CNN’s Courageous Brand Studio to Produce Conference on Human Augmentation: Human by Design
Thursday, June 30, 2016
NEW YORK – June 30, 2016 - This summer, CNN’s brand studio Courageous is partnering with Square Enix®, publisher of SQUARE ENIX interactive entertainment products in the Americas, to host a first-of-its-kind conference on human augmentation. Human by Design will be held at the Paley Center* for Media in New York City on August 3, 2016, and explore the intersection of technology and humanity with the objective of bringing together top minds to debate, question, and challenge what it means to be human.
Square Enix is aligning with Human by Design to support the release of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided®, the video game developed by Eidos-Montreal and the sequel to the critically acclaimed Deus Ex: Human Revolution®, on August 23, 2016. Set in the year 2029, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided features a world that has become so divided by hatred, prejudice, and fear that many countries are enacting harsh laws aimed at segregating mechanically augmented humans and “Naturals” from each other. The many parallels of the near-futuristic Deus Ex Universe® will be explored at the conference, particularly around how technology is rapidly shaping the human condition and the ethics of self-regulation.
“Since the launch of Courageous, we have been committed to pioneering the evolution of branded content to help brands tell more powerful stories,” said Otto Bell, vice president and group creative director of Courageous. “Human by Design greatly embodies this approach, as we’ve assembled a group of thought-leaders across the fields of science, technology, ethics, and cyborg activism who, for the first time, will come together to discuss the cutting-edge technologies and innovations that are shaping human augmentation.”
“Human by Design goes beyond bringing to life the key themes of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. This conference is a special opportunity for a video game to take pause from the limitless world we play in, and to drive the conversation around what is really happening in the space of human augmentation,” said Jon Grant, senior product marketing manager at Square Enix. “Our hope is that the gaming world tunes into the conference and is inspired to get involved as well.”
Featured panel sessions at Human by Design will include:
Is Augmentation a Human Right?: How can augmentation be accessible to everyone on the planet?
- E. Christian Brugger, Cardinal Stafford Professor of Christian Ethics at John Vianney Major Seminary in Colorado and author of hundreds of articles on topics in bioethics, natural law theory and the interdisciplinary field of psychology and Christian anthropology.
- Dr. Natasha Vita-More, Designer, researcher, and scientist who explores the intervention of biological limited lifespans, selective enhancement, and related socio-political issues.
- Adam Arabian, Ph.D PE, Technical Director of multiple nonprofits and Professor of Engineering at Seattle Pacific University, focused on supporting refugees and underserved communities globally.
- Dr. Steve Mann, Chief Scientist at California-based Metavision, Inventor of HDR (High Dynamic Range) imaging, Founder of MIT Media Lab Wearable Computing project and widely regarded as "The Father of Wearable Computing.”
Selective vs. Therapeutic Augmentation: Who should have the final say on augmentation procedures — doctors or individuals?
- Neil Harbisson, British-born cyborg artist and activist best known for having an antenna implanted in his skull to perceive visible and invisible colors such as infrareds and ultraviolets via sound waves.
- Dr. Michael Chorost, Author of Rebuilt: How Becoming Part Computer Made Me More Human, the groundbreaking “cyborg memoir” about getting a cochlear implant.
- Samantha Payne, Co-Founder of Open Bionics, an award-winning startup developing low-cost bionic hands for amputees or those born without a hand.
- Dr. Homayoon Kazerooni, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, where he also serves as Director of the Berkeley Robotics and Human Engineering Laboratory.
The Future of the Far Far Next: What will medical advances enable 10 years from now?
- Will Rosellini, IP Expert and serial entrepreneur with three companies in progress that focus on repairing the nervous system using active electrical devices.
- Lucy McRae, Science-Fiction Artist, Director, Body Architect, and TED Fellow probing the frontiers of the body, health and human adaptability.
- Zoltan Istvan, Futurist, Author of best-selling philosophical novel The Transhumanist Wager, and 2016 U.S. presidential candidate of the Transhumanist Party.
- Tan Le, Founder and CEO of EMOTIV, a bioinformatics company advancing the understanding of the human brain through electroencephalography (EEG).
The conference will culminate with the presentation of Human by Design, An Ethical Framework for Human Augmentation. Drafted by the Human by Design Board, which is comprised of conference speakers, The Code is meant to engage a deeper conversation around the issues of human augmentation, while reflecting the specific views of the authors, in an effort to help shape the future of the industry.
To bring global access to the live event and provocative conversation, Courageous will capture original video of the conference that will be distributed in ad space across CNN’s digital and social footprint, including CNN’s Snapchat Discover channel and Turner’s social distribution platform, Launchpad. The conference will also be streamed live on Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/deusex.
Please visit the Human by Design website for access to the conference agenda, bios of the speakers and more information of The Code: www.humanxdesign.com/.
Courageous is Turner’s first-ever brand studio with global opportunities for marketers across the company’s multi-screen brands CNN, HLN and Great Big Story. Launched in June 2015, the studio’s unique approach is anchored in brand journalism, the discovery of great stories and the production of powerful branded content. From concept development to production to multi-platform distribution, Courageous leverages its distinct point-of-view, while delivering on business objectives for advertising partners.
About Square Enix
Square Enix, Inc. develops, publishes, distributes and licenses SQUARE ENIX®, EIDOS® and TAITO® branded entertainment content throughout the Americas as part of the Square Enix group of companies. Square Enix, Inc. is affiliated with a global network of leading development studios such as IO Interactive™, Crystal Dynamics®, and Eidos Montréal. The Square Enix group of companies boasts a valuable portfolio of intellectual property including: FINAL FANTASY®, which has sold over 115 million units worldwide; DRAGON QUEST®, which has sold over 68 million units worldwide; TOMB RAIDER®, which has sold over 45 million units worldwide; and the legendary SPACE INVADERS®. Square Enix, Inc. is a U.S.-based, wholly-owned subsidiary of Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd.
More information on Square Enix, Inc. can be found at http://na.square-enix.com/
© 2016 Square Enix Ltd. All Rights Reserved. CRYSTAL DYNAMICS, DEUS EX, DEUS EX: MANKIND DIVIDED, DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION, DEUS EX UNIVERSE, DRAGON QUEST, EIDOS, FINAL FANTASY, IO INTERACTIVE, SPACE INVADERS, SQUARE ENIX, TAITO, and TOMB RAIDER are registered trademarks or trademarks of the Square Enix group of companies. All other trademarks are properties of their respective owners.
Senior Publicist, Turner
Senior PR Manager, Square Enix
*The use of The Paley Center for Media’s facilities does not constitute endorsement by the Paley Center of any views expressed during this event.