Sie sind auf Seite 1von 13

The idea of Progress

Problmatique possible:
10
Is human augmentation really
progress?

15

Elisabeth Buffard
Introduction
20
Lets begin by defining progress. It is the idea that the human condition is getting better in terms of
science, technology and social organization. That is, peoples lives can become better in terms of
quality of life through economic development, and the application of science and technology. It
obviously requires people to apply their reason and skills to reach it.
25 However, progress truly benefits society only when everybody can enjoy it and it does not remain
the privilege of a chosen few.
Progress can sometimes backfire and generate a negative effect on our society. As a result, out of
fear or ignorance, some people reject progress altogether.
The various aspects of progress:

30
Observe

35
Observe these three men and comment:
the man on the left is a fictional character called Snake, from the
"Metal Gear Solid" video game, a very popular shoot-them-up
game. He is wearing an armoured suit, he's very muscular and his
left arm is a prosthetic one.
The man in the middle is a young white male, he's real. His left
arm is prosthetic and harnessed to his body. He may have lost his
arm in an accident, because he has a large scar above his
navel. He looks relaxed, standing with his thumbs hooked in his
pockets, and smiling. His artificial arm looks smoothly designed
after Snake's arm, and his cool attitude and bare chest clearly
show he's proud of it.
Finally, the man on the right, Hugh Herr, is a middle-aged man,
looking very smart in a blue suit. He too looks relaxed, with his
hands in his pockets. His trousers are rolled up to show that his
legs are in fact high-tech prostheses. These legs are not designed
to look like real human legs, on the contrary they proudly show
how advanced and performing they are.
All three have in common that they are in a way improved by their
prostheses. This illustrates how technology can contribute not only
to repair humans, but also "augment" them.
Reading
40
Read this
news article about James Young, find out more details about him than just what you had found from the
photo.

45
Prosthetics: Amputee James Young unveils hi-tech synthetic arm inspired by
Metal Gear Solid
The 25-year-old's 60,000 carbon-fibre limb is part art project and part engineering marvel

James Youngs new arm was designed and built by a 10-strong team, led by prosthetic sculptor Sophie de
50Oliveira Barata

The job advertisement was highly specific: applicants had to be passionate about computer games and live in
the UK. Oh, and they also had to be amputees who were interested in wearing a futuristic prosthetic limb.

James Young knew straight away he had a better shot than most. After losing an arm and a leg in a rail
accident in 2012, the 25-year-old Londoner had taught himself to use a video-game controller with one hand
55and his teeth. How many amputee gamers can there be? he asked himself.

In the end, more than 60 people replied to the ad, which was looking for a games-mad amputee to become
the recipient of a bespoke high-tech prosthetic arm inspired by Metal Gear Solid, one of the worlds best-
selling computer games. Designed and built by a team of 10 experts led by London-based prosthetic sculptor
Sophie de Oliveira Barata, the 60,000 carbon-fibre limb is part art project, part engineering marvel.

60For Mr Young, who unveiled the new prosthetic on Saturday at BodyHacking Con 2016, a conference in
Texas devoted to human augmentation, the synthetic limb is likely to be life-changing, both in terms of its
functionality and the levels of attention it will bring him. Ill be on stage in Texas talking about it, he said
before boarding his flight to the United States. That will be a different level of attention Ill have to get
used to it.

65The limb is fitted with a 3D-printed hand that is controlled by sensors that detect minute muscle movements
in Mr Youngs back. Designed by Bristol firm Open Bionics, it is substantially more dextrous than the
rudimentary NHS prosthetic he acquired following his accident.

James Young's new prosthesis is inspired by Snake's synthetic arm in Metal Gear Solid (Konami)

Dexterity the ability to grip a bottle, give a thumbs-up signal or offer a handshake is only part of the
70story. The arm also features a torch, a laser and banks of LED lights that can be programmed to display
different colours or synchronised with Mr Youngs heartbeat. There is a USB port in the wrist for charging
phones or uploading data to a display panel, and a mount for a miniature quadcopter a tiny drone that can
be controlled using one hand from a panel mounted on the forearm.

Mr Young wont suffer from a lack of data either. A miniature screen mounted in the arm will display his
75Twitter feed and email. The unusual project was inspired by the release of the latest edition of Metal Gear
Solid, a game that has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide. In Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom
Pain, the games protagonist, Snake, awakes from a coma to learn his shattered left arm is to be replaced
with a synthetic limb capable of detecting minute vibrations, unleashing bolts of electricity and punching out
adversaries.

80Mr Young, an account executive at a medical communications company, admits he has little in common with
Snake, a tough-as-guts former Green Beret who is fluent in six languages and specialises in solo spying
missions. But the young Londoner was familiar with Metal Gear Solids retro-futuristic aesthetic. During his
rehabilitation he spent hours using a games console, learning to use the controller with one hand, his chin
and, occasionally, his teeth.

