Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies


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Quick overview of biopolitical points of view




whats new at ieet

Moral Enhancement and Moral Freedom: A Critical Analysis

What will be the next big scientific breakthrough?

Self-Awareness Is Essential in Comedy and in Life

IEET Fellow Stefan Sorgner’s Autobiographical Nietzschean Transhumanism in New Book

Transhumanist Hank Pellissier on Being an “Atheist Missionary”

Optimize Your Brain: The Science of Smarter Eating


ieet books

Philosophical Ethics: Theory and Practice
Author
John G Messerly

TECHNOPROG, le transhumanisme au service du progrès social
Marc Roux and Didier Coeurnelle

eHuman Deception
Nicole Sallak Anderson

Keywords for Environmental Studies
eds. Joni Adamson, William A. Gleason, David N. Pellow


comments

dobermanmac on 'Beware the Rise of Gerontocracy: Some Hard Lessons for Transhumanism, Not Least from Brexit' (Jul 26, 2016)

instamatic on 'How our police became storm troopers, redux' (Jul 25, 2016)

almostvoid on 'How our police became storm troopers, redux' (Jul 25, 2016)

almostvoid on 'Optimize Your Brain: The Science of Smarter Eating' (Jul 25, 2016)

RJP8915 on 'How To Live With Doubt About Life’s Meaning' (Jul 23, 2016)

Paul Tiffany on '“Robots will colonize space, without human beings”' (Jul 23, 2016)

instamatic on 'Moral Uncertainty and Moral Enhancement' (Jul 22, 2016)







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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


How VR Gaming will Wake Us Up to our Fake Worlds
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Worst case scenario – 2035 and no basic income.
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Existential Risks Are More Likely to Kill You Than Terrorism
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Transparent Smart Chargepoints and the Internet of Things
Jul 16, 2016
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RSS feedETHICAL TECHNOLOGY

John Danaher

Moral Enhancement and Moral Freedom: A Critical Analysis

by John Danaher

The debate about moral neuroenhancement has taken off in the past decade. Although the term admits of several definitions, the debate primarily focuses on the ways in which human enhancement technologies could be used to ensure greater moral conformity, i.e. the conformity of human behaviour with moral norms. Imagine you have just witnessed a road rage incident. An irate driver, stuck in a traffic jam, jumped out of his car and proceeded to abuse the driver in the car behind him. We could all agree that this contravenes a moral norm. And we may well agree that the proximate cause of his outburst was a particular pattern of activity in the rage circuit of his brain. What if we could intervene in that circuit and prevent him from abusing his fellow motorists? Should we do it?

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What will be the next big scientific breakthrough?

TED Talks

Throughout history, speculation has spurred beautiful, revolutionary science — opening our eyes to entirely new universes. “I’m not talking about science that takes baby steps,” says Eric Haseltine. “I’m talking about science that takes enormous leaps.” In this talk, Haseltine passionately takes us to the edges of intellectual pursuit with two ideas — one that’s already made history, and the other that’s digging into one of humanity’s biggest questions with admirable ambition (and a healthy dose of skepticism from many).

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Self-Awareness Is Essential in Comedy and in Life

Big Think

Whether you’re on stage or just meeting new people, comedian Jim Gaffigan believes that self-awareness is the key to winning over your audience. The “Jim Gaffigan Show” plays on TV LAND (http://goo.gl/5m8uKB).

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IEET Fellow Stefan Sorgner’s Autobiographical Nietzschean Transhumanism in New Book

Pourquoi Nous Somme Nietzschéens

In the book mentioned below IEET Fellow Stefan Lorenz Sorgnerwas invited to autobiographically present his Nietzschean transhumanism - together with such well known thinkers like Bernard Stiegler and Jean-Luc Nancy. It is forthcoming in French in October 2016:

 

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Hank Pellissier

Transhumanist Hank Pellissier on Being an “Atheist Missionary”

by Hank Pellissier

Hank Pellissier is certainly an inimitable individual. As a transhumanist and humanitarian, he applies science and technology to inform his approach to alleviating suffering, such as through his efforts to supplement the diet of the Philippines’ Mangyan community with soylent to improve brain health and nutrition. Currently, his work as the director of the Brighter Brains Institute is focused in Uganda, where he spearheads projects to establish and support humanist schools, health clinics, and orphanages.

