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




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How Universal Basic Income Will Save Us From the Robot Uprising

Intelligence

Corporations Act To Make US Congress A Wholly Owned Subsidiary

Reading robots’ minds

Genetic Enineering and Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis

Sorgner @ 3rd World Humanities Forum


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Virtually Human: The Promise—-and the Peril—-of Digital Immortality
Author
Martine Rothblatt

A Taxonomy and Metaphysics of Mind-Uploading
Keith Wiley

A History of Life-Extensionism in the Twentieth Century
Ilia Stambler

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies
Nick Bostrom


comments

Peter Wicks on '2040’s America will be like 1840’s Britain, with robots?' (Nov 1, 2014)

instamatic on '2040’s America will be like 1840’s Britain, with robots?' (Oct 31, 2014)

Rick Searle on '2040’s America will be like 1840’s Britain, with robots?' (Oct 31, 2014)

instamatic on '2040’s America will be like 1840’s Britain, with robots?' (Oct 31, 2014)

Rick Searle on '2040’s America will be like 1840’s Britain, with robots?' (Oct 31, 2014)

Peter Wicks on '2040’s America will be like 1840’s Britain, with robots?' (Oct 31, 2014)

Rick Searle on '2040’s America will be like 1840’s Britain, with robots?' (Oct 31, 2014)







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JET

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

Moral Enhancement and Political Realism

Intelligent Technologies and Lost Life

Hottest Articles of the Last Month


2040’s America will be like 1840’s Britain, with robots?
Oct 26, 2014
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Google’s Cold Betrayal of the Internet
Oct 10, 2014
(7832) Hits
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Why oil is getting cheaper
Oct 29, 2014
(5635) Hits
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Should we abolish work?
Oct 3, 2014
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RSS feedETHICAL TECHNOLOGY

George Dvorsky

How Universal Basic Income Will Save Us From the Robot Uprising

by George Dvorsky

Robots are poised to eliminate millions of jobs over the coming decades. We have to address the coming epidemic of “technological unemployment” if we’re to avoid crippling levels of poverty and societal collapse. Here’s how a guaranteed basic income will help — and why it’s absolutely inevitable.

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Sebastian A.B.

Intelligence

by Sebastian A.B.

This essay will provide a cursory snapshot of the changing conception of intelligence since 1904, beginning with Charles Spearman’s General Intelligence Objectively Determined and Measured.

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Richard Eskow

Corporations Act To Make US Congress A Wholly Owned Subsidiary

by Richard Eskow

As Election Day approaches, two reports show us exactly how corrupted our political system has become. Unless voters come out in force, it looks like corporate money is about to buy itself another house of Congress.

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Reading robots’ minds

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Published on Oct 28, 2014, a new visualization system developed by MIT researchers, combines ceiling-mounted projectors with motion-capture technology and animation software to project a robot’s intentions in real time. (Learn more about the system: http://bit.ly/1thQBSQ) The researchers say the system may help speed up the development of self-driving cars, package-delivering drones, and other autonomous, route-planning vehicles.

 

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Genetic Enineering and Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis

60 Minutes

Norah O’Donnell looks into a controversial procedure that could stop the spread of dangerous genes that have stalked families for generations

The following is a script of “Breeding out Disease” which aired on Oct. 26, 2014. Norah O’Donnell is the correspondent. Tanya Simon, producer.

There are few fields of medicine that are having a bigger impact on how we treat disease than genetics. The science of genetics has gotten so sophisticated so quickly that it can be used to not only treat serious diseases but prevent thousands of them well before pregnancy even begins. Diseases that have stalked families for generations - like breast cancer - are being literally stopped in their tracks. Scientists can do that by creating and testing embryos in a lab, then implanting into a mother’s womb only the ones which appear healthy. While the whole field is loaded with controversy, those who are worried about passing on defective and potentially dangerous genes see the opportunity to breed out disease.

Norah O’Donnell: Did you ever envision that you would have the capability you have today?

Dr. Mark Hughes: No, but that’s the fun of science. It’s constantly surprising you.

