Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies






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




whats new at ieet

How Steady Can Wind Power Blow?

This New Telescope Might Show Us the Beginning of the Universe

A Rawlsian Approach to Intoxicated Consent to Sex?

42 Splices and Counting: Nine Facts You Should Know About the Planned Parenthood Smear Campaign

Oliver Sacks Has Died in Peace

The Future of Business


ieet books

The End of the Beginning: Life, Society and Economy on the Brink of the Singularity
Author
Ben Goertzel

Humans and Automata A Social Study of Robotics
Riccardo Campa

The End: What Science and Religion Tell Us about the Apocalypse
Phil Torres

Envisioning Politics 2.0
David Wood and Alexander Karran eds.


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Darin Robbins on 'Transhumanism: there are [at least] ten different philosophical categories; which one(s) are you?' (Sep 2, 2015)

Giulio Prisco on 'The Political Voice of a Transhumanist - An Interview with Presidential Candidate Zoltan Istvan' (Sep 2, 2015)

Steve Fuller on 'The Political Voice of a Transhumanist - An Interview with Presidential Candidate Zoltan Istvan' (Sep 2, 2015)

dobermanmac on 'The Political Voice of a Transhumanist - An Interview with Presidential Candidate Zoltan Istvan' (Sep 2, 2015)

micahredding on 'The Political Voice of a Transhumanist - An Interview with Presidential Candidate Zoltan Istvan' (Sep 1, 2015)

Lincoln Cannon on 'The Political Voice of a Transhumanist - An Interview with Presidential Candidate Zoltan Istvan' (Sep 1, 2015)

Laurence Hitterdale on 'Would AI and Aliens be Moral in a Godless Universe?' (Aug 31, 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


ETER9: The Social Network That Turns Your Personality Into an Immortal Artificial Intelligence
Aug 30, 2015
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8 Craziest Mega-Engineering Projects We Could Use to Rework the Earth
Aug 13, 2015
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Free Will, Buddhism, and Mindfulness Meditation - interview with Terry Hyland
Aug 8, 2015
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Starting from Scratch: The Basic Building Blocks of AI
Aug 23, 2015
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RSS feedETHICAL TECHNOLOGY

David Swanson

Seven Ways Racism Is Built In

by David Swanson

1. Wealth Gap: The playing field is not level. The median wealth of a white household in the United States is over 13 times that of a black household, and the gap is widening. Most black households have less than $350 in savings. It takes money not just to make money but to get a start, to live near good schools, to live free of lead paint poisoning, or to address the special needs that every person has.

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Gabriel Rothblatt

Tools Have Led Us to Technological Unemployment, but Humans, too, Have a Right To Work

by Gabriel Rothblatt

For millennia, Humans have been crafting tools. We don’t hold a monopoly on the trade, but we’ve done it better than any other species. So good, our entire evolution has been crafted around our dependence on them. With our anatomical features and vulnerabilities, it was perhaps predestined that we would not only master tool making, but become dependent upon it. What came first, the human or the tool?

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B. J. Murphy

Aipoly: Helping the Blind See, Using An Artificial Intelligence

by B. J. Murphy

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “285 million people are estimated to be visually impaired worldwide: 39 million are blind and 246 have low vision.” Subsequently, 90% of those visually impaired live in low-income settings. What this entails is a two-fold problem in need of serious addressing. Not only a way to help the visually impaired to see, but equally a means of which is affordable to those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to.

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Artificial Intelligence for the Blind

Aipoly

Aipoly is a machine vision project that recognises multiple objects within a picture and the relationship between them. Painting a picture of what is in front of you in audio.

 

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IEET Fellows and Affiliate Scholars Receive AI Safety Grants

IEET co-founder Nick Bostrom, IEET Fellow Wendell Wallach and Affiliate Scholar Seth Baum are Principal Investigators on projects n funded by Elon Musk and the Open Philanthropy Project and administered by the Future of Life Institute.

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Daniel Faggella

AI is So Hot, We Forgot All About The ‘AI Winter’ (interview with Dr. Nils J. Nilsson)

by Daniel Faggella

The great influencers and contributors in the field of AI today can’t help but acknowledge that part of their success comes from ‘standing on the shoulders’ of the thinkers and doers who came before.  Dr. Nils J. Nilsson, former Stanford researcher and author of The Quest for Artificial Intelligence, is such a pioneer in the field of AI that he aptly recalls the ‘AI Winter’, a period of time in the late 1970s and early 1980s when funding dwindled and AI research went underground.  

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Geoffrey Woo

Nootropics Aren’t Just For Tech Millionaires

by Geoffrey Woo

Nootropics, more colloquially known as “smart drugs,” are in the zeitgeist. Hollywood productions like Limitless and Lucy to a CNN profile of a tech millionaire - Dave Asprey - spending $300,000 to hack his own body with research chemicals have certainly raised the profile of nootropics in the mainstream.

This essay was co-written with Michael Brandt

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What is the Future of Brain-Computer Interfaces?

