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Posted by superadmin on 05/09/2013 10:10 in 2013

 

Story: Sommanassa Ngernsa-ard

Professor Andy Miah’s interest has expanded extensively beyond his degrees in Science, Bioethics and Medical Law to other topics that concern emerging technologies and human enhancement. Basically, he advocates the use of technology to enhance humans, individually and socially. His books, lectures and articles usually advocate people to ponder about future of humanity beyond the current context so as to design it without restricted boundaries. His project #media2012 inside the mega event such as Olympics, for example, was also targeted to enhance humans socially with the power of digital media and citizen journalism. This article will seek to provide an insight to those innovative ideas that are centred around humans.

Design for Evolution: thinking about human enhancement

Professor Miah has an idea that it is natural for humans to enhance ourselves. We get education, work to earn money and skills, undertake physical activities and maintain relationship with people. Through such value-adding process, we are enhanced to another level. So when it comes to the issue of design for evolution, the professor is quite liberal and forward-looking.

While many were enraged by the buzzing news of Lance Armstrong’s confess to doping, Professor Miah instead questioned whether anti-doping will remain relevant in the future. What if anti-doping rules can increase the risks athletes take or the harm they suffer? Tomorrow’s athlete may need today’s doping just to stay competitive in the extremely stressful performances. The idea of human enhancement in the future, however, may go beyond today’s use of synthetic drugs. Perhaps we will up-regulate some natural substance in our body, or even reinforce ourselves at birth, or before it.

On the aspect of ethics, the professor himself argue that one solution is to make it legal so that everyone gets a fair chance to use it while we can monitor the risks. People often raise their brows when it becomes possible that human evolution, designed to push current boundaries, may cross over “the moral red line,” and that such a design can render the loss of some ‘human’ values we cherish. Professor Miah instead thinks that, despite such red line, which may or may not actually exist, we should opt for regulating technologies rather than limiting the use of them for benefit of humans.

The Social Olympics: audiences can co-create experiences

Olympic and Paralympic Games have generally been regarded as an event that celebrates humanity. Yet, when it came to media coverage, the privilege was given exclusively to a relatively small number of journalists accredited through International Olympic Committee (IOC). Having witnessed such gap of people participation, Professor Miah managed to launch a newswire project called #media2012 at the Games in London. This people-powered project allowed non-professional journalists across 7 regions in United Kingdom to reflect the implication of Olympics upon their community.

 

 

The British Bangladesh academic believes that digital technology is an activist device. Armed with smartphone, one is enabled to let his or her voice heard and shed lights on the issues often neglected by mainstream media. For instance, how streets and constructions have been transformed to fulfill the mega event or what kind of legacies the Games have left to people in the city.

Focus of the reports through #media2012 is everything that happens around the corner but sports. It can be about protests, politics, entertainment, performances, architecture or activism. Thus, there are more spaces for socio-cultural dialogue not only among people in the locality but also with other people around the world. With more interaction being promoted, local people can feel more ownership toward the Games that take place in and cost a fortune for their country.

With content shared and power distributed, the audiences no longer have to wait for information at the recipient’s end. They can co-create experiences and contents real-time through the systematized network. And so they are empowered to criticize as well as work in complementary to professional media. Andy Miah, with his project, has confirmed that Olympics can be more than a sport event with more public engagement through technological activism.

Picture credit: Amazon

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Story: Sommanassa Ngernsa-ard

Professor Andy Miah’s interest has expanded extensively beyond his degrees in Science, Bioethics and Medical Law to other topics that concern emerging technologies and human enhancement. Basically, he advocates the use of technology to enhance humans, individually and socially. His books, lectures and articles usually advocate people to ponder about future of humanity beyond the current context so as to design it without restricted boundaries. His project #media2012 inside the mega event such as Olympics, for example, was also targeted to enhance humans socially with the power of digital media and citizen journalism. This article will seek to provide an insight to those innovative ideas that are centred around humans.