The following dialogue below took place on Star Trek: Voyager, on episode 13, season 7, titled “Repentance.” It was between Seven of Nine (whom is a former Borg drone) and the Doctor (whom is a holographic emergency medical physician), of which they discuss the morality (or lack thereof) behind the act of killing another living being.
As a technoprogressive it’s my desire to see that everyone benefits from emerging technologies the rapidly approaching transhumanist future. To this end I’m trying to do what little I can to further and support technoprogressive aims and ideals. This does however beg the question: what about me?
IEET Fellow Stefan Sorgner spoke at the TEDx Stuttgart. The standard way of representing transhumanism in the media is that of a movement which aims at human perfection. This is correct. However, the images of perfection associated with transhumanism all represent a type of Renaissance ideal, as if transhumanism can be identified solely with a superman ideal and identifies human beings with beings who permanently wish to be able to move faster, jump higher, and become stronger. This is a flawed view. Human perfection consists in the ability of living a good life. It is not the case that the Renaissance ideal is valid for all human beings. All human psychophysiologies are different, and by living in accord with our psychophysiological demands, needs and desires we can reach our own perfection. Even from an evolutionary perspective, diversity and plurality are in the human interest, as these qualities increase the likelihood of human fitness.
Anders Sandberg at TEDx Oxford on the ethics of making AIs that can suffer. Systems biology promises to replace many animal experiments with computer simulations. They are becoming larger, more accurate and simulate more and more of the animals. The logical endpoint would be an emulation: a perfect copy of the animal in the computer, the ideal lab animal. But should we treat virtual animals any different from real animals? If an experiment is too painful to do on a biological animal, maybe it is too painful to do on a software emulation too? Or is it just numbers in a computer? We cannot know, and this suggests that we should rather be safe than sorry. We need virtual lab animal ethics, and be careful in not unnecessarily harming software that may actually be conscious.
I would argue that as far as imagining the future is concerned many of us, in the West at least, have had our vision blurred from what amounts to a 2,000 year philosophical hangover called Christianity. But no one ever seems to care about this point. The most common response I’ve gotten from a certain sect of singularitarians and transhumanists upon pointing out that both their goals and predictions seem to have been ripped from a man on the street’s version of Christianity has been- who cares?
Singularity University is expanding through the SingularityU Global program. The launch of SingularityU Milan, the first Italian chapter, is part of this program. It allows orders of magnitude more people to directly participate in its events and leverage the power of exponential technologies.
In the past year, I have written several posts about Chalmers and Clark’s famous extended mind thesis. This thesis takes seriously the functionalist explanation of mental events, and holds that the mind is not confined to skull. Instead, it can extend into artefacts and objects in the world around it.
Of course we are all still quivering, following the attacks in Paris last week that killed 129 people, not so very far from where my wife and I lived for a couple of years, as newlyweds during the 1990s. Our hearts go out to the brave folk of Liberté, Egalité and Fraternité in la Ville Lumiere.
The standard way of representing transhumanism in the media is that of a movement which aims at human perfection. This is correct. However, the images of perfection associated with transhumanism all represent a type of Renaissance ideal, as if transhumanism can be identified solely with a superman ideal and identifies human beings with beings who permanently wish to be able to move faster, jump higher, and become stronger. This is a flawed view. Human perfection consists in the ability of living a good life. It is not the case that the Renaissance ideal is valid for all human beings. All human psychophysiologies are different, and by living in accord with our psychophysiological demands, needs and desires we can reach our own perfection. Even from an evolutionary perspective, diversity and plurality are in the human interest, as these qualities increase the likelihood of human fitness.
The last few weeks have been a whirlwind centred around the terrorist group knows as the Islamic State. First, several attacks in Paris left 129 dead and countless others injured, then a bomb threat in Germany and a threat by ISIS to attack the rest of Europe and Washington, D.C. Fear grips the hearts of people around the world in an iron vice. And that is exactly what ISIS wants. Right now, they are winning.
When disaster strikes, who’s first on the scene? More and more, it’s a robot. In her lab, Robin Murphy builds robots that fly, tunnel, swim and crawl through disaster scenes, helping firefighters and rescue workers save more lives safely — and help communities return to normal up to three years faster.
They used to send a legal ultimatum before it happened. Now you just wake up one day and everything green is dead, because the plants are biotech and counter-hacking is a legal response to intellectual property theft, even if the genes in question are older than the country that granted the patent.
The region of the Middle East has been in turmoil for more than a decade. With the advent of the recent terrorist attacks on Paris and the threat of more by the Muslim extremist group ISIS, many have been pondering how the problems plaguing the Middle East can be solved. I believe that technology can play an integral role in the process of repairing and advancing the region. The modernization and digitization of the entire region’s infrastructure would provide numerous benefits that would increase stability and redress the damage done to the economy and society from years of war.
There’s a parallel Internet you may not have run across yet — accessed by a special browser and home to a freewheeling collection of sites for everything from anonymous activism to illicit activities. Jamie Bartlett reports from the dark net.
Airing every Sunday 9/8c, National Geographic’s latest TV show Breakthrough, hosted by Paul Giamatti, provides a unique walkthrough into the growing arena of “how-to-enhance-human-beings” using advanced science and technology. In their latest episode, “More Than Human,” Giamatti gets up close and personal with Lockheed Martin’s newest exoskeleton suit FORTIS (video clip of the episode is provided below).
It is often articulated in society that Christianity and science/technology are at odds. While most people of faith do not hold this belief, it is imperative that the church universal continue to dispute this negative stereotype. The most effective way that Christians can do so is by actively affirming their support for people called to work in the fields of science and technology.
Designer Tom Uglow is creating a future in which humanity’s love for natural solutions and simple tools can coexist with our need for information and the devices that provide us with it. “Reality is richer than screens,” he says. “We can have a happy place filled with the information we love that feels as natural as switching on lightbulb.”
As we continue to exponentially march towards the future, how we use advanced science and technology will become increasingly complex, if not in ways of which appear almost magical. The question we should be asking ourselves: how far can we go? One tech. company believes they’ll be able to resurrect the deceased using artificial intelligence (A.I.), nanotechnology, and cryonics – 30 years from now! Yep. You read that right
Artificial intelligence is a classic risk/reward technology. If developed safely and properly, it could be a great boon. If developed recklessly and improperly, it could pose a significant risk. Typically, we try to manage this risk/reward ratio through various regulatory mechanisms. But AI poses significant regulatory challenges. In a previous post, I outlined eight of these challenges. They were arranged into three main groups. The first consisted of definitional problems: what is AI anyway? The second consisted of ex ante problems: how could you safely guide the development of AI technology? And the third consisted of ex post problems: what happens once the technology is unleashed into the world? They are depicted in the diagram above.
At his lab at the University of Pennsylvania, Vijay Kumar and his team have created autonomous aerial robots inspired by honeybees. Their latest breakthrough: Precision Farming, in which swarms of robots map, reconstruct and analyze every plant and piece of fruit in an orchard, providing vital information to farmers that can help improve yields and make water management smarter.
The following sections are hereby added to the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform. Pursuant to Article I, Section XXV, these sections are not officially considered part of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Constitution at this time, but shall have equivalent standing to the Platform Sections within that Constitution. It will be possible to officially amend the Nevada Transhumanist Party Constitution to include these statements during periodic biennial filings of Certificates of Continued Existence with the Nevada Secretary of State.
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