Human enhancement

Human enhancement ( Augment ) is “an attempt to increase or decrease the rate of change in the human body . characteristics and capacities that lie beyond the existing human range. ” [1] [2] [3]


Human enhancement technologies ( HETs ) are techniques that can be used for the treatment of illness and disability , but also for enhancing human characteristics and capacities. [4] The expression “human enhancement technologies” is related to emerging technologies and converging technologies . [5] In some circles, the expression “human enhancement” is roughly synonymous with human genetic engineering , [6] [7] it is used most often to refer to the general application of the convergence of nanotechnology , biotechnology, Information technology and cognitive science (NBIC) to Improve human performance . [5]

According to the National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends 2030 report, “human increase could be more effective and more effective.” It states That “future retinal eye implants Could enable night vision , and neuro-enhancements Could Provide superior memory recall or speed of thought . Neuro-pharmaceuticals will allow people to Maintain concentration for along periods of time or Enhance Their learning abilities. Augmented realitysystems can provide enhanced experiences of real-world situations. ” [8]

In terms of technological enhancements, Kevin Warwick lists the possibilities as enhanced memory, enhanced communication, enhanced senses, multi-dimensional thinking, Extending the body, in built machines thinking, memory outsourcing, enhanced math + speed of thinking + problem solving., [ 9] He also states that “a person’s brain and body do not have to be in the same place”. [10]

Existing technologies

  • Reproductive technology
    • Embryo selection by preimplantation
    • Cytoplasmic transfer
    • In vitro-generated gametes
  • Physically :
    • Cosmetic: plastic surgery & orthodontics
    • Drug-induced: doping & performance-enhancing drugs
    • Functional: prosthetics & powered exoskeletons
    • Medical: implants (eg pacemaker ) & organ replacements
    • Strength training : weights (eg barbells) & dietary supplement
  • Mentally :
    • Nootropics , neurostimulation , and supplements that improve mental functions. [11] [12]
    • Computers , mobile phones , Internet , to enhance cognitive efficiency. [13]

Emerging technologies

  • Human genetic engineering
    • Gene therapy
  • Neurotechnology
    • Neural implants
    • Brain-computer interface
    • cyberware
  • Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence
  • Nanomedicine
  • 3D bioprinting

Speculative technologies

  • Mind uploading , the hypothetical process of “transferring” / “uploading” or copying a mind to a brain to a non-biological substrate by scanning and mapping a biological brain in detail and copying its state to a computer system or another computational device.
  • Exocortex , a theoretical artificial external information processing system that would increase a biological high-level cognitive processes.
  • Endogenous artificial nutrition, such as having a radioisotope generator that resynthesizes glucose (similarly to photosynthesis ), amino acids and vitamins from their degradation products, theoretically availing for weeks without food if necessary.


While in some circles the expression “human enhancement” is roughly synonymous with human genetic engineering , [6] [7] it is used most often to refer to the general application of the convergence of nanotechnology , biotechnology , information technology and cognitive science (NBIC ) to improve human performance . [5]

Since the 1990s, several academics (such as some of the fellows of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies [14] ) have risen to become advocates of the case for human enhancement while other academics (such as the members of President Bush Council on Bioethics [15] ) have become outspoken critics. [16]

Advocacy of the case for human enhancement is a “synonym of” transhumanism “, a controversial ideology and movement which has emerged to support the recognition and protection of the right of citizens to maintain or modifytheir own minds and bodies ; so do guarantee the freedom of choice and informed consent of human enhancement technologies on themselves and their children. [17]

Neuromarketing Zack Lynch Consultant Argues That neurotechnologies will-have a more immediate effect is society than gene therapy and will face less resistance as a pathway of radical human enhancement. He also argues that the concept of ” enablement ” needs to be added to the debate over “therapy” versus “enhancement”. [18]

Although many proposals of human enhancement rely on fringe science , the concept and prospect of human enhancement has sparked public controversy . [19] [20] [21]

Dale Carrico Wrote That “human enhancement” is a loaded term qui HAS eugenic overtones Because It May Imply the improvement of human hereditary traits to Attain A universally accepted norm of biological fitness (at the can expense of human biodiversity and neurodiversity ), and therefore can evoke negative reactions far beyond the specific meaning of the term. Moreover, Carrico wrote that enhancements which are self-evidently good, like “less diseases”, are more the exception than the norm and even these are ethical tradeoffs, as the controversy about ADHD arguably demonstrates. [22]clarification needed ]

HOWEVER, The Most common criticism of human enhancement Is That it is gold will Often be Practiced with a reckless and selfish short-term outlook That Is unaware of the long-term consequences are Individuals and the rest of society, Such As the fear That Some These enhancements will create more physical or mental advantages, and they may be used for such enhancements and further development between the “haves” and “have-nots”. [23] [24] [25] [26] Futurist Ray Kurzweil has shown some concern that, within the century, humans may be required to merge with this technology in order to compete in the marketplace. quote needed ]

Other criticisms of human enhancement fear that such capabilities would change, for the worse, the dynamic relations within a family. Given the choices of superior qualities, parents make their child as opposed to merely birthing it, and the newborn becomes a product of their will rather than a gift of nature to be loved unconditionally. This is a problematic problem because it could be more important to parenting their child, and it could lead to a greater degree of success. [27]

Accordingly, some advocates, who want to use more language, and advance the public interest in so-called “human enhancement technologies”, prefer the term “enablement” over “enhancement”; [28] defend and promote rigorous, independent safety testing of enabling technologies; more affordable, universal access to these technologies. [16]

Inequality and social disruption

Some believe that the ability to enhance one’s self would reflect the overall goal of human life: to improve fitness and survivability . They claim that it is human nature to be better through increased life expectancy , strength, and / or intelligence, and to become less fearful and more independent. [29] In today’s world, however, there are stratification among socioeconomic classes that prevent the less wealthy from accessing these enhancements. The advantage gained by one person’s enhancements implies a disadvantage to an unenhanced person. [30] [8] Human enhancement presents a great debate on the equalitybetween the haves and the have-nots. A modern-day example of this would be LASIK eye surgery, which only the wealthy can afford.

The enhancement of the human body could have profound changes to everyday situations. Sports, for instance, would change dramatically if enhanced people were allowed to compete; There would be a clear disadvantage for those who are not enhanced. [30] In regards to economic programs, human enhancements Would Greatly Increase life expectancy Which would require Employers to adjust Either Their pension programs to Compensate for a along term retirement, or delay retirement age Reviews another ten years or so. When Considering birth rates into this equation, if there is no decline with Increased longevity, This Could we put more pressure resources like energy and food availability. A job candidate enhanced with a neural transplantthat heightens their ability to compute and retain information, would someone who is not enhanced. Another scenario could be a person with a hearing or sight enhancement could intrude on privacy laws or expectations in an environment like a classroom or workplace. These enhancements could be helpful to an overall advantage.

Unfairness in those who receive enhancements and those who are not a cause for concern. Although it should be noted that it already exists within our society without the need for human enhancement. [31] An individual taking a math exam may have a better calculator than another, or a better job at a job interview. There also exists the stochastic “genetic lottery” of nature. The long-term physical advantage through genetic engineering or the short-term cognitive advantage of nootropics may be part of a larger issue. The real issue being that of availability . [32] How easy it is for certain individuals to get a hold of such enhancements depending on their socioeconomicstanding. With all technologies it is important to keep in mind the historical trends of technology that relates utility to availability.

Geoffrey Miller claims that the 21st century can not be reduced to a certain number of points, and after a couple of generations it would be a game over for Western global competitiveness. Miller recommends that we put aside our “self-righteous” Euro-American ideological biases and learn from the Chinese. [33]

Effects on identity

Human enhancement technologies can impact human identity by affecting one’s self-design. [34] This is problematic because it is problematic because it is a different type of person. citation needed ] For example, extreme changes in personality can affect the individual’s relationships. [26]

Human Enhancement Rhetoric (HER)

In his essay “Mapping human enhancement rhetoric,” Thayer (2014) states that the growth of human enhancement technology means a corresponding growth in the discourse of HET, so he suggests inventing a new classification called Human Enhancement Rhetoric (HER). To establish this classification, Thayer focuses on answering four existential questions: (1) what is HER ?, (2) how can HER be mapped ?, (3) what does this HER mapping project do ?, and (4) what global Is the issue raised, or can be further understood, by mapping HER? Thayer’s newly conceived boundaries, definitions, nomenclature, and ethical arguments as he works to create a discourse that industry professionals and academics can study, navigate, and grow. [35]

Other issues

In addition, the enhancement technologies should be robust to prevent hacking and interference of human increase. [8]

See also

  • Biology portal
  • Transhumanism portal
  • Anti-aging movement
  • Cloning
  • Directed evolution (transhumanism)
  • Genetic engineering
  • Gene therapy
  • Human-animal hybrid
  • Liberal eugenics
  • Life extension
  • Posthuman
  • Technological singularity
  • Transhumanism
    • Outline of transhumanism Areas of enhancement


