Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies






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




whats new at ieet

Technology Made Us Human

ETER9: The Social Network That Turns Your Personality Into an Immortal Artificial Intelligence

Would AI and Aliens be Moral in a Godless Universe?

Transhumanist Therapy IV: The Current Crisis in Psychiatry

Practopoiesis Tells Us Machine Learning Isn’t Enough

Ensuring Human Control Over Military Robotics


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.


comments

Valkyrie Ice on 'Transhumanism will be a Victorious Revolution (my modest predictions)' (Aug 28, 2015)

Laurence Hitterdale on 'Do Extraterrestials Philosophize?' (Aug 28, 2015)

Gear0Mentation on 'Transhumanism will be a Victorious Revolution (my modest predictions)' (Aug 28, 2015)

Valkyrie Ice on 'Transhumanism will be a Victorious Revolution (my modest predictions)' (Aug 27, 2015)

Gear0Mentation on 'Transhumanism will be a Victorious Revolution (my modest predictions)' (Aug 27, 2015)

Giulio Prisco on 'Network Economies: Economic System as a Configurable Parameter' (Aug 27, 2015)

rms on 'Network Economies: Economic System as a Configurable Parameter' (Aug 27, 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


8 Craziest Mega-Engineering Projects We Could Use to Rework the Earth
Aug 13, 2015
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The Social Fabric of a Technically Advanced Society
Aug 1, 2015
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(3) Comments

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 Brin

Pining for Feudalism as an Antidote for Modernity

by David Brin

There is an unbelievable essay written - in apparent sincerity - by my colleague John C. Wright (a pretty good author, by the way), in which he asserts that the long darkness called feudalism was admirable, and that - by dismal contrast - we now live in an age that is benighted by crudely materialistic modernity and a shabby shallowness of the soul.

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George Dvorsky

Is the Adderall shortage on account of rampant off-label use?

by George Dvorsky

So, apparently there’s an Adderall drought going on the United States. Adderall is a prescription med that is used by people suffering from attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and narcolepsy.  It’s also being increasingly used as an off-label cognitive enhancer and for recreational purposes (which I’ll get to in just a little bit).

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Hank Pellissier

Interview with Shane Hope, Transhumanist Artist

by Hank Pellissier

“As an artist, I can appreciate precedent representation and objecthood crises at the cite and sight of artistic collage and assemblage. As a transhumanist, however, I’m cognizant that artistic collage and assemblage will look like mere speed bumps when compared to the transubstrationality to be encountered near a singularity spike.”

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Occupy Wall Street supported by a majority of IEET readers

According to results of a recently concluded poll, more than half of IEET readers enthusiastically support the ‘Occupy’ movement.

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Marcelo Rinesi

Against a cyborg, 99-to-1 are awful odds

by Marcelo Rinesi

This is how simple you are: computers can predict what you are looking for, and what to offer you, with spare cycles to run a search engine on top that.

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What are the Occupiers Mad About?

FactSpy

 

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What is Character? pt2

Changesurfer Radio

Dr. J. chats with Christian Miller, Professor of Philosophy and Director of The Character Project at Wake Forest University. They discuss the idea of virtue and moral character and its relationship to moral philosophy, personality theory, religion and neuroscience. Part 2 of 2. Also Dr. J. finishes his chat with Ted Chiang about his Hugo award winning novella “The Lifecycle of Software Objects” and the state of science fiction. (Part 2 of 2)

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What is Character? pt1

Changesurfer Radio

Dr. J. chats with Christian Miller, Professor of Philosophy and Director of The Character Project at Wake Forest University. They discuss the idea of virtue and moral character and its relationship to moral philosophy, personality theory, religion and neuroscience. Part 1 of 2.

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Jamais Cascio

Pantheon

by Jamais Cascio

“We are as gods and might as well get good at it.” - Stewart Brand, in the Whole Earth Catalog (1968)

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Morality without Religion

Human morality is older than our current religions, and may go back to tendencies observable in other mammals. In a bottom-up view of morality, this talk is one man’s road to discovering an array of positive tendencies in animals at a time when competition and aggression were the only themes.

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OCCU(PI) Bot

Randy Sarafan

Randy Sarafan shows us how to build robots to serve the revolution:

Learning from the lessons of the 1%, I set forth to outsource our occupy-related labor to a robotic workforce. Robots obviously have many advantages over their human counterparts. For instance, robots never get tired, they don’t get cold, they don’t sleep, nor eat, don’t require tents, and when armed insurrection becomes necessary, robots are much more morally ambivalent. Additionally, we had a discussion with an unnamed member of the San Francisco police force and they confided in us that the police currently do not have any plan for dealing with robotic occupiers.

For all of those reasons and more, I present to you Occu(pi) Bot; the first in a promising line of tireless, unstoppable, robotic class warriors.

Learn how to make your own!


 

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Richard Eskow

From Alexandria to Zuccotti Park: They’ve Been Destroying Books For 2000 Years

by Richard Eskow

The Book Killers have always been with us. Before recorded history they were with us, murdering the scholars and storytellers and mystics of every tribe they ever conquered.

