Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

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Technoprogressive? BioConservative? Huh?
Quick overview of biopolitical points of view

ieet books

The End of the Beginning: Life, Society and Economy on the Brink of the Singularity
by Ben Goertzel

Humans and Automata A Social Study of Robotics
by Riccardo Campa

The End: What Science and Religion Tell Us about the Apocalypse
by Phil Torres

Envisioning Politics 2.0
by David Wood and Alexander Karran eds.

ieet events

Vita-More @ IFA+ SUMMIT
September 4 -9, 2015
Berlin Germany

Vita-More @ Next Level of Thinking: AFI+ Summit
September 7 -8, 2015
Berlin, Germany

Wood @ Pioneering Change in Partnership
September 10 , 2015
London, UK

Sorgner @ Beyond Humanism Conf: From Humanism to Post- and Transhumanism?
September 15 -18, 2015
Seoul, S. Korea

Hughes, Santens @ World Summit on Technological Unemployment
September 29 , 2015

International Longevity Day
October 1 , 2015

Siegel @ Transformative Technology Conference
October 2 -4, 2015
Sofia University, Palo Alto CA, USA

Wood, Twyman @ Anticipating 2040: A Roadmap to Sustainable Abundance?
October 3 , 2015
London, UK

Stambler, de Grey @ Super Longevity Conference
October 3 -4, 2015
New Delhi, India

Vita-More @ Alcor Conference
October 9 -11, 2015
Scottsdale, AZ USA

Hughes, Prisco, Goertzel @ Modern Cosmism Conference
October 10 , 2015

Hughes, Brin, Anderson, Pellissier, Sirius, Gillis, Kuzsewski, Istvan @ Future of Politics Conferenc
October 19 -, 2015
Oakland, California

October 19 , 2015
Stuttgart, Germany

Wood, Pearce @ SIAI Seoul
November 6 -7, 2015
Seoul, South Korea

Sorgner@7th LUMEN international conference
November 12 -14, 2015
Targoviste, Romania

Sorgner @ FirstGerman Academic symposium on transhumanism
December 5 , 2015
Nürnberg, Germany

ieet news

IEET Fellows and Affiliate Scholars Receive AI Safety Grants
(Aug 27, 2015)

IEET co-founder Nick Bostrom, IEET Fellow Wendell Wallach and Affiliate Scholar Seth Baum are Principal Investigators on projects n funded by Elon Musk and the Open Philanthropy Project and administered by the Future of Life Institute.

IEET Audience Leans towards “Free Will”
(Aug 25, 2015)

We asked “Is there free will?” Of the 103 of you who answered, slightly more than half believed free will was possible.

IEET sponsors “The Future of Politics” conference in Oakland, California (Aug 18, 2015)

IEET Audience Favors Legalizing Plural Marriage (Aug 9, 2015)

ieet articles

Why Superintelligence May Not Help Us Think about Existential Risks — or Transhumanism
by Steve Fuller
Sep 3, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Among transhumanists, Nick Bostrom is well-known for promoting the idea of ‘existential risks’, potential harms which, were they come to pass, would annihilate the human condition altogether. Their probability may be relatively small, but the expected magnitude of their effects are so great, so Bostrom claims, that it is rational to devote some significant resources to safeguarding against them. (Indeed, there are now institutes for the study of existential risks on both sides of the Atlantic.) Moreover, because existential risks are intimately tied to the advancement of science and technology, their probability is likely to grow in the coming years.

Sleep Drug Modafinil Affirmed by Scientists as a Safe and Effective Brain Booster
by George Dvorsky
Sep 3, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Off-license users of modafinil—a drug developed to treat various sleep disorders—have known for some time that it doubles as a surprisingly effective cognitive enhancer, and with very few side effects. A new systematic review shows it’s true, raising some important ethical questions about the use of smart drugs.
Modafinil, which is sold under such brand names as Alertec, Provigil, and Modavigil, is a wakefulness-promoting drug used to treat conditions such narcolepsy, the effects of shift work, sleep apnea, and other sleep disorders. But it’s also used off-license by people—especially students—hoping to exploit its nootropic qualities.

How SETI Will Understand Messages Broadcast by an Alien Intelligence
by George Dvorsky
Sep 3, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Imagine the day when we finally receive a signal from an extraterrestrial intelligence, only to find that there’s a message embedded within. Given that we don’t speak the same language, how could we ever hope to make sense of it? We spoke to the experts to find out.

Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence, aka “CETI”, is the branch of SETI concerned with both the transmission and reception of messages between ourselves and an alien civilization. Scientists have been trying to detect signals from an extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) since the 1960s, but haven’t found anything.

Philosophy versus Science versus Politics
by Russell Blackford
Sep 3, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

We might hope that good arguments will eventually drive out bad arguments – in what Timothy Williamson calls “a reverse analogue of Gresham’s Law”  – and we might want (almost?) complete freedom for ideas and arguments, rather than suppressing potentially valuable ones.

Rethinking Work - Wasting Half of our Waking Lives is Terrible
by John G. Messerly
Sep 3, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Swarthmore College Professor Barry Schwartz just published an op-ed in The New York Times, “Rethinking Work.”  The essay begins by noting that a “survey last year found that almost 90 percent of workers were either “not engaged” with or “actively disengaged” from their jobs.” So 9 out of 10 “workers spend half their waking lives doing things they don’t really want to do in places they don’t particularly want to be.” But Why?

How Steady Can Wind Power Blow?
by Ramez Naam
Sep 2, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

NREL recently released data showing that next-generation wind turbines could reach an incredible capacity factor of 60% over 2 million square kilometers of the US, or enough to provide roughly 10x as much electricity as the US uses. If true, this would be a game-changer in wind power, as I explain below.

A Rawlsian Approach to Intoxicated Consent to Sex?
by John Danaher
Sep 2, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

People are often mildly to severely intoxicated when they have sex. This creates a problem. If someone signals consent to sex whilst voluntarily intoxicated, should that consent be treated as morally/legally valid? I have been very slowly working my way through Alan Wertheimer’s excellent paper on this topic (cleverly entitled ‘Intoxicated Consent to Sexual Relations’).  So slow has been my progression that I have actually written three previous posts examining the complex web of moral claims associated with it. But in doing so I have yet to share Wertheimer’s own view. Today, I finally make up for this deficit.

42 Splices and Counting: Nine Facts You Should Know About the Planned Parenthood Smear Campaign
by Valerie Tarico
Sep 2, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Imagine that someone hated you (or your company) and wanted to make you look bad. So, he pretended to be a friend or colleague, went to your events, repeatedly asked you to meetings or lunch, gained your trust, and then spent two years recording private conversations. Could he find stuff that would make you sound like a heartless monster? If you’re like me, the answer is a resounding yes. In fact, there’s no way it would take years.

Oliver Sacks Has Died in Peace
by John G. Messerly
Sep 2, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

I have written previously (here and here ) about the great author and neurologist Oliver Sacks, who died recently at his home in New York City. (Here is the link to the story from the New York Times.)

Beginning to Exist and the Kalam Cosmological Argument
by John Danaher
Sep 1, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

The Kalam Cosmological Argument (KCA) opens with the following premise:

(1) Whatever begins to exist has a cause of its existence

From there, the argument continues with the observation that the universe began to exist and ends with the conclusion that God must be the cause of the universe’s existence.

Humans: The Next Platform
by Geoffrey Woo
Sep 1, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Biohacking and transhumanist advances (including nootropics, extended longevity, cybernetic implants, better behavioral and genetic self-understanding) will materially advance our quality of life and productivity in the coming decade, but we need to be thoughtful about the potential social and ethical pitfalls as we transform. Google Trends shows a marked uptick in searches for “nootropics” and related biohacking fields, so now is the time to have the conversation about the direction we’re headed.

The Political Voice of a Transhumanist - An Interview with Presidential Candidate Zoltan Istvan
by Daniel Faggella
Sep 1, 2015 • (5) CommentsPermalink

About a year from today, Americans will line up at the polls to vote for the 45th President of the United States.  Whether Zoltan Istvan will represent the Transhumanist Party on that ballot remains to be seen, but it seems likely that he’ll be the first Transhumanist candidate to run for office.

Fringe political parties are not new, though ‘Transhumanist’ does have a novel ring to it. In a recent TechEmergence interview, I asked Zoltan, why is this the time, the 2016 election, for the Transhumanist party to make an entrance?

Genome Stability Leads to Negligible Senescence
by Maria Konovalenko
Aug 31, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

What would you say if I told you that aging happens not because of accumulation of stresses, but rather because of the intrinsic properties of the gene network of the organism? I’m guessing you’d be like: o_0.

