Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies






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




whats new at ieet

Solar: The First 1% Was the Hardest

The Revolutionary Potential of Psychedelics

A Game of Musical Chairs over Hot Coals - an analogy about employment and basic income

Human Brain 2.0 - what is the most essential upgrade? Increased Rationality, Empathy, or Happiness?

Simple Intervention Cuts Unplanned Pregnancy by Half

Basic Income Guarantee in Utrecht, The Netherlands


ieet books

A Dangerous Master: How to Keep Technology from Slipping Beyond Our Control
Author
Wendell Wallach

Artificial Superintelligence: A Futuristic Approach
Roman Yampolskiy

Who Are We?: Religious, Philosophical, Scientific and Transhumanist Theories Of Human Nature
John Messerly

Codebreaking our future: Deciphering The Future’s Hidden Order
Michael Lee


comments

rmk948 on 'Simple Intervention Cuts Unplanned Pregnancy by Half' (Jun 29, 2015)

James McLean Ledford on 'Is Pope Francis the World’s Most Powerful Transhumanist?' (Jun 29, 2015)

Simon84 on 'I Stand With Peter Singer' (Jun 29, 2015)

rms on 'AI Will Solve Aging - it is a Tool, Not a Threat' (Jun 29, 2015)

rms on 'How To Survive the Robot Apocalypse' (Jun 29, 2015)

Random Sample on 'How To Survive the Robot Apocalypse' (Jun 28, 2015)

instamatic on 'Fort Sumter Redux: the Battle Flag and the Re-ignition of the Confederacy' (Jun 28, 2015)







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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


Universal Basic Income—The Foundation of a Technically Advanced Society
Jun 15, 2015
(45019) Hits
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Should Politicians be Replaced by Artificial Intelligence? Interview with Mark Waser
Jun 12, 2015
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(3) Comments

Will Artificial Intelligence be a Buddha? Is Fear of AI just a symptom of Human Self-Loathing?
Jun 17, 2015
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Atheism in Zambia - skeptical, rational thought in a very superstitious country
Jun 23, 2015
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RSS feedETHICAL TECHNOLOGY

Ramez Naam

Solar: The First 1% Was the Hardest

by Ramez Naam

Solar power now provides roughly 1% of the world’s electricity.  It took 40 years to reach that milestone. But, as they say in tech, the first 1% is the hardest.

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Aaron Moritz

The Revolutionary Potential of Psychedelics

by Aaron Moritz

Psychedelic substances are resurging into the popular culture in ways unrivaled since the starry-eyed, long-haired baby boomers of the 1960’s dropped acid and discovered peace and promiscuity. However, today’s generation of visionary psychonauts are making a much more measured movement to the mainstream than the hundred thousand hippies who descended on San Francisco in 1967’s summer of love.

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Scott Santens

A Game of Musical Chairs over Hot Coals - an analogy about employment and basic income

by Scott Santens

There’s a common belief that people who don’t have jobs somehow just aren’t trying hard enough, and this belief is therefore based on the idea that there are enough jobs for everyone. To get a job, all one really needs to do is just try hard enough.

“Just go get a job.”

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Hank Pellissier

Human Brain 2.0 - what is the most essential upgrade? Increased Rationality, Empathy, or Happiness?

by Hank Pellissier

Our human brains obviously needs improvement, in multiple different capacities. But - what is the most important upgrade? Increased Rationality? Increased Empathy? Elevated Happiness?

I posed this question to members of IEET’s new Advisory Board, and I received a variety of answers:

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Valerie Tarico

Simple Intervention Cuts Unplanned Pregnancy by Half

by Valerie Tarico

A single half-day training that teaches medical clinics how to provide better birth control can radically improve outcomes for patients, cutting unplanned pregnancies by half according to research published in the prestigious medical journal, The Lancet.

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Basic Income Guarantee in Utrecht, The Netherlands

Reality Check

In an ever-capitalistic world, it may come as a surprise to know that a city in the Netherlands is experimenting with universal welfare. Regardless of status, these Dutch citizens will be recipients of an unconditional living wage.

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Basic Income: The Totally Crazy (Not Crazy) Idea

Redacted Tonight

What would the world be like if everyone was given 1,000 dollars a month… just because? This idea is a lot less crazy than it sounds.

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Dirk Bruere

Fermi Paradox, Doomsday Argument, Simulation Hypothesis—is our view of reality seriously flawed?

by Dirk Bruere

There are three interlocking statistical arguments concerning the nature of the universe in which we live and which provide what I believe to be a strongly convincing indication that our view of reality is seriously flawed on a massive scale. Let’s begin by asking a simple question…

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Rick Searle

Is Pope Francis the World’s Most Powerful Transhumanist?

by Rick Searle

I remember once while on a trip to Arizona asking a long-time resident of Phoenix why anyone would want to live in such a godforsaken place. I wasn’t at all fooled by the green lawns and the swimming pools and knew that we were standing in the middle of a desert over the bones of the Hohokam Indians whose civilization had shriveled up under the brutality of the Sonora sun. The person I was speaking to had a quick retort to my east coast skepticism.

