. The place of a sense of life and existence.

Of course, the growth in inventions and discoveries should be welcomed with great joy and happiness. The inventions from technology are no doubt catalysts for human success but I think there is a need to pause and do the needful.  Already, there is the great fear that machines will take over the jobs of humans and render many current professionals redundant.

We must pause and draw boundaries.

We must pause and put things into perspective so that man’s inventions will not turn out one day to invent man or instead of serving man, makes him his servant. Care must be exercised at this earliest stage to place a boundary between what should be done by machines and to what extent and what should be reserved exclusively for humans. Already, machines are showcasing their capabilities. Their inventors are already moving fast. Something has to be done. This is where the law comes in. It is the law that will define boundaries, and liabilities, create sanctions for breaches and leads the way for the proper use of technology-related inventions so that they can serve man and not the other way around.

We already are hearing of countries that have accorded citizens’ rights to robots. This is an ethical as well as a legal issue that the law must attain. With this development, one cannot doubt if tomorrow, a robot is an MD in a Company or a Governor of a state because just as people stood their ground to canvass and fight for the rights of LGBTQ groups so we will have Robot Rights advocates tomorrow.

It should not be misunderstood that these inventions are bad. I believe they are complementing and that should be their status. An invention with a superior purpose is not necessary.

 

WHAT SHOULD BE DONE?

The law is the only savior here. It sets principles to guide life and existence as such it must be come in to provide a guide in the era where machines are likely to compete with humans.

Law should set the tone for these inventions. It should be proactive. Regulate the making and usage of technologies.

It is only the law that can save the HUMANITY in us.

Countries of the world should carve laws on these inventions and ensure their enforcement. The laws should define issues of IP Rights and Ownership, liabilities and breaches, jurisdictions, usage, violations, sanctions, applications and limitations.

Lawyers owe society a duty to uphold the tenets of justice that keeps humanity alive. This is the time to do that more.

Human Rights advocates and institutions should sit up and take up these issues.

International and regional inventory bodies should be guided by the principles that ensure the safety of humanity.

 

Ater Solomon Vendaga is a Penultimate Law Undergraduate at the University of Abuja. He is passionate about Taxation, Technology Law, IP Rights, Personal Development, Writing, and Social Inclusion. He can be reached via: 08025263078 or soloater12@gmail.com

 



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