Privacy? Property?: Reflections on the Implications of a Post-Human World
14 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2011
Date Written: November 12, 2008
The future is now. According to some, we currently face the inevitability of a post-human world, a world where humans enhanced by science far exceed the capabilities of humans unaided by science. Genetic enhancement presents the most familiar way this future may occur. Science fiction films such as Gattaca offer strange visions of just such a future where parents choose exactly which genes they want for their children and where DNA determines the type of job someone can have and whether someone can even access certain facilities. But one need not turn to science fiction to find examples of powerful uses of biotechnology. Companies such as SynBio and Synthetic Genomics are harnessing the wonders of genomic science to create artificial living systems. Yet there is another aspect of the post-human world that has received less attention: the world where implanted devices enhance humans and finally humans and machines merge. Again, although it sounds like science fiction, the question is not if, but when will a machine-enhanced reality occur and what will its contours be? For, as with the world of genetic enhancement, the first steps to such a future are being taken.
Keywords: singularity, privacy, property, persona, genetics
JEL Classification: O3, O30, O31, O32, O33, O34, O38, O39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation