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Regulating the future? Law, ethics, and emerging technologies

Iván Székely (Open Society Archives, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary)
Máté Dániel Szabó (Eötvös Károly Institute, Budapest, Hungary)
Beatrix Vissy (Eötvös Károly Institute, Budapest, Hungary)

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society

ISSN: 1477-996X

Article publication date: 16 August 2011




The purpose of the paper is to provide an overview of the legal implications which may be relevant to the ethical aspects of emerging technologies, to explore the existing situation in the area of legal regulation at EU level, and to formulate recommendations for the lawmakers.


The analysis is based on the premise that the law is supposed to invoke moral principles. Speculative findings are formulated on the basis of analyzing specific emerging technologies; empirical findings are based on a research conducted in the whole legal corpus of the EU.


In the area of network‐based technologies the already existing and elaborated legal frameworks can be used in an extended manner; artificial intelligence‐based technologies call for alterations in several branches of law; while interface technologies show the difficulty and complexity of regulating interdisciplinary fields. The legal implications of emerging technologies have attracted only a minimal legislative attention in the competent bodies of the EU.


The paper provides a systemic approach towards transmitting ethical norms to the application of emerging technologies through legal regulation, and formulates detailed recommendations in various areas of such technologies.



Székely, I., Dániel Szabó, M. and Vissy, B. (2011), "Regulating the future? Law, ethics, and emerging technologies", Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 180-194.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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