6 years, 4 months ago

Lessons from Lance – the future and Digital Doping

Link: http://blogs.gartner.com/mike-rollings/2013/02/20/lessons-from-lance-the-future-and-digital-doping/

Recently several of us Gartner analysts were discussing the future of digitally enhanced humans. This covers a wide range from drugs that enhance cognition to prosthetics that enhance our physicality. With Lance Armstrong’s public fall from grace it is easy to see how artificial enhancement has infiltrated and tarnished professional sports. But I’m wondering about how devices make us appear more knowledgeable and how they may misrepresent our true capabilities. Is society okay with that? Is there a different standard?

Think of it, it exists today in Words-With-Friends where the app suggests that a better word is possible than the one you just spelled. But it is also sci-fi like where someone may have access to insights via digital prosthetics that make your work appear better than someone else. You diagnosed a problem simply because you accessed data via Siri or some other service.

It opens an interesting can of worms and begs the question “If doping is wrong for cyclists to enhance their performance, is digital doping wrong?” You can hear many of the same arguments tossed out for digital doping:

  • Everybody is doing it
  • All of the top performers do it, so it is a level playing field, right?
  • I only did it once, but didn’t like it
  • They didn’t tell me I couldn’t use performance enhancing products

I’m curious, where do you stand on this idea? Do you think that digital doping is okay?