Brain hackers, brain professors, brain artists, the human brain project, a brain curious audience and me.
We were all there for the Virtual Futures Salon about NeuroStimulation.
It was my first ‘gig’ as the Author in Residence and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. The venue was a bar in Soho, London and the place was buzzing with conversation, debate and towards the end with electricity being zapped through some willing brains.
My story, written especially for the evening, is set in a call centre of the future and based on the notion that NeuroStimulation has become the everyday way of boosting your brain.
I was a guest on The Artist Unleashedblog recently where I posed the question: ‘How good do you think fiction is as a bridge between the experts and the public when it comes to creating debate on ethical issues?’
When I published my three recent stories, Human Enhancement: Sex, Drugs and Marriage, it was partly my intention to prompt debate, and partly to have a bit of fun. They’re free, for now, and you can download them as an eBook or a PDF. I’d love to hear what thoughts they spark in you.
And, if you think fiction can create debate then you might also want to read and comment on The Driverless Car’s Dilemma. It’s a piece of flash fiction about the ethical choices manufacturers of driverless cars will have to make in the future. For example, if an accident is about to happen and the car has to choose between its passengers and nearby pedestrians, who should it choose?
Through the windscreen she saw a group of children crossing the road slowly, sliding around on the ice.
The driverless car wasn’t braking.
She’d forgotten to ask the hire company if this model was programmed to prioritise pedestrians or passengers. It would make a choice – her daughter or the kids playing in the road – but she didn’t know which one.
She could override it by taking control of the steering. But, her driving ability was far inferior to the car’s algorithm. She glanced at the rock face on one side and the cliff edge on the other.