Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies



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




whats new at ieet

The Vision Thing

The Problem of Personal Identity in Two Pages

Review of EX MACHINA

Gray Matters

The Dawn of Killer Robots

The Outsourcing Illusion: Why Tempting Technology Can Lead to Dangerous Delegation


ieet books

The Second Intelligent Species
Author
Marshall Brain

Anticipating Tomorrow’s Politics
Ed. David Wood

Post- and Transhumanism: An Introduction
Robert Ranisch and Stefan Lorenz Sorgner eds.

How “God” Works: A Logical Inquiry on Faith
Marshall Brain


comments

iva_ray on 'The Problem of Personal Identity in Two Pages' (Apr 25, 2015)

Eugene on 'Germ-Line (inheritable) human “improvement” via genetic engineering? The "Heinlein Solut' (Apr 25, 2015)

instamatic on 'Yes, Obama “Won Twice” – as a Progressive. Deal With It, Everybody.' (Apr 24, 2015)

John Danaher on 'The Epistemic Costs of Superintelligence: Bostrom's Treacherous Turn and Sceptical Theism' (Apr 24, 2015)

Rick Searle on 'The Epistemic Costs of Superintelligence: Bostrom's Treacherous Turn and Sceptical Theism' (Apr 23, 2015)

CygnusX1 on 'Do Killer Robots Violate Human Rights?' (Apr 22, 2015)

Peter Kinnon on 'The Epistemic Costs of Superintelligence: Bostrom's Treacherous Turn and Sceptical Theism' (Apr 21, 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


The Sofalarity is Near
Mar 30, 2015
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The Legal Dilemma of Age Play in Virtual & Augmented   Reality
Apr 9, 2015
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Conservative Christians Pass the Plate for Anti-Gay Indiana Pizza Parlor, Raise $800,000 in Two Days
Apr 4, 2015
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Bitcoin and the Ontology of Money
Apr 7, 2015
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RSS feedETHICAL TECHNOLOGY

George Dvorsky

Mourning the Death of Her Baby

by George Dvorsky

Part of the struggle in persuading people that some animals deserve to be recognized as persons is convincing them that the emotional responses, inner psychological life, and social bonds of these animals are similar to our own. Are there non-human animals who, for example, demonstrate human-like grief?

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Kyle Munkittrick

Why I Want A Male Birth Control Pill

by Kyle Munkittrick

The 50th Anniversary of the Pill was last year. Lots and lots of people mentioned how good, bad, unimportant, or essential the Pill has been. Our society changed the way it thought about sex, about reproduction, even about love and relationships.

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In Defense of Dolphins pt1

Changesurfer Radio

Dr. J. chats with Thomas White about the defense of the rights of non-human persons in general, and dolphins in particular. Professor White teaches ethics at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California, is author of In Defense of Dolphins: The New Moral Frontier and co-author of the Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans: Whales and Dolphins.

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David Brin

The Nuclear Crisis in Japan…and Yucca Mountain in Nevada

by David Brin

It is time to re-open the matter of Yucca Mountain and view it as an investment in our children’s future.

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Michio Kaku on Physics of the Future

Dr. Michio Kaku, professor of theoretical physics at the City University of New York and cofounder of string field theory, describes the revolutionary developments taking place in the fields of medicine, computers, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, energy, and astronautics. Appearing as a guest on WNYC’s Leonard Lopate Show, Kaku also tells who the winners and losers of the future will be, who will have jobs, and which nations will prosper.

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Hank Pellissier

Happiness, Freedom, Equality, Rudeness: Welcome to Denmark!

by Hank Pellissier

The miniscule Scandinavian nation is a world leader in multiple best-nation categories. But is it a role model for technoprogressives?

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Ramez Naam

Key Trends of the Next 25 Years

by Ramez Naam

“Envisioning technology” is a work in progress, researched and designed by technologist Michell Zappa. IEET Fellow Ramez Naam offers his opinions on the effort: where it seems accurate, where it might not be, and what it all means.

