While fiction films provided an entry point to speculate about neurotechnologies and reflect upon their possible impacts, the Bio-Fiction festival also proposed debates
One of the reasons why the Bio Fiction team had chosen to dedicate an edition of the festival (that took place on September 23 and 24, 2019 in Vienna) to neurotechnology is that it doesn’t get the media and public attention it deserves. The research field has the potential to deeply redefine society and our sense of self. And while university and hospital research build the technology to help individuals who suffer from brain impairment, others (mostly private companies) are either piggybacking on medical research or developing their own projects of implants and techniques that aim to “improve” and augment the human body instead of just fix disabilities.
Today already, any consumer with a desire to “boost learning” and “supercharge neural activity” can purchase nootropic supplements, headbands for on the go meditation, sessions in pressurised oxygen chambers or kits for transcranial direct-current stimulation.
However, as Markus Mooslechner’s documentary Supersapiens demonstrated, transhumanists, scientists and DIY communities who define themselves as “brain hackers” are looking beyond temporary, off-the-shelf brain stimulation…
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