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Debate: Would you–or should you–undergo medical treatments to improve your body and mind and your chances of employment?

The future of work is med­ical­ly enhanced ‘elite super-work­ers,’ report says (Lad­ders):

In the future, we will be com­pet­ing against med­ical­ly-enhanced work­ers who can work longer and hard­er than us. Arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence will make it eas­i­er to mon­i­tor our every move in the office. This may sound like sci­ence fic­tion, but it’s a like­ly real­i­ty, accord­ing to a new report by pro­fes­sion­al ser­vices firm PricewaterhouseCoopers…Seventy per­cent of the work­ers sur­veyed said that they would under­go treat­ments to improve their body and mind if it would improve their chances of employ­ment. This could be because we believe it’s up to us to improve our careers — even if that means pill-pop­ping per­for­mance-enhanc­ing drugs. Of those sur­veyed, 74% said it was their indi­vid­ual respon­si­bil­i­ty “to update their skills rather than rely­ing on any employ­er.” … Com­pa­nies in the U.S. and Europe are already offer­ing microchip implants to work­ers, so they can enter com­pa­ny build­ings and get their chips from the vend­ing machine with the wave of a hand.”

The Neu­rotech Rev­o­lu­tion Could Lead To ‘Franken­stein’ Brains. Here’s How We Avoid It (Forbes):

…To what extent are enhance­ments desir­able on a per­son­al and soci­etal lev­els? … If a device can enhance deci­sion-mak­ing, how will the user know that’s it’s tru­ly their deci­sion, in their best inter­est, rather than being manip­u­lat­ed by the device design­ers?

Try­ing to antic­i­pate such con­cerns, the World Eco­nom­ic Forum cre­at­ed last year a Coun­cil on the Future of Human Enhance­ment. A diverse group of 20+ research and indus­try lead­ers, our objec­tive is to pro­vide pio­neers and all inno­va­tion stake­hold­ers with a roadmap to har­ness the oppor­tu­ni­ty in a pos­i­tive direc­tion, avoid­ing what we could call a “Franken­stein effect”.

From our work so far, we believe that Human Enhance­ment tech­nol­o­gy inno­va­tions should meet each and every of these 3 char­ac­ter­is­tics:

1. Increase func­tion­al abil­i­ties need­ed to improve qual­i­ty of life across the life span (oth­er­wise it’d be an exer­cise of van­i­ty or point­less tin­ker­ing)

2. Ensure durable and ben­e­fi­cial effects (not just momen­tary ones, and cer­tain­ly not long-term coun­ter­pro­duc­tive)

3. Trans­fer to wider soci­etal ben­e­fits, help­ing make com­mu­ni­ties more inclu­sive, cohe­sive, and resilient (help­ing bridge, not expand, a Cog­ni­tive Divide)

Debate in Context

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Categories: Cognitive Neuroscience, Professional Development, Technology

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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