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Human enhancement and the future of work

7 November 2012

The Academy of Medical Sciences, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and Royal Society have launched a report today that deals with human enhancement and the future of work.

The report summarises the technological advancements that could dramatically change how people work over the next decade and how, although they might aid society, their use could raise serious ethical, philosophical, regulatory and economic issues that will need further consideration. The report highlights the 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. It is clear that a cross disciplinary approach will be needed to get a better understanding of how best to proceed. 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.

The report includes the usage of non-invasive brain stimulation for cognitive enhancement, as discussed by Roi Cohen Kadosh. The full report is available for downloading here.