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Steps to Designing AI-Empowered Nanotechnology:

A Value Sensitive Design Approach


Steven Umbrello


This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Licence Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).

Advanced nanotechnology promises to be one of the fundamental transformational emerging technologies alongside others such as artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and other informational and cognitive technologies. Although scholarship on nanotechnology, particularly advanced nanotechnology such as molecular manufacturing has nearly ceased in the last decade, normal nanotechnology that is building the foundations for more advanced versions has permeated many industries and commercial products and has become a billion dollar industry. This paper acknowledges the socialtechnicity of advanced nanotechnology and proposes how its convergence with other enabling technologies like AI can be anticipated and designed with human values in mind. Preliminary guidelines inspired by the Value Sensitive Design approach to technology design are proposed for molecular manufacturing in the age of artificial intelligence.

Steven Umbrello, Managing Director at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies and graduate student at the University of Turin (Consorzio FINO), Italy. For correspondence: <>. This paper is built upon the author’s previous work: Steven Umbrello ‘Atomically Precise Manufacturing and Responsible Innovation: A Value Sensitive Design Approach to Explorative Nanophilosophy’ (2019) 10 Int J Technoethics 2, 1-21


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