Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

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Technoprogressive? BioConservative? Huh?
Overview of technopolitics

whats new at ieet

3 ways to fix a broken news industry

Pétition : Pour un plan national de lutte contre le vieillissement

A Deadline for Philosophy

New nanotech to detect cancer early

Short story: Dead Man’s Trigger

The incredible inventions of intuitive AI

ieet books

Chasing Shadows: Visions of Our Coming Transparent World
David Brin

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

Philosophical Ethics: Theory and Practice
John G Messerly

eHuman Deception
Nicole Sallak Anderson


Enframing the Flesh: Heidegger, Transhumanism, and the Body as “Standing Reserve”

Moral Enhancement and Political Realism

Intelligent Technologies and Lost Life


Ramez Naam Talks about his New Book, Nexus at Google

At Google Talks

Ramez Naam speaks at Google HQ in Mountain View on January 14th, 2013.

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Wendell Wallach

Terminating the Terminator: What to do About Autonomous Weapons

by Wendell Wallach

“The Terminator” is clearly science fiction, but it speaks to a deep intuition that the robotization of warfare is a slippery slope—the endpoint of which can neither be predicted nor fully controlled. Two reports released soon after the November 2012 election have propelled the issue of autonomous killing machines onto the political radar.

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David Swanson

A New Model Drone Resolution

by David Swanson

In the absence of state or federal laws, localities around the United States are proceeding to put unmanned aerial vehicles in our skies as they see fit. The federal government has authorized the flight of 30,000 drones, and the use of drones up to 400 feet by police departments, at least 300 of which already have surveillance drones in operation.

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Entangled dolphin ‘asked me for help’

BBC News: Science & Environment

“If animal behavior is mostly instinctual, why do animals need to communicate? Is it possible that there is a universal language spoken and understood by all animals on earth, including humans? Do barks, growls, rumbles, chirps, yips, and meows have communicative meanings?” - Amazon

Get Adobe Flash player

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Uppinder Mehan

Doubling Down on the Posthuman

by Uppinder Mehan

In December of 2011 a podcast produced by Radiolab discussed a legal issue involving Marvel characters, including the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and Spider-Man (although the episode focuses on the X-Men). The "attorneys for a company that imported Marvel character action figures noticed that imported dolls were subject to a higher tax than toys, per the Harmonized Tariff Schedule. More importantly, dolls were distinguished from toys by “representing only human beings and parts and accessories thereof.”

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Dick Pelletier

‘Big Brother’ watching: creating a safer world; or goodbye privacy

by Dick Pelletier

In gambling casinos, cameras spot a card counter, thief, or blacklisted player, and a database instantly confirms identification. The suspect is quickly escorted from the facility, or arrested. Intelligent cameras that can observe people and react to events are advancing exponentially. At a White House briefing, counterterrorism adviser John Brennan said, thanks to the U.S. military's latest facial recognition technology, he was "99 percent" certain that the commando team had killed bin Laden.

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Ricardo Barretto

The Problem of Other Motives – The Greatest Existential Risk to Humankind

by Ricardo Barretto

We’re toast.  Among hydrogen bombs, asteroid strikes, supervolcanoes, rogue artificial intelligence, nanotechnological war, grey goo, superviruses, biological weapons, runaway global warming, strangelets, mini-black holes, probabilities will eventually catch up to us and we’ll become extinct. It is an impossible obstacle course.

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Federico Pistono

Forget 1984 and Conspiracy Stories, This is the Real Thing

by Federico Pistono

Imagine a world where a network of 147 'super-connected' companies control forty percent or more of the global financial network. Imagine a world where as much as 80% of the countries systematically censor and restrict communications and access to information.

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Ilia Stambler

Celebrating Longevity on the International “Future Day” March 1

by Ilia Stambler

Since 2012, there has been a global initiative to institute March 1 as an international “Future Day” dedicated to envisioning and working for a better future.

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Good Sleep = Good Memory

UC Berkeley Campus Life

The connection between poor sleep, memory loss and brain deterioration as we grow older has been elusive. But for the first time, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have found a link between these hallmark maladies of old age. Their discovery opens the door to boosting the quality of sleep in elderly people to improve memory.

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Egypt: TV, Film, Youtube, Mass Media, Social Media: The New Face of Revolution

Democracy Now

“The Square”: Jehane Noujaim’s New Film Captures Egypt’s Ongoing Revolution After Mubarak’s Fall

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Rick Searle

What’s Wrong With Borgdom?

by Rick Searle

Lately, I’ve had superorganisms on the brain. My initial plan for my post this week was to do a piece comparing earthly superorganisms like the Leaf Cutter Ant with the most well known of science-fiction superorganisms- the Borg. Two things happened that diverted me from this path. First,  the blogger and minimalist beekeeper, James Cross, shared with me an article he wrote that largely said what I wanted to say about the Borg and insects as well or better than I could have. Second, during the course of my research I ran into a recent article that stuck in my craw, which I felt compelled to address.

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David Brin

The Jefferson Rifle

by David Brin

I have been asked to post a few “David Brin Classics”.... some of my older riffs and rants… here online for a new generation to share and ponder. I’ve been mulling which ones. Then the topic of the Second Amendment and gun control recently came up. Along with the observation that some liberals are starting to nurse fantasies of needing to be armed, themselves, in the era that they see coming down the road.

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Professor LaGrandeur appointed IEET Fellow

The IEET is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Kevin LaGrandeur as a Fellow. Kevin is author of the 2012 cultural history of the idea of artificial intelligence in premodern thought, Androids and Intelligent Networks in Early Modern Literature and Culture (Routledge, 2012).

