The age of self-creation: why ethics must be central to how we create the future

One of my flurry of media appearances over New Year was on the Sunrise show, talking about what to expect in 2014.

Click on the image to see a video of my interview.

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We discussed emerging consumer technology trends, shifts in retail, and the idea of “self-creation”, which was one of my 14 themes in our 2014: Crunch Time report.

As I wrote in the report about the theme:


SELF-CREATION
We have become as gods. We are entering a world in which we can literally create ourselves. New medical technologies include lab-grown organs, genetic modification, thought-controlled limbs, and the ability to choose our children’s DNA. Technological augmentation gives us the ability to achieve far more than ever before. As robots and other machines achieve extraordinary capabilities, we need not fear, because we will be one with the machines.

Response

Our ability to choose who we are will uncover our deepest nature. As we amplify ourselves, we amplify our underlying attitudes. We should embrace the possibilities of self-creation, but spend far more time considering who it is we truly aspire to become than on enacting that desire.

This is one of the most fundamental issues of our time. Whether we realize it or not, our volition is shaping our future.

The job of ethicist will – or at least certainly should – be one of the fastest growing domains of work. It is not easy to grapple with the implications of the power we have at our disposal, yet we must.

When we look back and see who we have become, we will discover our wisdom – or lack of it.