So, here’s the deal. My biohacker friends led by Peter Fedichev  and Sergey Filonov in collaboration with my old friend and the longevity record holder Robert Shmookler Reis published a very cool paper.

Nicotine’s Cognitive Benefits – Six Ways to Ingest It
by Steven Umbrello
Aug 31, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

In 1560 the French ambassador in Portugal, Jean Nicot de Villemain, sent newly discovered seeds to the French king. These seeds would grow a plant that we today know as tobacco, or more properly Nicotiana Tabacum (named after the ambassador).

Although it would take a while for the hobby of smoking tobacco to catch on in the old world, it was already a popular practice amongst the native inhabitants in the western hemisphere.

Practopoiesis - a Theory on How Life Organizes, including the Mind
by Danko Nikolic
Aug 31, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink


A thought results primarily from an adjustment of the brain hardware, and not from a computation executed by that hardware.

(Download open-access manuscript at Journal of Theoretical Biology.)

The reason you should be interested in practopoiesis if you are a: 

International Longevity Day - October 1, 2015
by Ilia Stambler
Aug 31, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Dear Friends -

There has been emerging a tradition by longevity researchers and activists around the world to organize events dedicated to promotion of longevity research on or around October 1 – the UN International Day of Older Persons.

This day is sometimes referred to in some parts of the longevity activists community as the “International Longevity Day”. As this is the official UN Day of Older Persons, this provides the longevity research activists a perfect opportunity, perhaps even a perfect “excuse”, to emphasize the importance of aging and longevity research for the development of effective health care for the elderly, in the wide public as well as among decision makers.

ETER9: The Social Network That Turns Your Personality Into an Immortal Artificial Intelligence
by George Dvorsky
Aug 30, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

By learning everything there is to know about you and your online habits, social network ETER9 promises a kind of digital immortality wherein an artificially intelligent agent continues to post on your behalf long after you’re dead. The future is creepier than we ever imagined.

Would AI and Aliens be Moral in a Godless Universe?
by Rick Searle
Aug 30, 2015 • (8) CommentsPermalink

Last time I attempted to grapple with R. Scott Bakker’s intriguing essay on what kinds of philosophy aliens might practice and remaining dizzied by questions.

Luckily, I had a book in my possession which seemed to offer me the answers, a book that had nothing to do with the a modern preoccupation like question of alien philosophers at all, but rather a metaphysical problem that had been barred from philosophy except among seminary students since Darwin; namely, whether or not there was such a thing as moral truth if God didn’t exist.



The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States. Please give as you are able, and help support our work for a brighter future.

ieet multimedia

Gene Therapy is NOT a Monstrous Science / Singularity 1on1
Guest image
Liz Parrish - BioViva CEO

Identity: In & Beyond the Gender Binary
Guest image
Dave Naz

This New Telescope Might Show Us the Beginning of the Universe
Guest image
Wendy Freedman

The Future of Business
Guest image
BJ Murphy

Bipolar Disorder Is Like Having Two Serious Illnesses at Once
(Aug 31, 2015)

Digital Stroke
(Aug 30, 2015)

What is the Future of Your Mind?
(Aug 30, 2015)


Darin Robbins on 'Transhumanism: there are [at least] ten different philosophical categories; which one(s) are you?' (Sep 2, 2015)

Giulio Prisco on 'The Political Voice of a Transhumanist - An Interview with Presidential Candidate Zoltan Istvan' (Sep 2, 2015)

Steve Fuller on 'The Political Voice of a Transhumanist - An Interview with Presidential Candidate Zoltan Istvan' (Sep 2, 2015)

dobermanmac on 'The Political Voice of a Transhumanist - An Interview with Presidential Candidate Zoltan Istvan' (Sep 2, 2015)

micahredding on 'The Political Voice of a Transhumanist - An Interview with Presidential Candidate Zoltan Istvan' (Sep 1, 2015)

Lincoln Cannon on 'The Political Voice of a Transhumanist - An Interview with Presidential Candidate Zoltan Istvan' (Sep 1, 2015)

Laurence Hitterdale on 'Would AI and Aliens be Moral in a Godless Universe?' (Aug 31, 2015)


Enframing the Flesh: Heidegger, Transhumanism, and the Body as “Standing Reserve”

Moral Enhancement and Political Realism

Intelligent Technologies and Lost Life

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The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States.

Contact: Executive Director, Dr. James J. Hughes,
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