Lex Cybernetica Podcast – Military Application of Human Enhancement Technologies

What is human enhancement? One way to define it is to compare it to therapeutic measures, explains Prof. Noam Lubell, a professor of international law at the University of Essex, research associate at the Hebrew University Federmann Cyber Law Program and Swiss chair of humanitarian law at the Geneva Academy. "Your glasses or contact lenses would be therapeutic, because they bring us up to the norm. Enhanced would be if you had an implant which gave you night vision or let you see beyond 2KM into the distance".

Human enhancement has military applications, from giving soldiers exoskeletons to connecting their brains to computers. This raises many regulatory and ethical issues. For example, can a soldier refuse to be enhanced? “The question of informed consent in the military is always an incredibly difficult one, simply because of the hierarchical structure”, says Dr. Heather Harrison Dinniss, senior lecturer at the International and Operational Law Center at the Swedish Defence University.

Another issue is whether enhanced soldiers are legally considered a person or a weapon, and what we’re allowed to do to neutralize them in the war field. “Maybe there could be a way to hack it where it’s sort of temporarily takes that person out but it’s not [...] long term damage”, suggests Adv. Erin Hahn (JD), senior national security analyst with the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University.

Prof. Noam Lubell, Dr. Heather A. Harrison Dinniss, and Adv. Erin Hahn are our guests on this episode of Lex Cybernetica, hosted by Ido Kenan.

Clips in the episode are from The Six Million Dollar Man and Star Trek: Discovery.

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