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Baby Steps to Superintelligence: Neuroprosthetics and Children


Matthew S. Lucas

Vol. 22 Issue 1 Jun, 2012

Link to article

Children surviving neural injuries face challenges not seen by their adult counterparts, namely that they experience neural injury before reaching neurodevelopmental maturity. Neural prostheses offer one possible path to recovery, along with the potential for functional outcomes that could exceed expectations. Although the first cochlear implant was placed more than fifty years ago, the field of neuroprosthetics is still relatively young. Several types of neural prostheses are in development stages ranging from animal models to (adult) human trials. In this paper, I discuss how neural prostheses may assist recovery for children surviving neural injury. I argue that approaching the use of neural prosthetics in children with considerations derived from transhumanism alongside traditional bioethics can provide an opportunity to reframe adult-focused ethics toward a child/family focus and to strip away the prejudicial metaphor of cyborgization.


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