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Four Interns Join IEET’s Revamped Internship Program

We are pleased to introduce the four members of our revised IEET intern program: Jonathan Lin, Will Hiltman, George Bickers and Andrew Cvercko.

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Time: Doctor Who, Star Trek or Ray Bradbury?


What is time? In this Cosmic Query, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson answers a fan who wonders whether time is more like Ray Bradbury’s linear depiction of time in “A Sound of Thunder,” the branching timestream depicted in 2009’s “Star Trek” or the way Doctor Who describes it in the classic episode “Blink”: “a big ball of wibbly, wobbly, timey-wimey…stuff.” Enjoy this “Behind the Scenes” video with comic co-host Colin Jost.

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Gravitation - Collapsing Reference Frames

existics 101

Can we get a better understanding of what gravity is, assuming mass is a composite of time, as suggested? And, in doing so, can we gain some insight into possible deficiencies in the theory of General Relativity?

The bizarre phenomena of the quantum world, “action at a distance”, can account for the mechanism of gravity, when the Inclusion Principle is included within the definition of Quantum Entanglement.

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V.R. Manoj

Branding yourself electronically with Electronic Epidermal Systems

by V.R. Manoj

Seems just like yesterday that Prof.Kevin Warwick of the University of Reading, UK took that bold step to implant a BrainGate device onto his median nerve in his forearm to be able to control electronic devices.

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Valerie Tarico

Which Contraceptive Is Best for Your Weight?

by Valerie Tarico

Our ancestors struggled to get enough calories just to stay alive. But as food supplies have become reliable and rich, people around the world face the opposite problem. Now, as we try to keep our weight in a healthy range, we look at all kinds of factors: diet, exercise, sleep, supplements, meditation, hypnosis, psychotherapy, prayer, or even surgery that might help us tip the scales a little less.

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Peter Diamandis talks about “Robots Will Steal Your Job, But That’s OK”

Federico Pistono

X Prize Chairman and CEO Peter Diamandis talks at the CIO Network about a future where the cost of living becomes essentially free, giving a shout-out to my book “Robots Will Steal Your Job, But That’s OK: How to Survive the Economic Collapse and Be Happy”.


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David Brin Reads from Existence: Chapter Three

cab801's channel

David Brin reads from his science fiction novel, Existence, Chapter Three. Existence is a near future novel that presents a unique tale of first contact. For more information on Existence, see:
Images in this video are by Patrick Farley. See also Farley's trailer for Existence:
David Brin's books include The Postman, Startide Rising, Existence, and Earth, as well as his non-fiction work, The Transparent Society, dealing with issues of privacy and secrecy.
For more information about David Brin, visit his website:



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Alzheimer’s Diagnosis and Clinical Trials -Heartache and Hope: America’s Alzheimer’s Epidemic

UCTV Prime's channel

The projections for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are alarming, but not all the news is bad. The second installment in this series from UCLA assesses the progress researchers have made in understanding the disease and highlights some promising clinical trials and diagnosis techniques that could slow its progression, possibly the first step towards prevention and cure. Series: “Alzheimer’s Disease Programs”

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Dick Pelletier

Brain enhancements will play a major role in determining the future

by Dick Pelletier

My brain contains approximately 100 billion neurons, each connecting to other nerve cells through synapses. These interactions process signals entering the nervous system, and then produce output responses that stimulate my bodily functions, everything from thinking to walking to kissing.

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Major Medical Breakthroughs: Past and Future


Jay Olshansky explains the major medical breakthrough in modern history and discusses future technologies.

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Will Hiltman

Rationale for Prioritizing the Advancement of Cyborg Technologies

by Will Hiltman

Artificial intelligence is one of many exponentially growing technologies, which means the growth that we see now in the field will hardly compare to what we see in 10 or 20 years.

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A universal translator for surgeons


Laparoscopic surgery uses minimally invasive incisions—which means less pain and shorter recovery times for patients. But Steven Schwaitzberg has run into two problems teaching these techniques to surgeons around the world—language and distance. He shares how a new technology, which combines video conferencing and a real-time universal translator, could help. (Filmed at TEDxBeaconStreet.)

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Lee-Roy Chetty

Primary education variables in the Developing world

by Lee-Roy Chetty

In a number of developing countries, the relationship between increased resource allocation to the education sector and improved education outcomes is fairly weak. A major finding is that “traditional” education inputs fail to yield the expected positive influence.

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Evan Selinger

What Sci-Fi Can Teach Us About the Present and Future of Information

by Evan Selinger

Combine growing attachment to smartphones with advances in cutting-edge goggles (think Google Glass), and what do you get? Acceptance of augmented reality (AR), which supposedly became ready for "prime time" last year. With the technology out of the incubator and in our living rooms, Silicon Valley's mouthpieces are becoming increasingly comfortable generating hype about the exciting new world it will create. Get ready, they say, for a "more information-rich, more navigable, more interesting, more fun" existence.

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Lee-Roy Chetty

Innovation for job creation

by Lee-Roy Chetty

Rapid technological advancement and the impact of Information Communication Technology are changing our lives more quickly and more deeply than ever before imagined.

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Massimo Pigliucci

LessWrong on morality and logic

by Massimo Pigliucci

There has been a debate on morality brewing of late over at LessWrong. As readers of this blog know, I am not particularly sympathetic to that outlet (despite the fact that two of my collaborators here are either fans or even involved in major ways with them — see how open minded I am?). Largely, this is because I think of the Singularity and related ideas as borderline pseudoscience, and have a hard time taking too seriously a number of other positions and claims made at LW. Still, in this case by friend Michael DeDora, who also writes here [Rationally Speaking], pointed me to two pieces by Eliezer Yudkowsky and one of the other LW authors that I’d like to comment on.

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