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Video: Futurist Jamie Metzl explores ‘Augmented Humanity’ and why it would be ‘insane’ not to embrace gene editing, other new technologies

| | November 5, 2019

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

There’s something that feels a little scary about augmented humans and it’s because we’ve seen all these films of these people who are part person part cyborg. It’s in a lot of Star Trek and it scares us. But you know who are augmented humans? All of you. Maybe there are some people in this audience who have pacemakers. That means you’re a cyborg. Maybe there are people who have cochlear implants. Also a cyborg.

Every time some little kid dies of some terrible genetic disease or a hundred-year-old person gets Alzheimer’s or dementia that is a crime against potential and so we have to embrace it. It would be insane not to embrace these technologies that are going to do so much good for us. We would also be insane to not recognize that there are real risks that we have to be mindful of and we have to begin addressing together and now because the question for all of us it’s not enhancement: yes or no. It’s not augmented human: yes or no. The answer is yes. The real question for us is how best do we embrace these technologies in ways that can optimize their benefits and minimize their harm.

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