Most implantable technology approved for human use currently is therapeutic or designed to provide the user with minimal, or at best average, capabilities compared to organic functionality. However, there is a great deal of technical research into implantables which would enhance capabilities beyond human norms, or even beyond human limitations, as well as a community which actively desires to have such technology implanted. Based on interviews with experts in France, Spain and Japan, the panel will provide an overview of the social, legal and ethical concerns (such as privacy, security, autonomy and inequality) about whether such technologies should be allowed and if so under what kinds of regulatory systems. Physical and mental augmentation technologies as well as the impact of national culture on attitudes will be covered.
• What physical and intellectual enhancements are likely possible from implantable technology in the next thirty years?
• Should research (including human trials) into enhancement implantables be permitted?
• What social, legal and ethical issues arise from the potential availability of enhancement implantables?
• How should implantable enhancement technologies be regulated?