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Maria Konovalenko

The mTOR Story Part 1 – What Makes This Important Pro-Aging Molecule Active?

by Maria Konovalenko

I have mentioned mTOR as one of the main aging genes on multiple occasions. It’s about time I tell you what it is, what it does and why it is so important in aging.

mTOR has a little m in front of TOR, which means I am speaking about mammals. It technically means «mechanistic» TOR, but think of it as the molecule that mice and all of us have, whereas in worms is it just TOR.

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Nicole Sallak Anderson

How To Survive the Robot Apocalypse

by Nicole Sallak Anderson

It’s in the air. It’s in the news.

Our struggling economy. Our struggling democracy. The income gap. Technology and artificial intelligence. At first glance, these things might not seem connected, but upon closer inspection, I find they’re all part of one impulse, and together they create the web of humanity—and our future.

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Dorothy Deasy

Disability Acceptance and Access

by Dorothy Deasy

At almost any minute of any day, your life could change drastically. Our bodies are fragile, our destinies determined second-by-second. Snap your fingers. That’s how suddenly what you have come to expect for yourself, or a member of your family, could change as the result of an illness or accident. What would it mean in terms of work, mobility, relationship, identity? How quickly or slowly would you adapt to a drastically new state of reality?

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Kris Notaro

Transhumanism: The future of Revolutionary Flags and Movement Symbols

by Kris Notaro

A few years ago after voting I went back to my local elementary school where I was taught about liberty, and the “American way of life.” The same old stories, same old lies. I went there to ask them to take down the massive confederate out-of-date flag of Georgia that was still flying since I went to school there.

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Maria Konovalenko

It is Unethical Not to Use Genetic Engineering

by Maria Konovalenko

When I hear that the conversation is about an ethical problem I anticipate that right now the people are going to put everything upside down and end with common sense. Appealing to ethics has always been the weapon of conservatism, the last resort of imbecility.

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Hank Pellissier

My Gay Marriage in USA Prediction was Incredibly Wrong, by 20 Years - Hooray!

by Hank Pellissier

In one of my first IEET articles, State-by-State Gay Marriage Acceptance, written in September 2010, I predicted that gay marriage would become legal in all 50 United States by 2035, with Mississippi being the last holdout.

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B. J. Murphy

‘The Singularity & Socialism’ - an interview with author C. James Townsend

by B. J. Murphy

The Singularity is near! That’s what a lot of us futurists have been planning for since we first came to understand the exponential growth rate of information technologies. What this technological singularity entails, however, is an entirely different question, and one of which requires radical thinking. One such author, C. James Townsend, has ventured himself on the quest of answering this very question – not just from a scientific or technological viewpoint, but equally an economic and political one as well!

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piero scaruffi

The Algorithmic Society and the Birth of Religion

by piero scaruffi

Algorithms increasingly guide our daily life: Google’s ranking algorithm pretty much decides which pages we visit, and therefore which information we access; Amazon’s algorithm influences which books we read; dating algorithms decide your sexual life and possibly your marriage; the smartphone’s navigation algorithm decides which streets we take; Yelp’s algorithm decides where we eat (and it is a simple average!)

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R. Dennis Hansen

Transhumanists Helping the Ugandan Mountain Community of Kyarumba

by R. Dennis Hansen

The small community of Kyarumba, Uganda, is located in the southern end of Rwenzori Mountains (aka Mountains of the Moon).  It straddles a wild river that is prone to flooding.  The community recently got electricity.

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Leo Igwe

Media and Critical Reporting of Traditional Medicine Claims in Africa

by Leo Igwe

African traditional medicine is widely perceived as a form of voodoo medicine, as a survival of some stone age pre-modern illiterate formation that still functions and fulfills medical purposes for Africans. This is, at least, how many anthropologists have viewed the subject. They have argued that African traditional medicine is unlike ‘western medicine’, and then go on to establish how witchcraft and magic is embedded in this ‘unique’ medical practice. African medicine men and women are portrayed as witch doctors - as if the traditional-medical profession is about treating and curing witchcraft.

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Tinkering with Consciousness

TEDxSpringfield

This talk by Dan Faggella - an IEET Advisory Board member - was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. We live in a world where paralyzed people can answer emails with a chip in their brain, where people with severe depression can get electrodes implanted into their brain to increase their sense of well-being and joy, and where we’re successfully experimenting with replacing portions of mammalian brains with digital devices. Humanity is on the verge of a “leap” into a future where consciousness is malleable, accessible, expandable. If nothing “matters” outside of conscious awareness, isn’t tinkering with consciousness itself (the bedrock or moral relevance) worth an open-minded, well-intended, and interdisciplinary global conversation ... as we take steps forward beyond what is now “human?”

Daniel Faggella’s sole focus is the future of human potential and cognitive enhancement, including the domains of immersive virtual realities, artificial intelligence, and brain-computer interface.

Founding TechEmergence.com in 2013, Dan has interviewed many of the world’s leading researchers and corporate executives in the fields brain-computer interface, artificial general intelligence, biotechnology, virtual reality, and more. His writing can be found on TechCrunch, Xconomy, the Boston Globe, and more, and he’s spoken on ethics and emerging technology at premier universities such as Brown, Cornell, Duke, and more.

