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Human biohacking: an exciting prospect, but only for the rich?

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A study of many nations reveals that many of us find biohacking exciting, but fears about piracy and privacy remain.

The addition of man can describe many things. Hearing aids, pacemakers and dentures are already in use, but in the future, we may use the term for implants that improve cognitive abilities; chips that connect us to our intelligent devices, or bionic eyes that can restore lost sight, and more.

When it comes to future applications, countries around the world are pushing forward the development of new technologies which can result in improvements to the human body.

See also:Michigan treats mandatory microchip implants for employees with new bill

Japan, for example, recently put $ 1 billion on the table for researchers willing to pursue everything from human growth to longevity because of the need to deal with an aging workforce and population shrinkage.

In a roundtable discussion during Kaspersky NEXT 2020, senior security researcher David Jacoby and Global Research and Analysis Director for Kaspersky Europe Marco Preuss cited military applications, industry, beauty and healthcare as key biocontrol arenas for future applications .

It may be strange to meditate on such a reality at a time when we have not yet established internet connections that do not risk being cut off during direct, distant events – but nonetheless, discussing the topic can now lead to a preliminary adjustment. that can control emerging industry – unlike the delay in addressing the Internet of Things (IoT) industry that has paved the way for massive security issues.

On Thursday, Kaspersky released a new report, “The Future of Human Expansion 2020: Opportunity or Dangerous Dream?”, Which sought to clarify the views of citizens in many countries on the prospect of biohacking.

Conducted in July this year, the study included responses from close to 15,000 adults in 16 countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Morocco, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

In total, 91% of respondents said they would change a trait of theirs if they could, and 63% said they would consider human addition to do so.

Italians were more likely to consider biohacking, in total, 81%. By contrast, Britons are more cautious, with only 33% saying they would investigate human proliferation to change their features. Spain, Portugal, Greece and Morocco, too, are open to the idea of ​​biohacking.

CNET:US accuses Chinese hackers of ‘unprecedented’ attacks on gaming companies

Over half of respondents, 53%, said biohacking should be used for the benefit of all, such as in medical settings. However, 69% expressed concern that biohacking in the future would be reserved for the rich.

During the keynote address at Kaspersky NEXT, this was also an opinion expressed by Julian Savulescu, Professor at Oxford University and Chair of Uehiro in Practical Ethics.

“It [human augmentation] will be developed through market forces maximizing profits for large multinational companies, “Savulescu commented.

In other words, economics and consumer demand can drive biohacking initiatives, rather than any search toward a common good.

Zoltan Istvan, the founder of the Transhumanist Party, agreed, noting that human growth is likely to be “controlled by capitalism to some extent”, and “the economy will be a driver, for better or worse”.

TechRepublic:The stolen details of my credit card were used 4,500 miles away. I tried to find out how it happened

According to Savulescu, if biohacking is not driven solely by personal need and economic factors, we need to develop an improved moral compass based on well-being and what improvements are good for people in general.

“You want duck edges? Good for you,” Savulescu said. “You want a monkey tail? Good for you. […] [However] “We need to identify what is well-being, what a good life is and what good relationships are, and use that account to identify what kind of improvements are good for people and what is not.”

By comparison, Istvan believes that biohacking is essentially the next step in people “aspiring to be something bigger than ourselves.”

“[I am] ultimately on the side of personal choice, as long as it does not harm anyone else directly, “Istvan said.”[…] “Let people make those decisions themselves and the market will follow.”

Other interesting statistics released in the report include:

  • 88% of people stated that they were afraid that their bodies might be hacked by cyber criminals
  • 36% of women and 25% of men considered augmentation to improve attractiveness
  • Men are more interested in improving strength through biohacking (23%) than women (18%)
  • 47% believe that governments should regulate human proliferation

“The addition of man is one of the most important technology trends today,” Preuss commented. “But people have a right to be careful. Enlargement enthusiasts are already testing the limits of what is possible, but we need agreed standards to ensure that enrichment reaches its full potential while minimizing risks. ”

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