Center Assistant Professor Dr. Laura Cabrera recently traveled to Galway, Ireland to participate in the workshop ‘From Algorithmic States to Algorithmic Brains,’ held at the National University of Ireland, Galway on September 22-23, 2016. Dr. Cabrera spoke on “Neuroenhancement and Human Values: How they Affect Each Other.”
Abstract: The past decade has seen a rise in the use of different technologies aimed at enhancing cognitive, affective and social domains of normal healthy individuals. Even though the role of human values in the ethical debate is acknowledged, it has not been widely explored in how values are affected by neuroenhancement. More than often, the little discussion of values within the enhancement debate has predominantly focused on just a few values, such as safety, peer pressure, and authenticity, and not much has been discussed in terms of social and political values. Values are not only likely to be affected by neuroenhancement practices; they also play a crucial role in defining the type of interventions that are likely to be undertaken.
@msubioethics Laura Cabrera talking about neuroenhancement and human values #algocracy #NUIG pic.twitter.com/VgvU9g1iNV
— John Danaher (@JohnDanaher) September 23, 2016
After giving an overview of what human values are and why they matter, Dr. Cabrera explored the way values affect and are affected by enhancing cognitive, affective and social abilities, providing some examples. Dr. Cabrera concluded by suggesting that a social responsibility framework could help bridge the tensions underlying the interplay of values and neuroenhancement practices.
The workshop featured international researchers, bringing different perspectives to the discussion: from blockchain, robots and AI, to moral enhancement and biohacking.