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Ode to the Brain

Symphony of Science

“Ode to the Brain” is the ninth episode in the Symphony of Science music video series. Through the powerful words of scientists Carl Sagan, Robert Winston, Vilayanur Ramachandran, Jill Bolte Taylor, Bill Nye, and Oliver Sacks, it covers different aspects the brain including its evolution, neuron networks, folding, and more. The material sampled for this video comes from Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, Jill Bolte Taylor’s TED Talk, Vilayanur Ramachandran’s TED Talk, Bill Nye’s Brain episode, BBC’s “The Human Body”, Oliver Sachs’ TED Talk, Discovery Channel’s “Human Body: Pushing the Limits”, and more.

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United We Rise

Peop1e.org

I always cry when I hear this speech by Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator.  This is an excellent re-mix with scenes from the ongoing Arab Renaissance.

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Richard Eskow

MadisonWorld: A Future Where Corporations Have Human Rights… and Humans Don’t

by Richard Eskow

Right now Wisconsin is serving as the prototype for United States 2.0, a newly reconstituted nation where corporations have all the rights of personhood without any of the responsibilities—and people have all the duties of personhood without any of the rights.  Welcome to your future. They’re preparing it for you right now in America’s heartland.

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Ben Goertzel

Technological Transcendence: An Interview with Giulio Prisco

by Ben Goertzel

A character in Ken MacLeod’s 1998 novel The Cassini Division refers to the Singularity as “the Rapture for nerds” (though it should be duly noted that in that novel the Singularity occurs anyway!).  This represents a moderately recurrent meme in certain circles - to denigrate transhumanism by comparing it to extreme religious notions.  But not all transhumanists consider such comparisons wholly off-base.  While transhumanism differs from traditional religions in being based around reason more centrally than faith, it does have some commonality in terms of presenting a broad vision of the universe, with implications on the intellectual level but also for everyday life.  And it does present at least some promise of achieving via science some of the more radical promises that religion has traditionally offered - immortality,  dramatic states of bliss, maybe even resurrection.

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Program or Be Programmed

Ten Commands for a Digital Age

Douglass Rushkoff spoke to Googlers in Mountain View on November 10

 

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Richard Loosemore

Why an Intelligence Explosion is Probable

by Richard Loosemore

(Co-authored with IEET Fellow Ben Goertzel) There is currently no good reason to believe that once a human-level AGI capable of understanding its own design is achieved, an intelligence explosion will fail to ensue.  A thousand years of new science and technology could arrive in one year. An intelligence explosion of such magnitude would bring us into a domain that our current science, technology and conceptual framework are not equipped to deal with; so prediction beyond this stage is best done once the intelligence explosion has already progressed significantly.

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Kyle Munkittrick

Do Superhero Movies Make Us More or Less fearful of Transhumanism?

by Kyle Munkittrick

The short answer: Superhero movies are far more inclined to make us fearful of transhumanism.

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George Dvorsky

What do we mean by the “rights” of the nonhuman person?

by George Dvorsky

A common objection I get to the suggestion that nonhuman persons should be granted human-level rights is the concern that these animals could never properly express their citizenship or take part in the social contract. I’ve actually had people ask me if it’s my intention to give bonobos a credit card and the right to vote.

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Head Transplant: The Truly Disturbing Truly Real Story

Jim Fields on Vimeo

A short documentary about neuroscientist Robert White, who experimented on maintaining heads without bodies.

Head Transplant: The Truly Disturbing Truly Real Story from Jim Fields on Vimeo.

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Getting Better: Why Global Development Is Succeeding

Changesurfer Radio

Dr. J. chats with Charles Kenny about his book Getting Better: Why Global Development Is Succeeding—And How We Can Improve the World Even More. They talk about how the spread of ideas and institutions, such as democracy and political rights, and of cheap technologies, such as vaccines and bed nets, are improving the quality of life of the world’s poor. Charles Kenny is a senior economist on leave from the World Bank, and a joint fellow at the New America Foundation and the Center for Global Development. He writes a weekly column for Foreign Policy called “The Optimist.”