Click Here to read more…

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Jønathan Lyons

Futurism: Go Big

by Jønathan Lyons

Elon Musk wants 1,000,000 human colonists on Mars as a precaution against the extinction of our species. Ray Kurzweil has plotted a timeline for the coming technological Singularity. Michio Kaku has a strategy to avoid AIs overthrowing us: We augment and become them

.

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piero scaruffi

Why oil is getting cheaper

by piero scaruffi

When international agencies started noticing that new technologies would soon cause a dramatic shift in the oil market, one country took notice and, well, panicked: Saudi Arabia. Its wealth and relatively new political power are entirely due to the oil that sits under its soil.

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Richard Eskow

7 Signs That the American Dream is Dying

by Richard Eskow

A recent poll showed that more than half of all people in this country don’t believe that the American dream is real. Fifty-nine percent of those polled in June agreed that “the American dream has become impossible for most people to achieve.” More and more Americans believe there is “not much opportunity” to get ahead.

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Can Gene Therapy Cure HIV?

defeatHIV

Paula Cannon from the University of Southern California and the defeatHIV Collaboratory tells us why everyone should more seriously consider the gene therapy approach to fuctionally curing HIV.

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Kris Notaro

Transhumanism: No Gigadeath War

by Kris Notaro

The onset of transhumanism, political or not may rally many people against technological innovations such as the integration of the human species with computers and re-designing of our specie’s DNA for enhancement purposes. The people of the world need to cooperate and value education so that we never see any of the dystopian posthumanist scenarios play out the way many think they might.

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Alex Nichols

Transhumanism: The Future of Mental Health

by Alex Nichols

With the increasing attention Transhumanism is gaining in the media, there are numerous articles focusing on the gadgetry and cutting edge innovations on the horizon. We seldom turn our attention to pick apart the results of many current and older inventions. With respect the mental health, I believe Transhumanists have just as much responsibility to emphatically state their cutting edge technologies as they do to use exceptional cognitive analysis to breach barriers surrounding notions of mental health.

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The Global Gender Gap Report 2014

World Economic Forum

The Global Gender Gap Report, published by the World Economic Forum, provides a framework for capturing the magnitude and scope of gender-based disparities around the world. Published on Oct 27, 2014

The Global Gender Gap Report 2014 benchmarks national gender gaps of 142 countries on economic, political, education- and health-based criteria.

This year is the 9th edition of the Index, allowing for time-series analysis on the changing patterns of gender equality around the world and comparisons between and within countries.

The rankings are designed to create greater awareness among a global audience of the challenges posed by gender gaps and the opportunities created by reducing them. The methodology and quantitative analysis behind the rankings are intended to serve as a basis for designing effective measures for reducing gender gaps.

The Global Gender Gap Report 2014 emphasizes persisting gender gap divides across and within regions. Based on the nine years of data available for the 111 countries that have been part of the report since its inception, the world has seen only a small improvement in equality for women in the workplace. According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2014, launched today, the gender gap for economic participation and opportunity now stands at 60% worldwide, having closed by 4% from 56% in 2006.

The gender gap is narrowest in terms of health and survival with a gap standing at 96% globally, with 35 countries having closed the gap entirely. Despite all this, it is the only subindex which declined over the course of the past nine years.  The educational attainment gap is the next narrowest, standing at 94% globally. Here, 25 countries have closed the gap entirely. While the gender gap for economic participation and opportunity lags stubbornly behind, the gap for political empowerment, the fourth pillar measured, remains wider still, standing at 21%, although this area has seen the most improvement since 2006.

This year’s findings show that Iceland continues to be at the top of the overall rankings in The Global Gender Gap Index for the sixth consecutive year. Finland ranks in second position, and Norway holds the third place in the overall ranking. Sweden remains in fourth position and Denmark gains three places and ranks this year at the fifth position. Northern European countries dominate the top 10 with Ireland in the eighth position and Belgium (10) Nicaragua (6), Rwanda (7) and Philippines (9) complete the top 10.