Review the Future

Review the Future talks about brain-computer interfaces. We discuss the range of available invasive and non-invasive sensor options, the difficulties of processing brain signals, and the wide variety of ways computers might use realtime brain data.  While it’s clear that BCIs promise incredible benefits to people who are paralyzed, it’s less clear how extensively BCIs will benefit able-bodied humans. We explore what some of those benefits (and dangers) might be.

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Hank Pellissier

Meditation Apps Evaluated - “Headspace” Receives the Highest Score

by Hank Pellissier
Research from the School of Psychology and Counseling at Queensland University of Technology in Australia identified 700 apps associated with “mindfulness” on either iTunes and Google Apps Marketplace. Inclusion criteria was stringent; only apps that cost less than $10 were included.

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Don’t Fear the AI Apocalypse

Big Think

Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking Fear a Robot Apocalypse. But a Major Physicist Disagrees. All new technology is frightening, says physicist Lawrence Krauss. But there are many more reasons to welcome machine consciousness than to fear it.

 

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Giulio Prisco

Why We Should Preserve the Privacy and Spirit of Bitcoin

by Giulio Prisco

The trend toward mainstream,” sanitized” forms of Bitcoin that can be adopted by governments and banks is here to stay, which is not a bad thing. At the same time, it’s also important to preserve important aspects of the original vision of the Bitcoin Founders – a P2P currency that can’t be controlled by banks and governments, and supports untraceable private transactions.

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Fashion industry’s First Transgender Modeling Agency

TFCBalitangAmerica

The world of fashion just got a little more diverse thanks to the launch of a new agency for transgender models. The search for trans talents is being led by a Filipino American.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Melanie Swan

Network Economies: Economic System as a Configurable Parameter

by Melanie Swan

We personalize everything else, why not economic systems too? Starbucks selectability comes to economic system participations! Some interesting implications for personalized economic system design arise per a recent post about ‘Decentralized Reddit.’

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Leo Igwe

The Politics Of Gay Marriage In Nigeria

by Leo Igwe

President Muhammad Buhari has stated during his recent visit to the US that his government would not consider decriminalizing gay marriage in Nigeria. Well, that did not come to me as a surprise because President Buhari is a hardline conservative muslim whom I think would be unwilling to support any legislative or policy change that is not compatible with sharia law.

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Moral Enhancement: Do Means Matter Morally?

Neuroethics Symposium

From a symposium at the Brains blog on Farah Focquaert and Maartje Schermer’s paper “Moral Enhancement: Do Means Matter Morally?” (Neuroethics, August 2015)

 

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John Danaher

The Argument from Abandonment and Suffering ( A Specific Version of the Problem of Evil)

by John Danaher

(Previous Entry)

The argument from abandonment and suffering is a specific version of the problem of evil. Erik Wielenberg defends the argument in his recent paper ‘The parent-child analogy and the limits of skeptical theism’.  That paper makes two distinctive contributions to the literature, one being the defence of the argument from abandonment and suffering, the other being a meta-argument about standards for success in the debate between skeptical theists and proponents of the problem of evil.

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IEET Audience Leans towards “Free Will”

We asked “Is there free will?” Of the 103 of you who answered, slightly more than half believed free will was possible.

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Yet Another Reason to Exercise: It May Make You More Creative

Big Think

Neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki is hard at work in her lab experimenting with a new hypothesis: Can you stimulate creativity through exercise? She thinks so, and she’s got a wide array of research backing her up.

 

 

 

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Giulio Prisco

The Three-Body Problem, by Liu Cixin, Wins the Hugo Award for Best Novel

by Giulio Prisco

The Three-Body Problem,”  Ken Liu’s English translation of the first book of Liu Cixin’s best-selling Chinese science fiction trilogy, has won the Hugo Award for best novel.

The book is solid classic science fiction, like the best space operas of vintage science fiction that we loved and still fondly remember as our first introduction to space and science. See my review of “The Three-Body Problem.”

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Hank Pellissier

Transhumanism will be a Victorious Revolution (my modest predictions)

by Hank Pellissier

I get annoyed when my friends and family tell me I’m going to die. They taunt me regularly, of course, because I’m a transhumanist, opposed to mortality.

“You’re a nutter,” says my British friend Paul.

“You’re just afraid of death,” says Curt.

“Everybody has to die, or the world will get over-populated,” says my 15-year-old daughter, indoctrinated by environmentalism.

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Russell Blackford

A Tale of Vigilante Justice: Adulterers, Hackers, and the Ashley Madison Affair

by Russell Blackford

Hackers calling themselves “The Impact Team” recently stole the customer data of Ashley Madison, an online dating service for people who are married or in committed relationships. Ashley Madison employs a slogan that says it all: “Life is short. Have an affair.”

During July and August, customer data was released online by the hackers: the upshot is that it’s now possible to identify many individuals who held Ashley Madison accounts. This includes such intimate details as their sexual fetishes and proclivities.