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Optimize Your Brain: The Science of Smarter Eating

Big Think

It’s official - it’s a food intervention. Psychiatrist Drew Ramsey is going to be supportive, but he’s also going to tell you to clean up your diet, and eat right for brain health.

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IEET Fellow Stefan Sorgner to be Featured on Public TV Show

An interview with IEET Fellow Stefan Lorenz Sorgner on transhumanism, evolution, and human perfection will be broadcasted as part of the following public TV show on the 30th of July at 5.30 pm:

http://www.hr-online.de/website/fernsehen/sendungen/index.jsp?rubrik=54283&key=standard_document_61118836

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Rick Searle

How our police became storm troopers, redux

by Rick Searle

Give events of late I thought it relevant to re-post this piece from the summer of 2014 on the militarization of policing. Sadly, almost nothing has changed, except that my prediction that police would start using robots to kill people has come true, though in a way I certainly did not anticipate. I haven’t changed anything from the original post besides cleaning up the some of the shitty grammar and adding the mind-blowing photo by Jonathan Bachman, a freelancer for Reuters. If they have history books in 20 years time that photo will be in them.

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Alexandre Maurer

Longévité et surpopulation : déconstruire une idée reçue

by Alexandre Maurer

Lorsqu’on parle d’allonger radicalement l’espérance de vie, on se heurte à une objection quasi-systématique : “Mais cela va conduire à une crise de surpopulation !”

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Why Drone Operators, Non-Combat Soldiers, and Peace Corps Volunteers Get PTSD

Big Think

Sebastian Junger investigates PTSD in US troops and finds war may not be the root cause, but rather the painful transition from platoon communalism to the fractured individualism and social divides of modern society.

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John G. Messerly

How To Live With Doubt About Life’s Meaning

by John G. Messerly

I received a correspondence from a reader who wonders about “the triumph of judgment over spontaneity as we emerge from childhood into adulthood and the consequent obstacle it poses for living in psychic comfort.” In other words she worries about how to reconcile “a naturally felt purposefulness and zest for life against an intellectual sense of life’s essential pointlessness and its indifference to human concerns that give rise to the recognition of absurdity.” The only consolation she experiences is with her grandchildren “as they go about engaging the world with perfect unmediated wonder, boundless energy, and demands for attention.”

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David Orban

“Robots will colonize space, without human beings”

by David Orban

Robots will colonize space, without human beings

There’ll be a new civilization, the sum of human intelligence and artificial intelligence, where artificial intelligence will be able to analyze a problem, identify the resources needed to deal with it, plan a strategy, adapt and improve itself to resolve the problem.” It will do this not only for specific, planned objectives – like the IBM computer that beat chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1996 or the vision system that recognizes obstacles in today’s self-driving cars – but “in a generalized way, with any problem”. This will happen soon, “within the next two or three decades”. A valuable time “for us to get ready for a world that will see huge changes, and make sure the effects are positive and compatible with people’s lives and aspirations”.

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Brett Frischmann on Reverse Turing Tests and Machine-like Humans

Algocracy and Transhumanism Podcast

This is the 7th episode of the Algocracy and Transhumanism Podcast. In this episode IEET Affiliate Scholar John Danaher talks to Brett Frischmann about his work on human-focused Turing Tests. Brett is a Professor of Law at Cardozo Law School in New York City. He writes a lot about technology and law, and is currently in the midst of co-authoring a book with Evan Selinger (his guest in Episode 4) entitled Being Human in the 21st Century (Cambridge University Press 2017). They have a long and wide-ranging conversation about what it means to be a machine; what it means to be a human; and how the current techno-social environment is changing who we are.