The index continues to track the strong correlation between a country’s gender gap and its national competitiveness. Because women account for one-half of a country’s potential talent base, a nation’s competitiveness in the long term depends significantly on whether and how it educates and utilizes its women.

http://www.weforum.org/issues/global-gender-gap

What do you think?

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Kathryn Cave

Sierra Leone: IBM’s New Ebola Insights

by Kathryn Cave

Beloved aunty, Mammy Kumba, died from a stroke at her home in Barthurst, a mountainous village about six miles west of Freetown, Sierra Leone, at the start of October. Like any death this was a painful and traumatic experience for the family, but due to the timing it also put her relatives in a serious quandary. The government has directed that bodies cannot be touched until they are 100% confirmed to be Ebola-free.

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The Most Controversial Decision in History

AquinasCollegeGR

Panel Discussion debating whether President Harry Truman should have dropped the bomb.
Panelists: Prof. Wilson Miscamble, C.S.C., - University of Notre Dame; Prof. David Solomon - University of Notre Dame; Dr. Robert Marko - Aquinas College

The atomic bombings of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan were conducted by the United States during the final stages of World War II in August 1945. The two bombings were the first and remain the only use of nuclear weapons in warfare.

As the Second World War entered its sixth and final year, the Allies had begun to prepare for, what was anticipated to be, a very costly invasion of the Japanese mainland. This was preceded by an immensely destructive firebombing campaign that obliterated many Japanese cities. The war in Europe had concluded when Nazi Germany signed its instrument of surrender on May 8, 1945, but with the Japanese refusal to accept the Allies' demands for unconditional surrender, the Pacific War dragged on. Together with the United Kingdom and China, the United State's calls for the unconditional surrender of the Japanese armed forces in the Potsdam Declaration on July 26, 1945 was buttressed with the threat of "prompt and utter destruction".

By August 1945, the Allied Manhattan Project had successfully detonated an atomic device and subsequently produced atomic weapons based on two alternate designs. The 509th Composite Group of the U.S. Army Air Forces was equipped with a Silverplate Boeing B-29 Superfortress that could deliver them from Tinian in the Mariana Islands. A uranium gun-type atomic bomb (Little Boy) was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, followed by a plutonium implosion-type bomb (Fat Man) on the city of Nagasaki on August 9. Within the first two to four months of the bombings, the acute effects of the atomic bombings killed 90,000–166,000 people in Hiroshima and 60,000–80,000 in Nagasaki; roughly half of the deaths in each city occurred on the first day. During the following months, large numbers died from the effect of burns, radiation sickness, and other injuries, compounded by illness and malnutrition. In both cities, most of the dead were civilians, although Hiroshima had a sizable military garrison.

On August 15, just days after the bombing of Nagasaki and the Soviet Union's declaration of war, Japan announced its surrender to the Allies. On September 2, it signed the instrument of surrender, effectively ending World War II. The bombings' role in Japan's surrender and their ethical justification are still debated.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_bombings_of_Hiroshima_and_Nagasaki

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Artificial Photosynthesis

Berkeley Lab

Artificial Photosynthesis Innovations
Prof. A. Llobet’s research group focuses on artificial photosynthesis. They work in the development of light harvesting molecules, proton reduction catalysts and water oxidation catalysts.

DOE Secretary Moniz Helps Usher in New Era of Energy Research at Berkeley Lab


The Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) is the nation’s largest research program dedicated to the development of an artificial solar-fuel generation technology. Established in 2010 as a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Energy Innovation Hub, JCAP aims to find a cost-effective method to produce fuels using only sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide as inputs.


Artificial photosynthesis is a chemical process that replicates the natural process of photosynthesis, a process that converts sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates and oxygen. The term is commonly used to refer to any scheme for capturing and storing the energy from sunlight in the chemical bonds of a fuel (a solar fuel). Photocatalytic water splitting converts water into Hydrogen Ions and oxygen, and is a main research area in artificial photosynthesis. Light-driven carbon dioxide reduction is another studied process, replicating natural carbon fixation.

