In Chapter 10 of our text, Ethics of the Information Age, author Michael J. Quinn discusses moral problems brought on by changes in the workplace as society continues to automate and integrate with technology. Initially, the Black Mirror episode that we are discussing, “Hated in the Nation”, does not seem like it would align with the chapter’s main ideas.
However, there is one key “character” that can be linked to this chapter – the Autonomous Drone Insects (ADIs). While actual bees were not purposefully replaced by the ADIs, human destruction of the natural world to make way for technological advances were a key factor in the collapse of the bee population.
Since society has become so obsessed with urbanization and the expansion of cities, there has been a sharp decline in bee population (source). Humans have eliminated over half the world’s rainforests (source), which puts bees in danger of survival – bees rely on pollen to survive, as they convert it into food for the colony (source). Humans rely on bees to survive, as bees pollinate 80% of the worlds crops. Without bees, our crops stand no chance of survival.
The growth of technology and automation poses a threat to bees as we are now toying with the idea of ADIs rather than saving the actual bee population. Since robotics is becoming so advanced, and we only need bees for pollination of our plants, shouldn’t we just automate the entire process ourselves?
Chapter 10 opens up the discussion that automation brings forth more job opportunities, increases efficiency, and lowers overall cost for production. However, nature is something that should not be changed. While species have come and go as a part of natural selection, it should be our duty as humans to ensure that our home planet remains in the same condition we evolved in to ensure it’s ability to house our species remains intact for years to come.