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Making perfect life_10_11_2010

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Presentation of Rinie van Est, held during the STOA Conference Making Perfect Life, november 10th, Brussels.

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Making perfect life_10_11_2010

  1. 1. Do you remember biotechnology? Cloned sheep Dolly: “First the sheep, than the shepherd?”Bull Herman
  2. 2. More bio-ethical issues coming up
  3. 3. Four technological revolutions BIOTECH REVOLUTION MATERIALS REVOLUTION REVOLUTION IN COGNITIVE SCIENCES INFORMATION REVOLUTION
  4. 4. The new technology wave NBIC convergence
  5. 5. Convergence goes two ways LIFE SCIENCES PHYSICAL SCIENCES Biology becoming technology Technology becoming biology
  6. 6. Two bio-engineering megatrends BIOLOGY BECOMING TECHNOLOGYBIOLOGY BECOMING TECHNOLOGY TECHNOLOGY BECOMING BIOLOGYTECHNOLOGY BECOMING BIOLOGY
  7. 7. Four fields of bio-engineering
  8. 8. Engineering of living artefacts Endy: “If you consider nature to be a machine, you see it is not perfect and it can be revised and improved” (Nature 24-11-’05) Van Santen (2009): “The final goal is to build a microscopic factory that is self-sustaining and duplicates itself. This is not only a intellectual challenge but also offers interesting prospects for the pharmaceutical industry.” Spanish Flew Virus (2002) First bacteria with complete synthetic genome (2010) Top-down synthetic biology Bottom-up synthetic biology
  9. 9. Engineering of the body Biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease Artificial heart valve 3D printing of artificial blood vessels
  10. 10. Engineering of the brain Controlling movement Deep Brain Stimulation Reverse engineering of the brain Forward engineering of the brain
  11. 11. Engineering of intelligent artefacts Pedestrian detection with full auto-brake Military robot Chatbot Persuasive technology
  12. 12. Genetic modification of living organisms Familiar interventions in living organisms
  13. 13. Bio-, socio-, and cogno-inspired artefacts New interventions and artefacts New types of interventions in living organisms
  14. 14. How to safeguard human dignity? Challenges regulatory practices • Safety • Privacy • Bodily integrity • Informed consent • … Challenging fundamental concepts • Living and non-living • Health and sickness • Brain and machine • Human and machine agency • … Biology == Technology
  15. 15. New safety issues Safety regulations assume parent organism Immune reactions / uncontrollable cell growth Does regulatory framework for medical devices still suffice? Responsibility and liability
  16. 16. New privacy issues Tracking face expression Genetic privacy & right not to know Mental privacy Tracking medical actions
  17. 17. New moral issues “Bottom-up engineering seeks to harness processes of self- organization that are autonomous, out of immediate control of the engineer.” EU Deepen project (2009: 52) Human enhancement Simulation of friendship Remote killing / Dehumanisation of the enemy Animal (mis)use Remote control Engineering emergence
  18. 18. European Commission’s unbalanced attention for ethical, legal and social aspects
  19. 19. Conclusions • From biotechnology to NBIC convergence • Promises new types of interventions into living organisms (“biology becoming technology”) and bio-, cogno-, and socio-inspired artefacts (“technology becoming biology”) • Radically broadens the bio-debate • Challenges human diginity & regulatory practices • European Commission’s challenge to safeguard human dignity • Attention for ELSA of engineering body & living artefacts • Little attention for ELSA of engineering brain & intelligent artefacts • Needs a more integral approach to the anticipatory governance of NBIC convergence
  20. 20. Credits MEPs Malcolm Harbour Vittorio Prodi STOA Vittorio De Crescenzo Fraunhofer Bärbel Hüsling ITA Helge Torgersen Karen Kastenhofer KIT Knud Böhle Christopher Coenen Michael Decker Rathenau Institute Ira van Keulen Ingrid Geesink Mirjam Schuijff Dirk Stemerding Michael Rader Leonard Hennen Presentation / project leader Rinie van Est Presentation graphics Niko Vegt Markus Schmidt

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