Report Raises Ethical Concerns About Human Enhancement Technologies
Drugs and digital technologies that will allow people to work harder, longer and smarter are coming soon, say scientists and ethicists in a recently released report on human enhancement in the workplace, written by experts from the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the British Academy and the Academy of Medical Sciences, so we need to decide now how best to ensure they are used properly.
Human Enhancement and the Future of Work considers everything that could be said to improve a person’s ability to do work, including so-called smart drugs, which can enhance memory and attention, as well as physical and digital enhancements such as bionic implants or the ever-improving computer technology to store and access information. Genevra Richardson, a professor of law at King’s College London and chair of the steering committee that produced the report, said she defined “human enhancements” as technologies that improved a person beyond the norm. “They could influence our ability to learn or perform tasks, influence our motivation, they could enable us to work in more extreme conditions or into old age,” she said.