Papa Heinlein promised us interesting times during what he forecast as “The Crazy Years.” And boy are we in it. I’ll have more, later, about Heinlein’s creepy-on-target prescience. But today, let’s focus on International affairs.
Let’s just go ahead and address the question on everyone’s mind: will AI kill us? What is the negative potential of transhuman superintelligence? Once its cognitive power surpasses our own, will it give us a leg-up in ‘the singularity’, or will it look at our collective track record of harming our own species, other species, the world that gave us life, etc., and exterminate us like pests?
New tech spawns new anxieties, says scientist and philosopher Grady Booch, but we don’t need to be afraid an all-powerful, unfeeling AI. Booch allays our worst (sci-fi induced) fears about superintelligent computers by explaining how we’ll teach, not program, them to share our human values. Rather than worry about an unlikely existential threat, he urges us to consider how artificial intelligence will enhance human life.
Davecat is the pseudonym of a Michigan-based man. He is married and has one mistress. Neither of them is human. They are both dolls — RealDolls to be precise. Davecat is an iDollator; he promotes love with synthetic beings. His wife is called Sidore. They met at goth club in the year 2000 (according to a story he tells himself). They later appeared together on the TLC show Guys and Dolls. That’s when Elena saw them (Elena is his mistress). She was in Russia at the time, but moved to the USA to live with Davecat and Sidore. They are happy together.
Something is very wrong with the news industry. Trust in the media has hit an all-time low; we’re inundated with sensationalist stories, and consistent, high-quality reporting is scarce, says journalist Lara Setrakian. She shares three ways we can fix the news to better inform all of us about the complex issues of our time.
L’élection de 2017 approche, et le transhumanisme reste peu présent dans le débat politique. Pourtant, l’humanité est capable de grandes choses quand elle s’en donne les moyens : envoyer un homme sur la Lune ou, plus récemment, le Human Brain Project en Suisse (visant à simuler un cerveau humain complet).
The visitors of this site are no stranger to discussions surrounding the imminent coming of artificial intelligence. Many arguments that surround AGI/ASI are typically polarized; either emphasizing the catastrophic risks associated with the technology or with possible utopian futures that may be ushered in. In either case, two things are almost universally agreed upon by experts in the field of AI 1) that AGI will almost certainly be developed by the end of the century (with ASI perhaps not long after) and 2) that the development and creation of AGI/ASI should be beneficial – i.e., beneficial AI.
What if every home had an early-warning cancer detection system? Researcher Joshua Smith is developing a nanobiotechnology “cancer alarm” that scans for traces of disease in the form of special biomarkers called exosomes. In this forward-thinking talk, he shares his dream for how we might revolutionize cancer detection and, ultimately, save lives.
My name is Rob, short for Roberta. I’m a private investigator, which means I’m good enough with social networks to do what the police does, just without the automated subpoenas and the retroactively legal hacking. It’s not difficult, really. Nine times out of ten the obvious suspect did it. The bereaved know who did it, acquaintances know who did it, even the police know who did it.
What do you get when you give a design tool a digital nervous system? Computers that improve our ability to think and imagine, and robotic systems that come up with (and build) radical new designs for bridges, cars, drones and much more — all by themselves. Take a tour of the Augmented Age with futurist Maurice Conti and preview a time when robots and humans will work side-by-side to accomplish things neither could do alone.
I have had thoughts about quantum mechanics and biology for many years - ever since my thermodynamics class in chemistry as an undergrad. I discussed and developed them over the years. When I thought it was ready, decades ago, I wrote to Linus Pauling about my speculation that the most important differentiator for life is that from the molecular scale to the organization of organs, chaos (in the mathematical chaos theory sense) is the organizing principle. This means that living organisms are all potentially sensitive to quantum events. He was kind enough to write back, and I think it intrigued him, but there was no experiment that I could conceive of to do in support.
Events have taken such a dark turn in the United States with the election of Trump that many have felt the need to go back to the dystopian classics to get their bearings. These were novels written in the first half of the prior century when totalitarianism wasn’t just something relegated to gray photos in our history books while we lived our days in the bright neo-liberal sunlight of the post- Cold War era, but actually roamed alive and deadly in the real world.
In this episode, IEET Affiliate Scholar John Danaher talks to Andrew Guthrie Ferguson about the past, present and future of predictive policing. Andrew is a Professor at the David A Clarke School of Law at the University of the District of Columbia. He was formerly a supervising attorney at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. He now teaches and writes in the area of criminal law, criminal procedure, and evidence. They discuss the ideas and arguments from his recent paper ‘Policing Predictive Policing.
Posthumanists and perhaps especially transhumanists tend to downplay the value conflicts that are likely to emerge in the wake of a rapidly changing technoscientific landscape. What follows are six questions and scenarios that are designed to focus thinking by drawing together several tendencies that are not normally related to each other but which nevertheless provide the basis for future value conflicts.
In December and January we surveyed the IEET audience about a wide range of topics, and 455 of you responded. This was a follow up to a 2013 survey we conducted (for instance “Who are the Technoprogressives?” “Who are the IEET’s audience?”). As we continue to focus the IEET on building the emerging technoprogressive ideological current, we are again looking at what the self-described technoprogressives believe.
I’ve long written how we should envision America as a continuing revolution against the failed feudal model that crushed human hope in 99% of human societies, across 6000 years. Indeed, our major issues today have little to do with the hoary, lobotomizing “left-right axis.” Not when Enterprise, markets, entrepreneurship and national defense all do vastly better across Democratic administrations, and the state gathers more power into its hands, across Republican ones.
L’un des objectifs du transhumanisme est l’allongement de la durée de vie en bonne santé, voire l’amortalité (vivre sans limitation de durée). De nombreuses personnes rejettent cette idée de façon brutale, presque instinctive, comme si l’on s’attaquait à leurs valeurs les plus intimes.
First items you all have probably heard by now - news that Donald Trump’s senior staff all use the same RNC email server that mysteriously disappeared 22 million messages during George W. Bush’s administration and one that U.S. intelligence services believe was compromised by the Russians at the same time as the DNC’s. The Trump campaign hammered Hillary Clinton for her using a private email server, during her tenure as Secretary of State. Also five members of DT’s staff turn out to have been registered to vote in more than one state. Ah, consistency.
All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. A British Tory will defend self-determination in Europe and oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage—torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians—which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by ‘our’ side.
~ George Orwell
[Note: This is (roughly) the text of a talk I delivered at TEDxWHU on the 4th February 2017. A video of the talk should be available within a few weeks.]
There is a cave about 350km from here, in the Swabian Jura. It is called the Hohle Fels (this picture is the entrance to it). Archaeologists have been excavating it since the late 1800s and have discovered a number of important artifacts from the Upper Paleolithic era. In June 2005, they announced an interesting discovery.
(I keep intending to return to my existential concerns about the meaning of life, but the troublesome situation in my home country keeps bringing me back to politics.)
In today’s New York Times conservative columnist Ross Douthat penned, “How Populism Stumbles.” Douthat argues that movements like Trump’s fail because of bigotry, extremism and, especially, hubris. With this in mind Douthat dismisses my worries about authoritarianism:
Donald Trump’s Justice Department has so far been very unprepared to defend his Muslim ban. Ana Kasparian, John Iadarola, and Jayar Jackson, the hosts of The Young Turks, tell you how the judges are responding.