, Volume 62, Issue 1–4, pp 66–80 | Cite as

Governance and Assessment of Future Spaces: A Discussion of Some Issues Raised by the Possibilities of Human–Machine Mergers

  • Andelka M. PhillipsEmail author
  • I. S. Mian
Dialogue Section


This article explores potential privacy, security, and ethical issues raised by technologies that allow for human–machine mergers. The focus is on research, development and products at the intersection of robotics, artificial intelligence, Big Data, and smart computing. We suggest that there is a need for a more holistic approach to the assessment of such technology and its governance. We argue that in order to determine how the law will need to respond to this particular future space, it is necessary to understand the full impacts of human–machine mergers on societies and our planet—to go beyond these three aforementioned issues. We aim to encourage further discussion and research on this as well as the broader organism-machine merger question, including on our FLE5SH (F = financial, L = legal, E5 = economic, ethical, equity, environmental, and ecosystem, S = socio-political, H = historical) framework for the governance and assessment of these and other future spaces.


Human–machine merger Technology assessment FLE5SH G.O.A.T.S Precautionary principle Artificial intelligence 



Thanks to our colleagues for their support and fruitful discussion on these topics.


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Copyright information

© Society for International Development 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Te Piringa - Faculty of LawUniversity of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand
  2. 2.HeLEX CentreUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  3. 3.Department of Computer Science, University College LondonLondonUK

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