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Kris Notaro

Which Ethical Theory Will Prevail in a Posthuman World?

by Kris Notaro

In an inevitable posthuman world, which ethical theory will triumph: The Categorical Imperative, Utilitarianism, Existential Ethics, Normative Intellectualism or Technoprogressivism?

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Martine Rothblatt

Won’t Mindclones Only Be for the Rich and Famous?

by Martine Rothblatt

1987 was the first year in which one billion people boarded airline flights.  In that year the world’s population hit 5 billion, meaning approximately 20% of all people experienced a fantastic luxury not available to history’s wealthiest monarchs.  By 2005 two billion people were boarding airliners each year, and the world’s population had grown to 6.5 billion.  In the short span of years between 1987 and 2005, airline flight grew from being a right of 20% to a right of 31% of humanity, from barely a fifth to almost a third.  Even assuming more frequent flights by the wealthier, this is startling evidence of the democratization of technology.

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Emerging Designs for Wearable Selves

Humanity+ Conferences

Natasha Vita-More’s talk at Humanity+ @ Caltech

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Cognitive Enhancement, the Movie

NZT- The Clear Pill

Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro star in Limitless, a paranoia-fueled action thriller about an unpublished writer whose life is transformed by a top-secret smart drug that allows him to use 100% of his brain and become a perfect version of himself. His enhanced abilities soon attract shadowy forces that threaten his new life in this darkly comic and provocative film.


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Ben Goertzel

Francis Heylighen on the Emerging Global Brain

by Ben Goertzel

Francis Heylighen started his career as yet another physicist with a craving to understand the foundations of the universe - the physical and philosophical laws that make everything tick.  But his quest for understanding has led him far beyond the traditional limits of the discipline of physics.  Currently he leads the Evolution, Complexity and COgnition group (ECCO) at the Free University of Brussels, a position involving fundamental cybernetics research cutting across almost every discipline.  Among the many deep ideas he has pursued in the last few decades, one of the most tantalizing is that of the Global Brain - the notion that the social, computational and communicative matrix increasingly enveloping us as technology develops, may possess a kind of coherent intelligence in itself.

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Arthur Caplan

What Should Doctors Do For Patients In Disasters When They Cannot Be Saved?

by Arthur Caplan

In the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, rescue workers found 128 elderly people abandoned by medical staff at a hospital six miles from the damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. The tsunami also killed nearly half the 113 residents at a retirement home in Kesennuma. Eleven of those who lived died of exposure, and the other 53 are in a shelter with only kerosene heaters to keep them warm in near-freezing condition.

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Dorothy Deasy

Emerging Technologies on the Threshold: Can they cross from lab to living room?

by Dorothy Deasy

Recently, three emerging technologies made headlines in Washington state and were reported by Tacoma’s paper, The News Tribune. The issues and controversies they stir are examples of the challenges that transformative technologies will face in going mainstream.

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How Close is Non-Human Primate Cognition to Humans?

UCLA Primate Cognition Symposium

Daniel Dennett presentation at UCLA symposium “How like us are they? Human and Non-human Primate Cognition”

DanDennett from Dario Ringach on Vimeo.

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The Uncanny Valley

Take a ride down into the Uncanny Valley and explore that spooky familiar-yet-different feeling.

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‘Spirituality’ Seen as an Unnecessary Relic of the Past

A clear plurality of respondents to a recently concluded poll of IEET readers say we should not make an effort to include something like human spirituality in programming superintelligent AIs.

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IEET Fellow Canonized as Saint

Douglas Rushkoff has become the first IEET staffer to achieve sainthood. He was beatified in a moving ceremony by Reverend Billy and the Church of Life After Shopping.

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Ramez Naam

Smaller, cheaper, faster: Does Moore’s law apply to solar cells?

by Ramez Naam

If humanity could capture 1/10 of 1% of the solar energy striking the earth, we would have access to 6X as much energy as we consume in all forms today, with almost no greenhouse gas emissions.

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Ways to Overcome Addiction

Radiolab

IEET Fellow David Eagleman joins Radiolab to talk about ways to gain the upper hand over those forces inside us—from unhealthy urges, to creative insights.

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