You can listen to the episode by downloading it at this link. You can also subscribe on Stitcher and iTunes (via RSS Feed).

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Danaher Interview on Robot Overlordz Podcast about Algocracy

Robot Overlordz Podcast

IEET Affiliate Scholar John Danaher recently had the pleasure of being a guest on the Robot Overlordz Podcast. It was his fourth time appearing on the show. On this occasion, he was discussed his own podcast (available here for those who don’t know) as well as his Algocracy and Transhumanism project.

You can listen at this link.

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Agential Risks: A New Direction for Existential Risk Studies

X-Risks Institute's Technical Reports

There are two ways to avoid an existential catastrophe involving advanced technologies, such as nuclear weapons, biotechnology, synthetic biology, and nanotechnology. First, we could study the technologies and figure out ways to make them more difficult for malicious agents to exploit. And second, we could study the malicious agents and figure out ways of reducing the probability of them wanting to exploit such technologies.

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John Danaher

Reverse Turing Tests: Are Humans Becoming More Machine-Like?

by John Danaher

Everyone knows about the Turing Test. It was first proposed by Alan Turing in his famous 1950 paper ‘On Computing Machinery and Intelligence’. The paper started with the question ‘Can a machine think?’. Turing noted that philosophers would be inclined to answer that question by hunting for a definition. They would identify the necessary and sufficient conditions for thinking and then they would try to see whether machines met those conditions. They would probably do this by closely investigating the ordinary language uses of the term ‘thinking’ and engaging in a series of rational reflections on those uses. At least, Oxbridge philosophers in the 1950s would have been inclined to do it this way.

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IEET Affiliate Scholar Franco Cortese Publishes Article in International Journal of Technoethics

International Journal of Technoethics

The Technoethical Ethos of Technic Self-Determination

This paper addresses concerns that the development and proliferation of Human Enhancement Technologies (HET) will be (a) dehumanizing and (b) a threat to our autonomy and sovereignty as individuals. The paper argues contrarily that HET constitutes nothing less than one of the most effective foreseeable means of increasing the autonomy and sovereignty of individual members of society. Furthermore, it elaborates the position that the use of HET exemplifies – and indeed even intensifies – our most human capacity and faculty: namely the desire for increased self-determination, which is referred to as the will toward self-determination. Based upon this position, the paper argues that the use of HET bears fundamental ontological continuity with the human condition in general and with the historically-ubiquitous will toward self-determination in particular. HET will not be a dehumanizing force, but will rather serve to increase the very capacity that characterizes us as human more accurately than anything else.

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Transhumanism for the Mind: Enlightenment for the Future of Humanity

Future Thinkers

There is a lot of mysticism and dogma surrounding the world’s ancient enlightenment traditions. Being the intense and indescribable experience it is, when people who have reached it try to bring it back into the world, they often put it into metaphors or symbols – because plain words don’t seem to do it justice.

LISTEN

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Hank Pellissier

Joycelyn Elders Clinic at Uganda Humanist School offers Sex Education, Free Condoms, AFRIpads

by Hank Pellissier

“Joycelyn Elders Clinic” was recently launched by a USA nonprofit, to serve the 329 students attending Garama Humanist Secondary School in the village of Kisinga, in western Uganda.

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The Age of Em: 1 Year After We Upload Ourselves to The Internet

Future Thinkers

Brain emulation, also known as mind uploading, is a concept that has fascinated science fiction writers and futurists for decades. This is the theoretical idea of scanning a brain – or a mental state – and copying it into the computer. Although no such technology currently exists, many prominent people have explored it as a likely possibility for the future, from inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil to science fiction author Charles Stross.