Research developed in this field encompasses design and assembly of devices (and their components) for the direct production of solar fuels, photoelectrochemistry and its application in fuel cells, and engineering of enzymes and photoautotrophic microorganisms for microbial biofuel and biohydrogen production from sunlight. Many, if not most, of the artificial approaches are bio-inspired, i.e., they rely on biomimetics.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_photosynthesis

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Artificial intelligence and the Singularity - History, Trends and Reality Check

technological singularity

The technological singularity hypothesis is that accelerating progress in technologies will cause a runaway effect wherein artificial intelligence will exceed human intellectual capacity and control, thus radically changing or even ending civilization in an event called the singularity.

The first use of the term “singularity” in this context was by mathematician John von Neumann. In 1958, regarding a summary of a conversation with von Neumann, Stanislaw Ulam described “ever accelerating progress of technology and changes in the mode of human life, which gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue”.[3] The term was popularized by science fiction writer Vernor Vinge, who argues that artificial intelligence, human biological enhancement, or brain–computer interfaces could be possible causes of the singularity.[4] Futurist, and inventor of the portable reading machine for the blind, Ray Kurzweil cited von Neumann’s use of the term in a foreword to von Neumann’s classic The Computer and the Brain.

Proponents of the singularity typically postulate an “intelligence explosion”,[5][6] where superintelligences design successive generations of increasingly powerful minds, that might occur very quickly and might not stop until the agent’s cognitive abilities greatly surpass that of any human.

Kurzweil predicts the singularity to occur around 2045[7] whereas Vinge predicts some time before 2030.[8] At the 2012 Singularity Summit, Stuart Armstrong did a study of artificial general intelligence (AGI) predictions by experts and found a wide range of predicted dates, with a median value of 2040. Discussing the level of uncertainty in AGI estimates, Armstrong said in 2012, “It’s not fully formalized, but my current 80% estimate is something like five to 100 years.”[9]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity

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Melanie Swan

Connected World Wearables Free Cognitive Surplus

by Melanie Swan

The immediate reaction to the Connected World (26 billion devices by 2020 as predicted by Gartner; more than four connected devices per human; or really 1 for some and 20 for others) is the notion that man is becoming infantilized: over-tracked, over-surveilled, and over-directed by technology, and certainly over-dependent upon technology.

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Leo Igwe

Understanding Witchcraft Accusations in Africa

by Leo Igwe

Skeptical activist Leo Igwe explains the developments that led to the situation in Africa where “witches” are still regularly persecuted and even murdered.

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The Union of Nanotechnology with Biotechnology

World Economic Forum

Dr. Sang Yup Lee is Distinguished Professor at the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). He is also the Dean of KAIST Institutes, Director of the Center for Systems and Synthetic Biotechnology, and Director of the BioProcess Engineering Research Center at KAIST. He is an honorary professor of the University of Queensland in Australia and the Chinese Academy of Sciences in China, and an advisory professor of the Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China. He received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Seoul National University, and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University.

He has published more than 470 journal papers and 580 patents. He has received many awards, including the Citation Classic Award, Elmer Gaden Award, Merck Metabolic Engineering Award, ACS Marvin Johnson Award, SIMB Charles Thom Award, POSCO TJ Park Prize, Amgen Biochemical Engineering Award, and the Ho Am Prize in Engineering among many others. He is currently a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the World Academy of Sciences, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, American Academy of Microbiology, Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, Korean Academy of Science and Technology, and the National Academy of Engineering of Korea. He was also elected as a Foreign Member of the National Academy of Engineering USA. He is currently serving as Editor-in-Chief of Biotechnology Journal and editor and editorial board member for numerous journals. He has also served as a member of the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum since it was founded. He has served as a Chairman of the Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies in 2011-2012, and as a Chairman of the Global Agenda Council on Biotechnology in 2012-2013. He founded the World Council on Industrial Biotechnology in 2010. He is currently serving as a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Science and Technology in Korea.

