A Cognitive Divide or a Mind-Meld? : Scenarios of Cognitive Enhancement
Anders Sandberg, Ph.D., Future of Humanity Institute, Oxford University<br />
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Various technologies for improving human cognition are emerging, ranging from memory-, attention- and wakefulness-improving drugs, genetic modifications and neural implants over wearable computing and software agents to social problem solving systems like the WWW, ideas markets and the blogosphere. Within bioethics much work has looked at the ethics of particular interventions based on assumed social consequences: the complex interactions between emerging technology, economics, culture and policy have not been explored. This paper performs a scenario modelling analysis of the effects of emerging cognitive enhancement in society, trying to find the critical issues. In particular, when are increased social divisions a likely consequence? What kinds of enhancement are likely to increase or decrease stability? What influence mechanisms do different stakeholder groups hold?

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