  1. Jump up^ Human enhancement, IEET
  2. Jump up^ Hughes, James (2004). “Human Enhancement on the Agenda” . Retrieved 2007-02-02 .
  3. Jump up^ Moore, P., “Enhancing Me: The Hope and the Hype of Human Enhancement”
  4. Jump up^ Enhancement Technologies Group (1998). “Writings by group participants” . Retrieved 2007-02-02 .
  5. ^ Jump up to:c Roco, Mihail C. & Bainbridge, William Sims , eds. (2004). Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance . Springer. ISBN  1-4020-1254-3 .
  6. ^ Jump up to:b Agar, Nicholas (2004). Liberal Eugenics: In Defense of Human Enhancement . ISBN  1-4051-2390-7 .
  7. ^ Jump up to:b Parens, Erik (2000). Human Enhancement Features: Ethical and Social Implications . Georgetown University Press. ISBN  0-87840-780-4 .
  8. ^ Jump up to:c “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds” (PDF) . National Intelligence Council . Retrieved 27 December 2016 .
  9. Jump up^ Warwick, K, “Human Enhancement – The Way Ahead” ACM Ubiquity, October 2014
  10. Jump up^
  11. Jump up^ “Dorlands Medical Dictionary” . Archived from the original on 2008-01-30.
  12. Jump up^ C Lanni, Lenzken SC, Pascale A, et al. (March 2008). “Cognition enhancers between treatment and doping the mind”. Pharmacol. Res . 57(3): 196-213. doi : 10.1016 / j.phrs.2008.02.004 . PMID  18353672 .
  13. Jump up^ “So you’re a cyborg – now what?” . CNN . 2012-05-07 . Retrieved 2013-03-22 .
  14. Jump up^ Bailey, Ronald (2006). “The Right to Human Enhancement: And also uplifting animals and the rapture of the nerds” . Retrieved 2007-03-03 .
  15. Jump up^ Members of the President’s Council on Bioethics (2003). Beyond Therapy: Biotechnology and the Pursuit of Happiness . President’s Council on Bioethics . Archived from the original on 2007-02-02.
  16. ^ Jump up to:b Hughes, James (2004). Citizen Cyborg : Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future . Westview Press. ISBN  0-8133-4198-1 .
  17. Jump up^ Ford, Alyssa (May-June 2005). “Humanity: The Remix” . Utne Magazine . Archived from the original on 2006-12-30 . Retrieved 2007-03-03 .
  18. Jump up^ RU Sirius (2005). “The NeuroAge: Zack Lynch In Conversation With RU Sirius”. Life Enhancement Products.
  19. Jump up^ The Royal Society & The Royal Academy of Engineering (2004). “Nanoscience and Nanotechnologies (Ch. 6)” (PDF) . Retrieved 2006-12-05 .
  20. Jump up^ European Parliament (2006). “Technology Assessment on Converging Technologies” (PDF) . Retrieved 2015-01-12 .
  21. Jump up^ European Parliament (2009). “Human Enhancement” (PDF) . Retrieved 2015-01-12 .
  22. Jump up^ Carrico, Dale (2007). “Modification, Consent, and Prosthetic Self-Determination” . Retrieved 2007-04-03 .
  23. Jump up^ Mooney, Pat Roy (2002). “Beyond Cloning: Making Well People” Better” ” . Retrieved 2007-02-02 .
  24. Jump up^ Fukuyama, Francis (2002). Our Posthuman Future : Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution . Farrar Straus & Giroux. ISBN  0-374-23643-7 .
  25. Jump up^ Institute on Biotechnology and the Human Future. “Human “Enhancement””. Archived from the original on 2007-02-09. Retrieved 2007-02-02.
  26. ^ Jump up to:b Michael Hauskeller, Better Humans ?: Understanding the Enhancement Project Acumen, 2013, ISBN  978-1-84465-557-1 .
  27. Jump up^ Sandel, Michael J. (2004). “The Case Against Perfection” . The Atlantic . Retrieved 2016-01-21 .
  28. Jump up^ Good, Better, Best: The Human Quest for EnhancementReport of an Invitational Workshop. Convened by the Scientific Freedom, Responsibility and Law Program. American Association for the Advancement of Science. June 1-2, 2006. Author: Enita A. Williams. Edited by: Mark S. Frankel.
  29. Jump up^ Berry, Roberta (July 2010). “A polemic for human enhancement” . Metascience . Springer Netherlands. 19 (2): 263-266. doi : 10.1007 / s11016-010-9361-z . ISSN  1467-9981 . Retrieved 7 November 2013 .
  30. ^ Jump up to:b Allhoff, Fritz; Patrick Lin; Jesse Steinberg (June 2011). “Ethics of Human Enhancement: An Executive Summary” . Science and Engineering Ethics . Springer Netherlands. 17 (2): 201-212. doi : 10.1007 / s11948-009-9191-9 . ISSN  1471-5546 . Retrieved 7 November 2013 .
  31. Jump up^ Farah, Martha J. “Emerging ethical issues in neuroscience” . Nature Neuroscience . 5 (11): 1123-1129. doi : 10.1038 / nn1102-1123 .
  32. Jump up^ Greely, Henry; Sahakian, Barbara; Harris, John; Kessler, Ronald C .; Gazzaniga, Michael; Campbell, Philip; Farah, Martha J. “Towards Responsible Use of Cognitive-Enhancing Drugs by the Healthy” . Nature456 (7223): 702-705. doi : 10.1038 / 456702a .
  33. Jump up^ Geoffrey Miller. “What should we be worried about?” . Edge .
  34. Jump up^ DeGrazia, David (2005). “Enhancement Technologies and Human Identity” (PDF) . Journal of Medicine and Philosophy . 30 : 261-283 . Retrieved 12 May 2013 .
  35. Jump up^ Thayer, KA (2014). “Human enhancement rhetoric mapping.” Global Issues and Ethical Considerations in Human Enhancement Technologies,IGI Global, pp. 30-53.

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