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date: 21 October 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter offers a critical analysis of the place that evolving technologies (and especially bio-technologies) are beginning to occupy in our ideas about who we are and who we might become. This chapter’s general claim is that we cannot consider the nature, function, and role of technology without taking account of its impact on personal and group identities, and especially the identities of vulnerable others. The chapter addresses the difficult questions about how the impacts of emerging technologies, while in many ways positive, can also be sources of further othering of already vulnerable populations, and how the promise of human progress through enhancement (including everything from novel biomedical treatments and all the way to artificial intelligence and transhumanism) can also lead to a deepening liminality of the oppressed. The direction in which we ought to be heading as a technological species, the author suggests, should be motivated as much by considerations of identity-constituting effects of technological innovations as by the adventurism of techno-evolution itself.

Keywords: biotechnology, identity, vulnerable populations, emerging technologies, artificial intelligence, enhancement

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