A recent article in Slate provides a non-technical update on some recent advances in human enhancement technology. It mentions ‘nootropics’, drugs like modafinil that were originally developed for treatment of CNS disease but are now widely used by healthy individuals to boost mental function. It also mentions some of the amazing brain hardware technologies that have allowed people with spinal cord injuries to control robotic devices with their thoughts.
Unfortunately, like most articles on this subject, it stresses the ‘wow’ factor of individual new technologies without seeing how these technologies are linked to the overall thrust of human enhancement research. It also fails to address the enormous societal impact that would result from widespread use of enhancement technologies.
This is an area that this blog will be focusing on over the next few months. We will try to engage with the issue of how this emerging suite of technologies will impact not only individuals, but the economy and the overall organization of society.