Healthcare Technology Featured Article

November 08, 2012

Experts Reveal Implications of a Superhuman Workplace

There are raising concerns today about the implications of a superhuman workplace. Other than the fact that it raises serious ethical, political and economic questions, the prospect of enhancement technologies in the workplace worry experts.

Both medical and educational experts from England agree that the development of memory-boosting and performance-enhancing drugs, wearable computers (a new form of human-computer interaction) and bionic limbs will do more harm than good.

These enhancements all provide a user with some kind of human enhancement to make them work better, longer and harder.

Research suggests that a superhuman workplace could have an impact on the future. Their findings indicate that there may be, one day, consequences for using "cognitive enhancers" such as Ritalin – which is a stimulant attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medication – and wearing such sophisticated devices could proactively make a worker (as well as an athlete) more dependent on the meds and gear;  this could lead to some physical and psychological side effects.

For example, stimulants could cause loss of coordination or anxiety; wearable computers could leave users with a slight headache as a side effect for having used an electronic sensor device on their body; bionic artificial limbs (arm or leg), regardless of them being a permanent mainstay and help people move around easier, could cause users not only pain, but perhaps cause serious injury to a limb or part of a limb when misused.

The experts do understand that people feel pressured at the workplace and want to improve themselves. But these enhancements don’t seem to be the best approach to increase their alertness, attention, and energy.

Experts say not to adopt such measures to overcome a pressurized workplace or the emotional issues and decisions of competitive sports activities for that matter.

According to the joint project of the Royal Society, Academy of Medical Sciences, British Academy and Royal Academy of Engineering, that explored the human enhancement, drugs and technologies could lead to negative deviant workplace behaviors. Their conclusions state that people don’t need to rely on brain booster drugs, performance-enhancing gear and powered prostheses to influence their actions and abilities; they recommend finding other alternatives that could assist them to stay healthy (avoid stress), motivated and victorious. 

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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