LISTEN

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John Danaher

Moral Uncertainty and Moral Enhancement

by John Danaher

[This is the rough draft of a paper I presented at the RIP Moral Enhancement Conference at Exeter on the 7th July 2016]

Some people are frightened of the future. They think humanity is teetering on the brink. Something radical must be done to avoid falling over the edge. This is the message underlying Ingmar Persson and Julian Savulescu’s book Unfit for the Future. In it they argue that humanity faces several significant existential risks (e.g. anthropocentric climate change, weapons of mass destruction, loss of biodiversity etc.).

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How to face new scientific technologies

TEDx Talks

The advanced technology to grasp data not by points but by lines. When a new scientific technology appears, arguments for and against may happen.

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Pedro Villanueva

Looking Toward the Red Planet. Mars Party.

by Pedro Villanueva

The school of Economics to Mars is a philosophy economic founded by Pedro Villanueva, that promotes a new economy after the economy of the knowledge that prevails today.

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Traveling With Robots

TEDx Talks

What’s in your suitcase? Titled as the Minister of Fun, Antonio Delgado integrates robotics and education in his travels to developing countries to spread enthusiasm for science and technology.

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Steve Fuller

Beware the Rise of Gerontocracy: Some Hard Lessons for Transhumanism, Not Least from Brexit

by Steve Fuller

Transhumanists will know that the science fiction author Zoltan Istvan has unilaterally leveraged the movement into a political party contesting the 2016 US presidential election. To be sure, many transhumanists have contested Istvan’s own legitimacy, but there is no denying that he has generated enormous publicity for many key transhumanist ideas. Interestingly, his lead idea is that the state should do everything possible to uphold people’s right to live forever. Of course, he means to live forever in a healthy state, fit of mind and body. Istvan cleverly couches this policy as simply an extension of what voters already expect from medical research and welfare provision. And while he may be correct, the policy is fraught with hazards – especially if, as many transhumanists believe, we are on the verge of revealing the secrets to biological immortality.

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Thijs Turèl

Transparent Smart Chargepoints and the Internet of Things

by Thijs Turèl

On the 25 of September Marcelo Rinesi published his article ‘The Price for the Internet of Things will be a vague dread of a malicious world’. With this response, I want to take on the implicit challenge he poses. How can we build an internet of things that will not fill us with dread? This article will present my ideas on a ‘transparent smart chargepoint’. Let me explain what I mean by this. ‘Chargepoint’ refers to the device that is designed for charging for electric cars. ‘Smart’ refers to the fact that the chargepoint optimizes the charging process on various variables – such as the price of electricity, the congestion on the electricity grid. ‘Transparent’ means that it is designed to be open as open as possible about the algorithms that run it.

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Could the Solution to the World’s Biggest Problems Be…a Park?

Big Think

Buckminster Fuller was a self-proclaimed “comprehensive anticipatory design scientist.” What this meant to him changed over the course of the years, but one thread ran through it all: he wanted to identify the world’s problems and find a fix for them. To be clear, this was for the entire world’s population, not just his neighbors, not just his country – everyone.

 

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Apple Hasn’t Lost Its Simplicity without Steve Jobs

Big Think

Creative director at Apple for 12 years, and the man responsible for introducing the lowercase-i into Apple’s product line, Ken Segall discusses the present and future of Apple computers.

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William Sims Bainbridge

Death and Transfiguration

by William Sims Bainbridge

In a remarkable 2012 IEET blog, “The Praxis,” Dirk Bruere introduced a quasi-religious conception of Transhumanism that not only foresaw the possibility of technological immortality for selfish individuals, but notably suggested that we have the obligation to help each other achieve eternal life, even using advanced technology as best we can to provide salvation to people who have already died:

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Why Haven’t US Schools Changed in 150 years? Media and Political Neglect

Big Think

Nikhil Goyal examines the flawed US school system, bringing to light a lack of democracy, still-legal corporal punishment, and neglect by the media and presidential candidates.

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