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Rick Searle

2040’s America will be like 1840’s Britain, with robots?

by Rick Searle

Looked at in a certain light, Adrian Hon’s History of the Future in 100 Objects can be seen as giving us a window into a fictionalized version of an intermediate technological stage we may be entering. It is the period when the gains in artificial intelligence are clearly happening, but they have yet to completely replace human intelligence. The question if it AI ever will actually replace us is not of interest to me here. It certainly won’t be tomorrow, and technological prediction beyond a certain limited horizon is a fool’s game.

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Innovation Ecosystems in Emerging Economies

World Economic Forum

Dr. Addy brings to SEED a distinguished professional career marked by innovation and entrepreneurship in corporate and start-up environments spanning multiple sectors. He founded and has served as chief executive of Plebys International LLC, a California-based enterprise development company targeting underserved markets worldwide. Until 2009 Dr. Addy was also president and CEO of WaterHealth International, Inc, a Plebys venture with a mission to develop and provide systems and services for delivering affordable potable water to rural and urban communities in developing economies. Prior to Plebys, Tralance was International Vice President at Johnson & Johnson, as well as Worldwide President of a market-leading global subsidiary that he co-founded, and Vice President of R&D for Johnson & Johnson Medical, Inc.

He earned BA and BS degrees in chemistry and engineering from Swarthmore College, and MS and PhD degrees in engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Tralance is a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering. He has served on many business and civic boards, including the Board of Managers of Swarthmore College and the Advisory Board of the Center for Sustainable Enterprise at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina.

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Harry J. Bentham

A Viral New World Disorder

by Harry J. Bentham

As we continue the collective journey into the unexplored territory of the Twenty-First Century, nation-state after nation-state is crumbling under the contagion of popular dissatisfaction at their arbitrary and unjust claims to power. Unable to contain the crisis, every nation-state now seems to live under the specter of imminent possible crisis and collapse. No-one is immune.

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Andrew Maynard

Combatting Ebola: Moving beyond the hype

by Andrew Maynard

As of October 19, over 9,000 cases of Ebola had been reported, with close to 5,000 deaths, almost exclusively in West Africa.  And while there have been success stories such as the elimination of Ebola infections from Nigeria and Senegal, the numbers of cases in vulnerable economies continues to grow.

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John Danaher

Procedural Due Process and the Dangers of Predictive Analytics

by John Danaher

I am really looking forward to Frank Pasquale’s new book The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms that Control Money and Information. The book looks to examine and critique the ways in which big data is being used to analyse, predict and control our behaviour. Unfortunately, it is not out until January 2015. In the meantime, I’m trying to distract myself with some of Pasquale’s previously published material.

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The Future of Robotic Automated Labor

World Economic Forum

Zexiang Li, Professor of Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the School of Engineering and who is the Director of Automation Technology Center at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, talks about the future of automated labor.

​​

 Automation Technology Cooperative Research Center

  • Abstract
  • We propose to establish a university/industry cooperative research centre to develop automation technologies for electronic manufacturing. The mission of the Centre is:
    • to develop critical automation technologies needed for electronic manufacturing and demonstrate the technologies in prototype products.
    • to transfer the technology know-how to local industries,
    • to provide in-depth training to local technical staff and engineers in the areas of automation technologies.
  • In recent years, Hong Kong's electronics industry has been faced with serious challenges. First, the international market demands high product diversity, rapid product introduction, high product quality and low price.
  • Second, the electronics industry had to cope constantly with the problems of rising labor and land costs and high turnover of technical staff, problems that have subsequently caused low assembly yield and poor product quality (See Roadmap for Electronics Packaging and Assembly for Hong Kong, produced by the Hong Kong Electronic Industries Association). In response, many electronics firms have become increasingly interested in adopting state-of-the-art automation technologies for their manufacturing operations. But this effort is hindered by several major roadblocks including:

