Technologies that enhance human functions such as memory, hearing and mobility could dramatically change how people work over the next decade, according to four of the UK’s national academies. A new report ‘Human Enhancement and the future of work’ states that although human enhancement technologies might aid society, their use could raise serious ethical, philosophical and economic issues that will need further consideration.
The report, which stems from a joint workshop hosted by the Academy of Medical Sciences, the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society, looks at technologies that are already emerging and those that may realistically emerge in the short term. It emphasises the immediate need for further discussion and debate around issues such as potentially harmful new technologies, individuals feeling coerced into using enhancements, employee wellbeing, how the introduction of some technologies may be funded and concerns related to equity and fairness.
Professor Genevra Richardson CBE FBA, Professor of Law, King’s College London and Chair of the Steering Committee for this report
Professor Jackie Leach Scully, Professor of Social Ethics and Bioethics and Co-Director of the Policy, Ethics & Life Sciences Research Centre, Newcastle University
Professor Barbara Sahakian FMedSci, Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology, University of Cambridge
Professor Nigel Shadbolt FREng, Professor of Artificial Intelligence, Head of Web and Internet Science Group, University of Southampton