Future Day is designed as a way of focusing and celebrating the energy that more and more people around the world are directing toward creating a radically better future ( http://future-day.org ).
We take seriously the premise that our future is very important – the notion that *accelerating technological progress will change the world* deserves a lot more attention than that which can be gleaned from most other days of celebration.
To give food for thoughts and facilitate further discussions Anton Kulaga (bioinformatician in Computational Biology of Aging Group http://aging-research.group and Chronos Biosystem http://www.chronos-biosystems.com/ ) will make a review lecture on the controversial topic of Human Augmentation Technologies, that will include:
* a short review of augmentation technologies ( genetic engineering, synthetic biology, regenerative medicine, biology of aging research, brain-computer interfaces, cyborgization, cryopreservation etc.)
* review of existing philosophic concepts and movements (transhumanism, posthumanism, extropianism, etc.) that are built around human augmentation.
* briefly show some genetic engineering and bioinformatic/ML projects of the lab
However, the most important is not the lecture itself but the discussions that should follow afterwards. Human augmentation technologies can change the Future of our Species and have numerous technological and ethical implications. Here are some examples of ethical and technological problems that are relevant, highly interdisciplinary, happening now and are subjects of hot debates and policy-making:
* GMO problem. Why do so many people oppose GMO despite a vast array of scientific evidence of its safety?
* Do-it-yourself gene editing. How feasible is it, what are the threats and opportunities?
* Will human augmentation decrease or increase social inequality? What are the ways to make it affordable?
* (bio)ethics vs progress. Do ethical regulation help in developing new cures or they do more harm than good by slowing down the progress and making cures more expensive?
* Human germline engineering (editing human genome in a way that changes are inherited). Currently, 15 of 22 Western European nations have outlawed human germline engineering, but is this ban reasonable? Can it lead to loss of leadership to countries like China, that do not have such restrictions?
* etc :-)
So, let us remind ourselves to remember the future – an editable history of a time to come – a future, that without our conscious deliberation and positive action, may not be the future that we intended.
See you at Facultatea de Electronica si Telecomunicatii, Iuliu Maniu 3, room A03, 18:30!