Podcast: Problem Solvers episode 2 - Augmented humans

Problem Solvers is a podcast from the IfM. In each episode we explore how leading thinking from engineering, innovation and across disciplines is being put into practice to tackle problems in society, industry and the environment. We grapple with the issues and hear insights from research and practice.


In this episode we are joined by Dr Thomas Bohné, Head of the Cyber-Human Lab at the IfM, and Dr Karina Vold from the Faculty of Philosophy in Cambridge, to consider 'augmented humans'. How can technology be harnessed in a meaningful way to support humans? What are the engineering and ethical considerations?


There is rapidly increasing presence of digital technologies and automation across industry and in our everyday lives. While there are manifold advantages to this, it also requires us to think about how we use technology to best support the roles we still need humans to play.

In manufacturing, for example, there is a strong interest in automating processes. This makes good sense if it is technically possible, increases productivity and quality, and is economically feasible. However, there are still a lot of human-related processes and requirements in industry, and humans are not easily replaced altogether. Given the important role of humans, how do we conceive, develop and use technologies which enhance their roles at work?


Thomas shares his insights into the engineering challenges, while Karina brings fascinating perspectives on the ethical and philosophical questions it raises.


Date published

13 September 2019

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