We face an emerging range of technologies that can be applied to our human natures with the goal of enhancing us. There are nootropic smart drugs and gene editing that influence the development of the brain. The near future promises cybernetic technologies that can be grafted onto our brains and bodies. The challenge for readers of Dialogues on Human Enhancement is to decide how to respond to these and other coming enhancement technologies.
As you read these dialogues you will meet passionate advocates for a variety of responses to enhancement tech, ranging from blanket rejection to ecstatic endorsement. You’ll encounter Olen, for whom there is no such thing as too much enhancement. You’ll meet Winston, a bioconservative who fiercely but also imaginatively opposes any human enhancement. And there is the moderate Eugenie, who strives to distinguish between enhancement technologies that should and should not be accepted. As these characters philosophically engage with each other they will benefit from the supervisory presence of Sophie, the philosopher.
A book on the challenge of being human in the digital age. I caution against overconfident claims about our collective digital future. It's good that there are a currently many ideas about how humans could live with AI and other digital technologies. What's wrong is the certainly with which too many of these are advanced. This book calls for a social-digital economy., Machines would exile humans from the part of the economy that privileges efficiency. Humans would dominate the social economy that privileges interactions between human minds. You shouldn't marry a machine and nor should you accept a cyber-barista. These are roles for humans.
Translated into Italian as Non essere una macchina (2020) https://www.luissuniversitypress.it/pubblicazioni/non-essere-una-macchina
Translated into Chinese as
出版社: 华中科技大学出版社 原作名,Wuhan:
Huazhong University of Science and Technology Press (2021). https://book.douban.com/subject/35531587/
This book presents a model of the effects of technological progress on well-being. I argue that there is something paradoxical about the effects of technological progress on well-being. We imagine future technologies and suppose that these would make us much happier. But this belief seems difficult to square with seemingly modest improvement in subjective well-being since centuries past. The phenomenon of hedonic normalisation explains this pattern - we accept as normal the technologies that exist as we come to maturity., Those who look to technological advances to bring great collective happiness - cures for cancer and vacation resorts on Mars - overlook this fact. For a summary of the idea of hedonic normalisation see https://blog.oup.com/2015/07/future-of-technology/
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