Human enhancement through the lens of experimental and speculative neurotechnologies.
Hum Behav Emerg Technol. 2019 Oct;1(4):361-372
Authors: Teunisse W, Youssef S, Schmidt M
Human enhancement deals with improving on and overcoming limitations of the human body and mind. Pharmaceutical compounds that alter consciousness and cognitive performance have been used and discussed for a long time. The prospect of neurotechnological applications such as brain-steered devices or using invasive and noninvasive electromagnetic stimulations of the human brain, however, has received less attention-especially outside of therapeutic practices-and remains relatively unexplored. Reflection and debates about neurotechnology for human enhancement are limited and remain predominantly with neurotech engineers, science-fiction enthusiasts and a small circle of academics in the field of neuroethics. It is well known, and described as the Collingridge dilemma, that at an early stage of development, changes can easily be enacted, but the need for changes can hardly be foreseen. Once the technology is entrenched, opportunities and risks start to materialize, and the need to adapt and change is clearly visible. However, carrying out these changes at such a late stage, in turn, becomes very difficult, tremendously expensive, and sometimes practically impossible. In this manuscript, we compile and categorize an overview of existing experimental and speculative applications of neurotechnologies, with the aim to find out, if these real or diegetic prototypes could be used to better understand the paths these applications are forging. In particular, we will investigate what kind of tools, motivations, and normative goals underpin experimental implementations by neurohackers, speculative designers and artists.
PMID: 31894206 [PubMed]