Some human beings appear to be “without conscience” in that their actions in the world appear to be unrestrained by genuine care and concern for the well being of other human beings.

Some of these individuals are exceptionally skilled at gaining the trust of others while hiding their true motives.

The cost of allowing these individuals to operate freely within organizations that have the potential to do vast harm, for example a virology lab with the potential to cause a worldwide pandemic, is so high that screening such individuals rigorously for competence alone is insufficient. A single competent individual who is without conscience could, for example, sell lab animals that had been experimented on to a wet market in order to make some extra money and potentially start a worldwide pandemic.

What are the most promising technologies to assist with the detection of people whose desire to benefit themselves is unrestrained by care and concern for the welfare of other human beings?

I am currently aware of 4 but it is unclear to me how effective any of these actually are currently or have the most potential.

1: genetic testing
2: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
3: Facial Action Coding System (FACS) (perhaps aided by Artificial Intelligence)
4: reputation systems

This problem is complicated by the fact that there seem to be a number of different, and perhaps unrelated, conditions that might be responsible for the non-emergence of a conscience.

For example, the HARE checklist would seem to be a good tool for detecting psychopathy, but perhaps not for Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ There are also some pretty deep ethical concerns to acknowledge here... $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Apr 29 '20 at 23:29
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Agreed. I think of "detection" as just a very powerful tool. Certainly restrictions on how this tool might be used is very reasonable. $\endgroup$
    – Alex Ryan
    Apr 29 '20 at 23:33
  • $\begingroup$ Sounds like technology buzzwords to me. Augmented reality, AI supported FACS? I don't even know what the hell that should do in terms of what you are asking. Why not add internet of things (IoT) devices to the list? Smartwatches? I short, these 'examples' do not improve your question one tiny bit. $\endgroup$
    – Steven Jeuris
    Apr 30 '20 at 15:59
  • $\begingroup$ And, are you interested in active or passive detection? I.e., is the person aware they are tested? $\endgroup$
    – Steven Jeuris
    Apr 30 '20 at 16:04
  • $\begingroup$ @StevenJeuris: Great feedback. I’ve updated the question to provide more details. $\endgroup$
    – Alex Ryan
    Apr 30 '20 at 19:57

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