Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies


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




whats new at ieet

Algocracy and Transhumanism Podcast: Deborah Lupton on the Quantified Self

The Ethics of Algorithmic Outsourcing: An Analysis

Algocracy and Transhuamnism Podcast: Hannah Maslen on the Ethics of Neurointerventions

The World’s First Child-Sized Exoskeleton Will Melt Your Heart

How better tech could protect us from distraction

Worst case scenario – 2035 and no basic income.


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

rms on 'Imagining the Anthropocene' (Jul 1, 2016)

Pastor_Alex on 'On tragedy, ethics and the human condition.' (Jun 28, 2016)

instamatic on 'On tragedy, ethics and the human condition.' (Jun 28, 2016)

Pastor_Alex on 'On tragedy, ethics and the human condition.' (Jun 28, 2016)

instamatic on 'On tragedy, ethics and the human condition.' (Jun 28, 2016)

RJP8915 on 'How VR Gaming will Wake Us Up to our Fake Worlds' (Jun 28, 2016)

almostvoid on 'How VR Gaming will Wake Us Up to our Fake Worlds' (Jun 28, 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
Jun 28, 2016
(6892) Hits
(2) Comments

Will Transhumanism Change Racism in the Future?
Jun 2, 2016
(5574) Hits
(0) Comments

Dubai Is Building the World’s Largest Concentrated Solar Power Plant
Jun 20, 2016
(4281) Hits
(0) Comments

New Evidence Suggests a Fifth Fundamental Force of Nature
Jun 13, 2016
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(0) Comments



RSS feedETHICAL TECHNOLOGY

George Dvorsky

Living Bacteria Can Now Store Data

by George Dvorsky

Using the CRISPR gene-editing tool, scientists from Harvard University have developed a technique that permanently records data into living cells. Incredibly, the information imprinted onto these microorganisms can be passed down to the next generation.

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Poverty Is a Threat to Democracy

Big Think

Poverty is the defining issue of our time, says Tavis Smiley. And while we have recognized the problem of income inequality, economic mobility is not yet part of our national conversation.

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History Lesson: Trump’s Rise Might Signal the Collapse of the Republican Party

Big Think

Princeton historian Sean Wilentz says that from a historical perspective the rise of Donald Trump signals the end of the Republican Party as we know it — and a worrisome new politics.

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John Danaher

Does Self-Tracking Promote Autonomy? An Initial Argument

by John Danaher

Seneca was a wealthy Roman stoic and advisor to the emperor Nero. In the third of his Letters from a Stoic, entitled ‘On True and False Friendship’, he makes the following observation:

As to yourself, although you should live in such a way that you trust your own self with nothing which you could not entrust even to your own enemy, yet, since certain matters occur which convention keeps secret, you should share with a friend at least all your worries and reflections.

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Evan Selinger on Algorithmic Outsourcing and the Value of Privacy

Algocracy and the Transhumanist Project

This is the third episode of the Algocracy and Transhumanism Podcast. In this episode, IEET Affiliate Scholar John Danaher interviews Evan Selinger. Evan is a Professor of Philosophy at the Rochester Institute for Technology. He is widely-published scholar in the ethics and law of technology. He is currently working on a book with Brett Frischmann entitled Being Human in the 21st Century which is due out with Cambridge University Press in 2017. In this interview they both talk about two main topics: (i) the ethics of technological outsourcing and (ii) the value of privacy and the nature of obscurity

[Listen Here]

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Marc Roux

WHAT MORAL ENHANCEMENT?

by Marc Roux

Transhumanists, as good humanists, think the human can be perfected, both physically and morally. Any difference in humans basically is a consequence of philosophy, education, culture or law, that is to say political consensus. Transhumanists now include technology as a means of continuing human enhancement (and not as certain unenlightened commentators jokingly wrote as a substitute thereof). Notwithstanding centuries of legislation, culture, education and philosophy, progress, which the philosophers of the « Enlightenment » called Virtue, seems to be blocked by the remains of the biological condition of humans.

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George Dvorsky

New Evidence Suggests a Fifth Fundamental Force of Nature

by George Dvorsky

We all know about the four fundamental forces of nature: gravity, electromagnetism, and the weak and strong forces between atoms. But could there be a fifth force still waiting to be discovered? A new experiment performed in Hungary suggests this may very well be the case.

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How We Fail Non-traditional Students

TEDx Talks

Non-traditional students are often looked down upon by a system that is solely based on standardized testing. This talk explores the view that non-traditional students should make the decision that is right for them, not the “right” way to succeed.