85Although he was fascinated by the project, Mr Young didnt want to end up looking like a sci-fi killing
machine or becoming a walking, talking advertisement for a computer game a kind of cyborg billboard.
Fortunately, Ms de Oliveira Barata and Konami, the games publisher, didnt want him to be.

The Independent Sunday 21 February 2016


Oral comprehension
To know more about James Young, watch this video https://youtu.be/RMku5bYH3O8
90

95

Watch this trailer and identify what this event is


about and how it is composed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rx9I_hYqQcM

100

Check your understanding by taking the quiz.

We watched a trailer announcing Cybathlon, an event which will take place in Zurich
in 2016.
105Its a sporting event for disabled people using robotics to improve their performance.
Its a display / a showcase of technology-assisted human capacities. They will
compete in 6 races, all relying on robotics to fill the extra need of disabled
participants. The athletes are called "pilots" because they control their technology.
First, there will be two races for those who have powered prostheses (either arms or
110legs). Then, there is a powered wheelchair race, a muscle-stimulated bike race and a
powered exoskeleton one for paralysed people. Finally, tetraplegics will enter a mind-
controlled virtual race.
Oral comprehension
training
115 Hugh Herr wins Princess of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research:
listen and sum up in French.

Correction Check the correction with that


quiz

120
Oral
comprehension
test

125Watch and listen to this video until 114 then sum up in French: The bionic man, and what he tells us about
the future of being human.

Transcript :
Anchorman: You might have glimpsed him in the studio just now, the 1
million dollar man or rather a collection of artificial organs, synthetic
130 blood and robotic limbs, all of which can be fitted onto or into the
human body.
Rex, as he's called, has been put together by an expert team for a
forthcoming Channel 4 documentary, "How to Build a Bionic Man", in an
effort to show just how far prosthetic has advanced. Our science editor,
135 Tom Clark, explains more.
Tom Clarke: Not only can he speak...
REX: I feel exposed.
Tom Clark: talk to Rex and he can listen; he can see through a chip
wired into his retina; damage him and he would bleed artificial blood
140 that carries oxygen from his nano-engineered lungs, pumped around his
body by an electronic heart.
Strictly speaking, he's not a robot: his parts aren't designed to work
together. But each one either is or soon could be part of a living human
being. Most of us will agree that a human being is greater than the sum
145 of its parts, but what this bionic man so clearly illustrates is just how
many parts science can now create.

Read this article and answer the questions:


150 Augmented humans or Augmented reality? Popular Science
Augmented Reality Or Augmented Humanity?
The makers of the Deus Ex: Mankind Divided video game host a bioethics conference
Sometimes art imitates reality. Sometimes reality imitates art. And sometimes you cant tell what came
first. This month, Square Enix, the video game company famous for producing games like Final
155
Fantasy and Dragon Quest, hosted a conference on the future of human augmentation. To my
knowledge, its the first example of a video game maker setting out to organize a bioethics conference
around the subject of a game.
The term human augmentation is a catchall for body enhancements. Whether people are using
prosthetics, inserting electronics into their bodies, or taking pills to live longer, theyre augmenting
160
themselves. The impetus for the conference called Human by Design is the release of the latest
installment in the franchise Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, which comes out on Tuesday. The gritty
cyberpunk role-playing game takes place in a future where people are segregated because of their
augmentations. Its metal-armed protagonist Adam Jensen lives in a world of mechanical apartheid.
The developers organized the conference to contextualize the themes of the game while
165
simultaneously introducing gaming audiences to the debates revolving around emerging biotechnology.
Part of the point of the science fiction genre is to speculate on how new technologies change the
human experience. We should all be speculating more and debating about whats technologically
feasible and how those possibilities might impact our society.
That said, mixing fact with fantasy without clearly demarcating the lines can turn off, or worse,
170
mislead an audience. Sometimes the panels felt like a prelude to a video game, and while I sat in the
dark theater sometimes I felt as though I was living in one. []
There are plenty of real and interesting debates taking place about whats happening now in technology
such as how to provide access to better prosthetics and other forms of healthcare to the broader public.
The high points of Human by Design came when Steven Sanchez, who suffered a spinal cord injury,
175
and Cathrine Disney, who was born with a congenital amputation, spoke about how their prosthetics
changed their daily lives. Disney described her experience with prosthetic arms as a child. They're not
only offensively ugly in their attempts to mimic human hands, theyre heavy, clunky, and ultimately
useless, she said.
Sanchez and Disney eloquently described how mechanized prosthetics changed theirs. Disney
180
designed herself a new robotic arm with Open Bionics and Deus Ex. Instead of being the elephant in
the room, all eyes are on us for the right reasons, she said, describing how the new arm affected her
self-esteem.
Several of the panelists released of a set of ethical principles regarding the future of human
augmentation.
185
Popular Science August 18, 2016

http://www.popsci.com/augmented-reality-or-augmented-humanity
Questions:

1. Name the various characters; say what they have in common and how they differ.

190 2. Give the name, location and date of the event they are connected with.