Not identifying as an “optimist” or “pessimist,” Dan’s purpose is to catalyze the global conversation about how we should and could augment our mental capacities, and what might be the most beneficial steps forward in enhancing our minds and experiences beyond what is today recognized as “human.” He is of the belief that as with any grand cause (environmentalism, human rights, etc…), the best odds of the best future will likely be yielded from a global conversation that is well-intended, open-minded, and interdisciplinary.

 

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Nicole Sallak Anderson

Come On Girls, Code With Me!

by Nicole Sallak Anderson

It’s been in the news a lot lately. Women make up 50% of the users of technology, but hold only 17.6% of Computer Science degrees. Why is there such an imbalance? I’ve been reading about it and find myself stumped…it doesn’t make any sense.

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John Danaher

The Logic of Surveillance Capitalism

by John Danaher

You have probably noticed it already. There is a strange logic at the heart of the modern tech industry. The goal of many new tech startups is not to produce products or services for which consumers are willing to pay. Instead, the goal is create a digital platform or hub that will capture information from as many users as possible — to grab as many ‘eyeballs’ as you can. This information can then be analysed, repackaged and monetised in various ways. The appetite for this information-capture and analysis seems to be insatiable, with ever increasing volumes of information being extracted and analysed from an ever-expanding array of data-monitoring technologies.

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Russell Blackford

I Stand With Peter Singer

by Russell Blackford

In an earlier post, I discussed - and argued against - the decision of the Cologne Philosophy Festival to disinvite Peter Singer as a speaker. Singer is, of course, a high-profile Australian philosopher, based at Princeton University, and perhaps the leading exponent, internationally, of utilitarian ethics.

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George Dvorsky

Your Children Won’t Be Able To Live In Space, Without A Major Upgrade

by George Dvorsky

We all dream of journeying (or living) among the stars. But space is a spectacularly awful place for humans, and we’re not suited for life there at all. And yet, it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are all the ways we’ll need to re-engineer the human body, in order to make space our home.

In the six decades that we’ve been sending humans into space, scientists have learned just how truly bad it is for us to live off-planet.

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Aaron Moritz

Individualism vs. Collectivism: Can We Bridge this Deep and Treacherous Ideological Divide?

by Aaron Moritz

The divide between individualist and collectivist ideologies is so deep, and often treacherous, that some might consider bridge building to be a fool’s errand. It’s a divide that cuts into some of the most important questions we have about how we should act, and how society should be structured. In our economic and moral considerations, it asks, should we place individual considerations ahead of social ones, or vice-versa?

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The Forgotten History of Autism

TED

Decades ago, few pediatricians had heard of autism. In 1975, 1 in 5,000 kids was estimated to have it. Today, 1 in 68 is on the autism spectrum. What caused this steep rise? Steve Silberman points to “a perfect storm of autism awareness” — a pair of doctors with an accepting view, an unexpected pop culture moment and a new clinical test. But to really understand, we have to go back further to an Austrian doctor by the name of Hans Asperger, who published a pioneering paper in 1944. Because it was buried in time, autism has been shrouded in misunderstanding ever since. (This talk was part of a TED2015 session curated by Pop-Up Magazine: popupmagazine.com or @popupmag on Twitter.)

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Valerie Tarico

Churches Get Creepy Facial Recognition Software to Track Members

by Valerie Tarico

If selling afterlife perks is your business, then getting people to believe, attend and give “voluntarily” is the whole game.

Churches just got a new way to figure out who is sleeping in on Sunday morning: facial recognition software that scans the congregation and tracks who showed up. Churchix is a product of Skakash LLC, which sells Face-Six for law enforcement, border control, and commercial applications. According to CEO Moshe Greenshpan, 30 churches have already deployed the new software and service, which could be used to target members who need a nudge or to identify potential major donors among those who attend faithfully.

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David Brin

Fort Sumter Redux: the Battle Flag and the Re-ignition of the Confederacy

by David Brin

 “Americans now discriminate more on the basis of party than on race, gender or any of the other divides we typically think of — and that discrimination extends beyond politics into personal relationships and non-political behaviors.” This according to a study published last year by Stanford and Princeton researchers. (See America’s New Cycle of Partisan Hatred.)  The divide is as fierce as it has been, since…

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Marcelo Rinesi

Short Story: Memory City

by Marcelo Rinesi

The city remembers you even better than I do. I have fragments of you in my memory, things I’ll only forget when I die: your smell, your voice, your eyes locked on my own. But the city knows more, and I have the power to ask for those memories.

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Alexey Turchin

How many X-Risks for Humanity? This Roadmap has 100 Doomsday Scenarios

by Alexey Turchin

In 2008 I was working on a Russian language book “Structure of the Global Catastrophe”.  I showed it to a friend to review, the geologist Aranovich, an old friend of my late mother’s husband.

We started to discuss Stevenson’s probe — a hypothetical vehicle which could reach the earth’s core by melting its way through the mantle, taking scientific instruments with it. It would take the form of a large drop of molten iron – at least 60,000 tons – theoretically feasible, but practically impossible.

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