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George Dvorsky

Rare Genetic Mutation May Explain Some Forms of Multiple Sclerosis

by George Dvorsky

Canadian scientists have uncovered a single genetic mutation that significantly heightens a person’s chance of developing a progressive and severe form of multiple sclerosis. While no single factor is responsible for causing the neurological disease, the discovery points to possible treatment options.

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Re-imagine the Future

TEDx Talks

When we think about futures, we possess both hope and fear, yet we often forget that we also have the power to influence. The futurist and designer Angela Oguntala aims to prove that we can choose futures and can work towards them.

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Bill Nye: Want to Combat Climate Change? Talk about It

Big Think

Taking individual steps to affect the course of climate change is valuable, but collective action is more essential. To get there, we must talk about climate change, says Bill Nye the Science Guy.

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Marc Roux

Pourquoi la théorie du genre effraie-t-elle encore?

by Marc Roux

La rentrée des classes en France a été particulièrement médiatisée cette année, notamment à cause de la hausse des effectifs scolaires. Mais avant même que les suppressions de postes et leurs conséquences n’eurent atteint les médias nationaux, une toute autre polémique, concernant le contenu des nouveaux programmes de SVT, avait déjà occupé le paysage médiatique et crée un débat sociétal assez peu commun.

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The School of Life’s Retreat: ‘The Life House’

School of Life

The School of Life has built a ‘secular monastery’, The Life House: an austere, beautiful building in rural Wales. The house is available for week long retreats.

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George Dvorsky

New Details Emerge About the Plan to Build an Artificial Human Genome

by George Dvorsky

Last month, a group of scientists, lawyers, and entrepreneurs gathered in secret to discuss the possibility of creating a synthetic human genome from scratch. Details of the plan have finally been made public, and it’s as ambitious as it sounds. But critics say they founders of the new project are avoiding the tough ethical questions.

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Gene editing can now change an entire species—forever

TED Talks

CRISPR gene drives allow scientists to change sequences of DNA and guarantee that the resulting edited genetic trait is inherited by future generations, opening up the possibility of altering entire species forever. More than anything, this technology has led to questions: How will this new power affect humanity? What are we going to use it to change? Are we gods now? Join journalist Jennifer Kahn as she ponders these questions and shares a potentially powerful application of gene drives: the development of disease-resistant mosquitoes that could knock out malaria and Zika.

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John G. Messerly

Review of Bryan Magee’s, “Ultimate Questions”

by John G. Messerly

Bryan Magee (1930 – ) has had a multifaceted career as a professor of philosophy, music and theater critic, BBC broadcaster, public intellectual and member of Parliament. He has starred in two acclaimed television series about philosophy: Men of Ideas (1978) and The Great Philosophers (1987). He is best known as a popularizer of philosophy. His easy-to-read books, which have been translated into more than twenty languages, include:

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This virtual lab will revolutionize science class

TED Talks

Virtual reality is no longer part of some distant future, and it’s not just for gaming and entertainment anymore. Michael Bodekaer wants to use it to make quality education more accessible. In this refreshing talk, he demos an idea that could revolutionize the way we teach science in schools.

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John G. Messerly

The Monotony of Work

by John G. Messerly

I corresponded with an old friend yesterday who was communicating the tedium of his work as a software engineer. He is thankful that he earns a six-figure salary, and he understands that most people in the world would happily trade places with him, but that doesn’t change the fact that a future filled with a lifetime of coding doesn’t excite his probing and restless mind. Minds like his need stimulation, and they could contribute so much to the rest of us if they were freed to follow their interests . Moreover, while technology companies pay some of the best wages in the United States, they expect more than 40 hours of work in return, which leaves my friend with less time with his children than he would like.

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The Ethics of A.I. on the Battlefield Are Less Clear-Cut Than You Might Think

Big Think

Everybody’s concerned about killer robots. We should ban them. We shouldn’t do any research into them. It may be unethical to do so. There’s a wonderful paper in fact by a professor at the post naval graduate school in Monterrey I believe, B.J. Strawser. I believe the title is the moral requirement to deploy autonomous drones. And his basic point in that is really pretty straightforward. We have obligations to our military forces to protect them and things that we can do which may protect them. A failure to do that is itself an ethical decision which may cause – may be the wrong thing to do if you have technologies.

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John Danaher

Is Effective Altruism Fair to Small Donors? (Guest Post by Iason Gabriel)

by John Danaher

NOTE: This is a guest post by Iason Gabriel from St. John’s College Oxford. I recently did a series on Iason’s excellent article ‘Effective Altruism and its Critics’. In this post, Iason develops his counterfactual critique of effective altruism. Be sure to check out more of Iason’s work on his academia page.)

