Should Technology Control Us?

I’m in full support of using technology to enrich our lives. Technology opens up new possibilities we thought were unattainable just a few years before.

What happens when technology assumes a more prominent role? What happens when technology no longer enriches, but replaces?

Credit: EnteroMedics Inc.
Credit: EnteroMedics Inc.

This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a first-of-its-kind, implantable device to suppress natural hunger signals in the brain. The device intends to help individuals lose weight by hijacking electrical signals sent from the abdomen to the brain. These signals control how fast or slow the stomach empties, which we sense as feeling “full.”

The irony is in the device’s name: Maestro. If you’re a music enthusiast, you already know that a maestro is “a distinguished musician, especially a conductor of classical music.” Another definition is, “a great or distinguished figure in any sphere.” Or take its Spanish definition: “teacher” when used as a noun or “masterly” as an adjective.

My point is in the message this conveys. I agree with proponents of surgical/medical intervention in select cases of morbid obesity. But, what does it say when we turn over the reins to our health to technology? Should technology be “conducting” our health or should we conduct technology as just one instrument in the orchestra?

Technology has its place to improve health. I just don’t think it should be our master.


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