3. What is special about this event?

4. In your own words, define Deus Ex scenario.

5. Quote three issues raised by the advancement of technology.

6. What progress is desirable from this advancement? Quote from the text.

195 7. Explain how life has changed for the characters and why.

Correction Check the correction with that quiz

CE/EE Test

See more
Problmatiques possibles
To what extent does new technology isolate people?
200 Are social networking sites a threat to our private lives?
How has the internet modified our social behaviour and changed the
way we communicate?
Is progress always positive?
The positive and negative sides of progress
205 Does Progress address our desires more than our needs?
The impact of internet on our lives / our society
Technological progress and working conditions
Working with technologies : positive and negative impacts
Medical Progress and its impacts on our health
210 The impact of physical appearance in todays society
The comparison between sciences and fictional movies
Are human rights making progress ?
Social progress and womens rights
The new social relationships thanks to progress
215 Progress vs Sustainability / Sustainable Development
Exemple de problmatique :

Is augmenting humans a real


220 progress?
Introduction :
Im going to talk about the idea of progress. I will begin by defining it as is the idea
that the human condition is getting better in terms of science, technology and social
225 organization. That is, peoples lives can become better in terms of quality of life through
economic development, and the application of science and technology. It obviously
requires people to apply their reason and skills to reach it.
However, progress truly benefits society only when everybody can enjoy it and it
does not remain the privilege of a chosen few.
230 Progress can sometimes backfire and generate a negative effect on our society. As a
result, out of fear or ignorance, some people reject progress altogether.
I will now focus on the technology of cybernetics that contributes to augment humans
and will examine whether it is really progress.
Medicine is limited about fixing human bodies, especially for amputees. While
235prostheses have existed for a long time, today, they evolve into something better
thanks to high tech roboticised parts. We studied the case of a young British
amputee called James Young.
This young man lost an arm and a leg in a rail accident and replied to a advertisement looking
for applicants who were passionate about computer games and lived in the UK. They also had
240to be amputees who were interested in wearing a futuristic prosthetic limb. A team of
technicians and designers built him a bespoke high-tech prosthetic arm inspired by Metal
Gear Solid, one of the worlds best-selling computer games. This arm is very special. Its true
that it gives James back his grip and autonomy of movements, but it also features a torch, a
laser and banks of LED lights that can be programmed to display different colours. There is a
245USB port in the wrist for charging phones or uploading data to a display panel that will
display his Twitter feed and emails. This fantastic artificial arm attracts James a lot of positive
curiosity and attention from people, and as a result they have a new look at amputees.
Like James Young, Hugh Herr is a double amputee, actually he lost both legs
because of frostbite in a mountain climbing accident when he was eighteen. He
250was determined to walk and climb again, though no one believed he would ever do
it. But he became a rock climber again, and also an engineer and biophysicist at
the MIT and won prizes for his inventions: he invented a bionic knee and ankle
prostheses that are totally different from James Youngs arm. In fact, his lower
legs are even better than real ones, as he can adjust them to his need, to be taller
255or smaller, and to walk, run, dance or climb. They can have the same fluid
movement as real legs, with extra adaptations.
He is the example of a breakthrough that turns an amputee into not just a full
human being, but into a better human being an augmented human.
That is the purpose of the companies taking part in the Cybathlon event.
260The Cybathlon is an international competition that took place in Zurich last
October for disabled competitors allowed to use bionic assistive technology, such
as robotic prostheses, brain-computer interfaces and powered exoskeletons. We
saw the trailer for it and read an article giving the details of these 6 competitions.
The next event will take place in 2020 and its goal is to push the development of
265assistive devices for people with disabilities.
However, human augmentation seems to raise an issue. We studied an article
about a bioethics conference organized by the makers of the video game Deus Ex.
The game is set in a dystopian future when people are segregated because of
their augmentations. There are a lot of debates today in technology about how to
270provide access to better prosthetics and other forms of healthcare to the broader
public.
However, the need to establish a set of ethical principles regarding the future of
human augmentation is clear, and this is where we have to draw a line between a
real progress that will benefit the largest number of people and human
275augmentations that may make humans lose their very human nature.

Pour inspiration :
Mock Oral Exams

https://youtu.be/LPOc7tT775 https://
http
0 youtu.be/TkDtoGaIJd8
s://youtu.be/x8C2CxtA3Ks