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Stefan Sorgner @ “Grand Narratives, Posthumanism, and Aesthetics” Conference

Posthuman Aesthetics, Aarhus University

Katherine Hayles and IEET Fellow Stefan Lorenz Sorgner will be keynote speakers at the conference “Grand Narratives, Posthumanism, and Aesthetics”, which will take place at Aarhus University from the 22nd until the 24th of March 2017. Read the conference program here.

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Algocracy: Opportunities and Risks (videocast with Adam Ford)

Philosophical Disquisitions

IEET Affiliate Scholar John Danaher and Adam Ford just had a long conversation about algocracy. The discussion centred around Danaher’s paper ‘The Threat of Algocracy’ but the conversation took many interesting diversions into topics relating to algorithmic governance, moral agency and moral patiency, sousveillance, the extended mind, the hackability of algocratic governance systems and more. Unfortunately, their skype connection cut out about half way through the conversation so this is divided into a part one and a part two.

Part 1  Part 2

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IEET Affiliate Scholar John Danaher Interviewed by Futurezone

Futurezone

When machines take all the jobs that people need to find new meaning in life. This could be for the company, according to John Danaher both curse and blessing.

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John Danaher

Is Effective Altruism actually Effective?

by John Danaher

(Part one; part two; part three)

This is going to be my final post on the topic of effective altruism (for the time being anyway). I’m working my way through the arguments in Iason Gabriel’s article ‘Effective Altruism and its Critics’. Once I finish, Iason has kindly agreed to post a follow-up piece which develops some of his views.

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Ilia Stambler

Developing countries – help yourselves! A case study of Kazakhstan

by Ilia Stambler

On May 19, 2016, the World Health Organization released its report “World Health Statistics: Monitoring Health for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” describing the recent state of global health. The news is rather encouraging. The global life expectancy increased by 5 years, from about 66.5 to 71.4 presently, recording the fastest increase since the 1960s. The rightly so-called “developing” countries generally showed a much faster improvement compared to the complacently “developed” ones. Thus, Africa generally had the lowest life expectancy.

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IEET Affiliate Scholar John Danaher Publishes New Paper in Journal: Bioethics

Bioethics

IEET Affiliate Scholar John Danaher published a new paper coming out in the journal Bioethics. It’s about the philosophy of education and student use of cognitive enhancement drugs. It suggests that universities might be justified in regulating their students’ use of enhancement drugs, but only in a very mild, non-compulsory way. It suggests that a system of voluntary commitment contracts might be an interesting proposal. The details are below.

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John Danaher

Is Effective Altruism Methodologically Biased?

by John Danaher

(Part One; Part Two)

After a long hiatus, I am finally going to complete my series of posts about Iason Gabriel’s article ‘Effective Altruism and its Critics’ (changed from the original title ‘What’s wrong with effective altruism?). I’m pleased to say that once I finish the series I am also going to post a response by Iason himself which follows up on some of the arguments in his paper. Let me start today, however, by recapping some of the material from previous entries and setting the stage for this one.

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The Future of Making Babies

University of California Television (UCTV)

What does sex have to do with human reproduction? Within the next 20 to 30 years or so, perhaps not much. At least that’s how Henry T. Greely sees it. He’s the Director of the Center for Law and Biosciences at Stanford University. He’s also the author of a new book called The End of Sex and the Future of Human Reproduction. In this edition of Up Next, Greely talks about the coming revolution in reproduction, which, he says, will not only increasingly divorce sex from making babies, but also give parents more and more control over what genes their children will have.  Recorded on 05/11/2016.

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IEET Affiliate Scholar John Danaher Publishes New Paper - Robots, Law and the Retribution Gap

Ethics and Information Technology

Here is a new paper that John Danaher, IEET Affiliate Scholar, has published and will be coming out in the journal Ethics and Information Technology. In case you are interested, the idea for this paper originated in this blogpost from late 2014.

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How to read the genome and build a human being

TED Talks

Secrets, disease and beauty are all written in the human genome, the complete set of genetic instructions needed to build a human being. Now, as scientist and entrepreneur Riccardo Sabatini shows us, we have the power to read this complex code, predicting things like height, eye color, age and even facial structure — all from a vial of blood. And soon, Sabatini says, our new understanding of the genome will allow us to personalize treatments for diseases like cancer. We have the power to change life as we know it. How will we use it?

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