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Leo Igwe

Humanism And Anti-Intellectualism In Nigeria

by Leo Igwe

A lot has been said about militant Islam and extreme Christian, traditional religious practices in Nigeria. There has been much focus on violent attacks by the jihadist group, Boko Haram, on the abuses perpetrated by sharia policing agencies and the nefarious activities of homophobic pentecostal churches and witch hunting pastors in the country. Unfortunately not much attention has been paid to the efforts of humanists, atheists, skeptics and agnostics in the country to address these problems. Not many Nigerians know about the campaigns by humanists against witch hunting, blasphemy law and harmful traditional practices. In fact not many Nigerians know that humanists and humanist groups exist in the country.

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3-D Printing Guns, Drugs, and DNA Weapons: Organized Crime Is Being Decentralized

Big Think

Author Steven Kotler posits a future in which the three biggest criminal enterprises in the world are supplanted by technologies such as 3D printing and synthetic biology. Would drug cartels exist in a world in which 3D-printed drugs become available? Could a DNA typewriter curb the demand for the illegal exotic animal trade? We don’t know for sure. All we know is that these kinds of technology are fast approaching.

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Rick Searle

Do Extraterrestials Philosophize?

by Rick Searle

The novelist and philosopher R. Scott Bakker recently put out a mind blowing essay on the philosophy of extraterrestrials, which isn’t as Area 51 as such a topic might seem at first blush.  After all, Voltaire covered the topic of aliens,  but if a Frenchman is still a little too playful for your philosophical tastes, recall that Kant thought the topic of extraterrestrial intelligence important to cover extensively as well, and you can’t get much more full of dull seriousness than the man from Koeningsberg.

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John Danaher

Is God the Source of Meaning in Life? Four Critical Arguments

by John Danaher

(Previous Entry)

Theists sometimes argue that God’s existence is essential for meaning in life. In a quote that I have used far too often over the years, William Lane Craig puts it rather bluntly:

If there is no God, then man and the universe are doomed. Like prisoners condemned to death, we await our unavoidable execution. There is no God, and there is no immortality. And what is the consequence of this? It means that life itself is absurd. It means that the life we have is without ultimate significance, value or purpose. (Craig 2007, 72)

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Micah Redding

Iron Man and the Modern Identity Crisis

by Micah Redding

A year ago, I was traveling across the world. I had just moved out of my house, taken a leave of absence from my part-time job, and left without a lot of money or a good sense of whether I would be employed when I got back.

I slept on hard floors, in hostels, on couches, and in rooms that were built on rooftops. I went without warm showers for a long time. I hiked up into the mountains of Nepal, witnessed the aftermath of the Egyptian revolution firsthand, and tried to figure out what to do when a street fight broke out around me in Moscow.

And when I came back, I was changed.

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Daniel Faggella

Starting from Scratch: The Basic Building Blocks of AI

by Daniel Faggella

In order to build a great structure, you have to start with a single building piece.  Examining the foundations of artificial intelligence (AI) is what Dr. John MacCormack had in mind when he wrote, “Nine Algorithms That Changed the Future: The Ingenious Ideas That Drive Today’s Computers”.  I recently spoke with Dr. MacCormack on TechEmergence to discuss the history of AI, and how its foundations have built up much of the present reality that we see - and do not see.

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Tsvi Bisk

Understanding Obama and the Iran Nuclear Deal

by Tsvi Bisk

The following is a thought experiment: an attempt to understand the Iranian deal by way of logical speculation regarding the issues and facts as perceived by the Obama administration.

I am assuming that Obama is not a Marxist/Islamist/Kenyan, consumed by post-colonial resentment and dedicated to destroying the Constitution and the United States. Nor a Black Nationalist anti-Semite, whose most important priority regarding Iran is to screw Israel. I am assuming he is a patriotic American who desires to be a historically great President.

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Instructions for Engineering Sustainable People

AGI Society

Mark Waser presents his talk “Instructions for Engineering Sustainable People” at the Seventh Conference on Artificial General Intelligence (AGI-14) in Quebec City (http://www.agi-conference.org/2014). Paper authors: Mark R. Waser

Abstract:  Exactly as Artificial Intelligence (AI) did before, Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) has lost its way. Having forgotten our original intentions, AGI researchers will continue to stumble over the problems of inflexibility, brittleness, lack of generality and safety until it is realized that tools simply cannot possess adaptability greater than their innate intentionality and cannot provide assurances and promises that they cannot understand. The current short-sighted static and reductionist definition of intelligence which focuses on goals must be replaced by a long-term adaptive one focused on learning, growth and self-improvement. AGI must claim an intent to create safe artificial people via autopoiesis before its promise(s) can be fulfilled.

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William Gillis

Science as Radicalism (Part 3: scientists have been largely captured by dominant power structures)

by William Gillis

This restructuring of how to view science is geared not just at defending science from charges of reactionism from leftists, but at more broadly clarifying how we might view that much looser bundle invoked by the word “science” as a political force. Because the array of things popularly associated with “science” is so wildly varying and hazy most of the political claims surrounding science that don’t slice it away to near irrelevance or neutrality as a formulaic procedure have sought to identify underlying ideological commitments and then define “science” in terms of them.

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