Neuroscience and Nanotechnologies in Japan -- Beyond the Hope and Hype of Converging Technologies
Journal international de bioéthique = International journal of bioethics 2011 Mar-Jun; 22(1): 91-7, 210-1
Nanotechnologies are often said to be "converging" with other technologies like biotechnology, information technology, and cognitive science. And so-called "NBIC convergence" is thought to enable "enhancement" of human performance. First, I classify various kinds of enhancement. Second, I focus on the "cybernetic enhancement," to which nanotechnologies are supposed to contribute, and analyze the connection and integration of humans with machines, which could lead to the cyborgization of human beings. Third, I examine the portrayal of robot/cyborg technology in Japanese popular media, point out the tendency to empathy or ensoulment concerning robots/cyborgs, and raise the question of "ethical issues of ethical enhancement." Fourth, I compare nanotechnologies with neurotechnology and criticize the hype of "converging technologies."
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