Human Advancement Technologies May Have Its Negative Impacts

by Bidita Debnath on Nov 10 2012 9:58 PM

 Human Advancement Technologies May Have Its Negative Impacts
Researchers say that improving the performance limits of the body with technological aids is nothing new.
But there will be a new age of physical enhancement resulting from the advance of science and engineering.

According to the joint report by the Academy of Medical Sciences, the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society, in the past, human enhancement has focused on restoring functions lost through medical problems but in the future there will be an increased emphasis on augmenting the natural abilities of healthy individuals.

Implants placed behind the retina of the eye could allow people working at night to see in the dark, or to see in ultraviolet wavelengths that are currently not detectable by the human eye.

While tissue engineering and regenerative medicine could repair damaged or diseased organs, "bionic limbs" could augment muscle strength and help those engaged in physically demanding jobs, it says.

"Cosmetic enhancement could be appealing to some members of an ageing workforce, in which younger appearance might be believed to have implications for one's employment prospects," the Independent quoted the report as saying.

Professor Genevra Richardson of King's College London, one of the report's authors, said that many of these enhancements will be targeted at individuals and so many employees may feel under pressure to agree to them for the sake of keeping their jobs.

"There are a range of technologies in development and in some cases already in use that have the potential to transform our workplaces - for better or for worse," Richardson said.

"Scientists and engineers will need to work together with social scientists, philosophers, ethicists, policy-makers and the public to ensure that the benefits are realised while the risks are minimised," she added.


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