    • lack of technology know-how;
    • shortage of experienced engineers and technical staff capable of designing and maintaining modern manufacturing operations; and
    • lack of local manufacturers of high-end equipment.
  • By combining the vast technical expertise and other resources of the University and the important product development experience of the industry, the proposed Centre can help overcome these difficulties. First, an Industry Advisory Board (IAB) will be formed with members from all participating companies of the Centre. Engineers from the member companies will be actively involved in deciding new projects. Second, projects will be initiated to develop core technologies for manufacturing automation. These technologies will be demonstrated in the form of semi-product (or "product-like") prototypes. Member companies will be kept informed on the status of these projects and will be provided with full access to these technologies. Finally, seminars, workshops and demonstrations will be organized on a regular basis to disseminate these technologies quickly to member companies. By using these technologies, which are already in semi-product form, member companies can develop their full product prototypes at a substantially reduced cost, cycle-time and engineering complexity. 

http://webhost1.ust.hk/~atcwiki/cgi-bin/zxliwiki/index.php?title=Homepage

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Consciousness and Neuroscience

World Economic Forum

Professor in Cognitive Neuroscience (Aarhus University) Morten Overgaard talks about “Consciousness and Neuroscience” at the World Economic Forum, Published on Oct 24, 2014.

​​

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Fusion: “Posthuman” - 3D Printed Tissues and Seeing Through Walls!

#thisisfusion

In “Posthuman,” we ask some of the most important names in science to help us peer through and envision what the world of tomorrow looks like. From the ability to see through walls and heal ourselves with robotic immune systems, to the use of 3D printers to generate replacement organs, “Posthuman” encapsulates a buffer zone between what is here today, and what is just around the corner.

In our first segment, we spoke to Ali Khademhosseini, associate professor at Harvard-MIT, at the 2014 Blavatnik Awards. Khademhosseini is pioneering the push to develop 3D printed tissues and organs. His team was among the first to successfully 3D-print blood vessels.


In this second installment of Posthuman we spoke to Caltech’s Ali Hajimiri about THZ imaging systems, which can cater in the superhuman ability to see through walls and capture the most minute movements.


It’s applications can revolutionize many facets of our day-to-day life, from airport security to biomedical, it can even drastically improve entertainment systems like XBox Kinect by allowing gaming consoles to spot the slightest movements down to pinpoint accuracy.

Ali Hajimiri’s is a pioneer in the field of photonics and silicon-based systems. His team at Cal Tech’s High-Speed Integrated Circuits (CHIC) is paving the way in Optical Phased Array technonologies and self-healing computer circuits. He was nominated for the 2014 Blavatnik Award for his advancements in the field.

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Evan Selinger

Philosopher Michael Lynch Says Privacy Violations Are An Affront To Human Dignity

by Evan Selinger

Michael Lynch, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Connecticut, was the latest guest-speaker in my Technology, Privacy, and Law class. I asked Lynch to appear so that he could explain why he argues, in places like his amicus curiae brief for ACLU v. Clapper and articles in The New York Times, that some privacy violations are so harmful they’re an “affront to human dignity.” Students, of course, are free to accept or reject this this view. Either way, it’s complex.

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Tery Spataro

Transhumanism: The Robot Human: A Self-Generating Ecosystem

by Tery Spataro

I will attempt to take the fear out of the future, by giving Transhumanism a digestible definition, while at the same time offering a cautionary note. As an educator, technologist and ethicist, I feel I have a social obligation to provide a rationale for understanding Transhumanism for those people who have questions about our natural evolution and for younger generations who are embracing technology but want to know there is a brighter future.

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Eric Schulke

Indefinite Life Extension and Broader World Health Collaborations (Part II)

by Eric Schulke

Review of Health Advocacy in the Post-2015 Millennium Development Goals This review addresses research and advocacy collaboration potential pertaining to the World Health Organization, indefinite life extension and related groups. I begin by explaining how supporters of a generally healthy society and groups interested in world development relate and don’t relate to longevity extension. I then examine papers that are more oriented toward longevity extension. I conclude by reviewing papers that are most closely aligned with the goal. I note that, though we in the movement for indefinite life extension support many of these groups and their positions, none of them go quite far enough.

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