Bioethics Blogs

Prepare to be Enhanced

Hybrid Industries is a company of the future, offering a range of enhancement products including NeuroBANK, allowing you to “recall the most important moments of your life in perfect detail”, spectroVISION, an “all-in-one genetic upgrade to perfect your visual-typical field and add far UV and infrared capabilities” and LumiPRO, a ‘bio-monitor’ making health and disease indicators light up on your skin for early and precise diagnosis. Further enhancement packages include chameleon skin, bullet-proof chests, removable limbs, self-moisturising knees and more.

This weekend, festival goers at Green Man festival in the Brecon Beacons had the opportunity to visit a promotion stall for this made-up company as part of the Einstein’s Garden area. Visitors were taken through the full range of fanciful products by more or less persuasive sales representatives, invited to watch advertisements on Hybrid TV, listen to enhancement success stories on Hybrid Radio and submit their own patent applications for further enhancement ideas.

Image credit: yello brick

Hybrid’s catalogue of imagined enhancements is inspired by the work of scientists at the University of Cardiff in the fields of neurostimulation, bioluminescence and genetics in plants and fruit flies. The theatrical set-up aimed to give the scientists a creative introduction and facilitate interactions between them and curious passers-by, but also to stimulate discussion about the future of human enhancement and what it might mean for us as humans and for our societies if they were to become a (commercial) reality.

Enhancement ideas boardPlenty of creative ideas for ‘human improvement’ were generated including goat legs, invisibility, boundless optimism and (perhaps inevitably) immortality.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.