Justin McKeown: On Human Beings and Being Human: Ethics and The Internet of things


Justin McKeown: On Human Beings and Being Human:  Ethics and The Internet of things: "The drive towards the Internet of Things and the recent UK government attempt to launch the concept to industry and academia heralds a time where not only the means by which we relate may change drastically but also the very definition of what it means to be human will also be challenged. While in many ways we may imagine the advent of the Internet of Things not only as the first major evolutionary step in the existence of the internet, we also may conceive of it as a step in the evolution of our species; for as research has shown the brain already treats tools including computers as temporary parts of the body and thus, phenomenologically speaking we are more amalgams of man and machine that we may realise.
The potential offered by the technology underpinning the Internet of Things is extreme and, as with all extremes, opinion on its deployment is widely divided. At the root of these divisions are issues of ethics and agency with those on either side of the divide perceiving the challenges enmeshed in the technology to be the key to man’s emancipation or total enslavement. While some are preoccupied with such techno-utopian dreams  (or nightmares) of augmented life I cannot help but feel that – if we are to become Übermensch rather than letzte Mensch - before we step off down the road towards the post-human we're all going to have to learn to become fully human first. To be clear: We will have to become cognizant of our humanity and take on all the responsibilities that come with it. This will require serious consideration of all our ugliness as much as all our beauty."
Justin at justinmckeown.com
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