Monday, December 17, 2007

Why progressive technologies are important

"Scientists seek to help 'locked-in' man speak"

As soon as I read this article, I knew three things instantly. First, enhancement and progressive technologies are important and merit serious consideration. Second, this is why I am involved with organizations examining the ethics and real-life implications of enhancement technologies, such as the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET). Third, I need to purchase The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby.

Well, I've purchased the book and it is a wonderful expression of the human will and mind. It has been an inspiration for my support and understanding of progressive and enhancement technologies that are being worked and thought on right now. For now, I will digress to focus on the specific enhancement technology discussed in this article.

That focus is mapping the brain as vowels and consonants are thought or spoken so that 'locked-in' individuals may speak. This enhancement, purely in conversation, seems impossible, but in actuality, the scientists have already made progress. This progress means these individuals who are 'locked-in' their bodies will finally be able to communicate with the outside world.

Thoughts abound on what that means for the rest of us if this succeeds. Going back to my first thought, progressive and enhancement technologies are important, not just for those they first impact but for the rest of us too.

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