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Hank Pellissier

Atheists are the most generous—even without heavenly reward!

by Hank Pellissier

Who gives the most to charitable causes? Those who believe in gods or those who don’t?

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Artificial Intelligence as an Existential RIsk

Future of Humanity Institute

Underground Q&A session with Nick Bostrom (http://www.nickbostrom.com) on existential risks and artificial intelligence with the Oxford Transhumanists (recorded 10 October 2011).

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David Brin

Roll over, Frank Miller: or why the Occupy Wall Street Kids are Better than the #$%! Spartans

by David Brin

A few days ago, the famous comic book writer and illustrator Frank Miller issued a howl of hatred  toward the young people in the Occupy Wall Street movement.  Well, all right, that’s a bowdlerization. After reading even one randomly-chosen paragraph, I’m sure you’ll agree that  “howl” understates the red-hot fury and scatalogical spew of Miller’s lavishly expressed hate: “Occupy”  is nothing but a pack of louts, thieves, and rapists, an unruly mob,  fed by Woodstock-era nostalgia and putrid false righteousness. These clowns can do nothing but harm America.

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Was Agriculture Humanity’s Worst Mistake?

Sentient Developments

Topics discussed in this week’s episode of Geoprge Dvorsky’s Sentient Development podcast include the benefits of creatine, Jared Diamond’s 1987 article on how agriculture was the “worst mistake in the history of the human race”, the current state of lab grown meats, computational pathology, a review of the documentary “How to Live Forever”, and a word (or two) on the pernicious de-radicalization of the radical future.

Tracks used in this episode:

  Oneohtrix Point Never: “Replica”
  The Advisory Circle: “Now Ends the Beginning”
  Russian Circles: “309”
  Hooray For Earth: “Pulling Back”

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Octopi, Autism, Designer Psychologies and Religion

Sentient Developments

In this Sentient Developments Podcast George Dvorsky talks about octopus intelligence, the rise of wrongful birth suits in Israel and elsewhere, and the latest news and findings into autism.  George reprises the talk he gave on designer psychologies at the H+ conference at Parson’s University in NYC earlier this year. Lastly, George discusses how religion works as a reproduction control system.

Music used in this episode:

  “At Last” by Plaid
  “Hours” by Tycho
  “Ballad of Gloria Featherbottom” by Mux Mool

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J. Hughes

Contradictions of the Enlightenment: Liberal Individualism versus the Erosion of Personal Identity

by J. Hughes

Enlightenment values presume an independent self, the rational citizen and consumer who pursues her self-interests. Since Hume, however, Enlightenment empiricists have questioned the existence of a discrete, persistent self. Today, continuing that investigation, neuroscience is daily eroding the essentialist model of personal identity. Transhumanism has yet to come to grips with the radical consequences of the erosion of the liberal individualist subject for projects of enhancement and longevity. Most transhumanist thought still reflects an essentialist idea of personal identity, even as we advance projects of radical cognitive enhancement that will change every element of consciousness. How do ethics and politics change if personal identity is an arbitrary, malleable fiction?

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The Case for Moral Enhancement

All in the Mind

At the 2011 Adelaide Festival of Ideas Julian Savulescu argues we should be using science and technology for moral enhancement, and that the future of humanity depends on it.  Julian is the Director of the Oxford Centers for Neuroethics, Practical Ethics, and Science and Ethics.

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Evolving Our Way Past Extinction

Nantucket Project

From Big Think and the Nantucket Project

What are the ways our civilization might collapse, and how might the human race become extinct?

According to sociobiologist Rebecca Costa, the answers are all staring us straight in the face. Just look at current events. Costa writes in her book The Watchman’s Rattle: Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction that human existence is threatened by “a global recession, powerful pandemic viruses, terrorism, rising crime, climate change, rapid depletion of the earth’s resources, nuclear proliferation, and failing education.”

Fortunately, Costa argues we are remarkably equipped to counter these threats today, due to our current understanding of the “biological reasons for the ascension and decline of civilizations.” The problem, as Costa describes it, is that humans are governed by two clocks: the very slow-ticking clock of human evolution and the fast-accelerating clock of technological progress. The result of these two clocks not synching up is the human brain (and the public policy our brains generate) is unable to keep up with the complex environment around us. According to Costa, we’re then left with “paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions and godlike technology.” Put all those in the blender, and look out!

So how do we stave off our collapse? The solution involves what Costa calls the most (surprisingly) controversial word in the English language: evolution. Costa asks why, if Charles Darwin’s theory is “the most important scientific principle governing life on earth,” we don’t utilize it as a relevant tool to solve our problems today? In other words, why is evolution “the greatest discovery you’ve never heard of?”

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R. Dennis Hansen

The Intersection of Mormonism and Transhumanism

by R. Dennis Hansen

The Mormon vision of the future culminates in a plurality of gods, eternally progressing and creating worlds without end. Some of their ideas are well worth considering by transhumanists.

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The Future of Democratic Equality pt2

Changesurfer Radio

Dr. J. chats with Joseph Schwartz, Professor of Political Science at Temple University and author of The Future of Democratic Equality: Reconstructing Social Solidarity in a Fragmented United States. Prof. Schwartz is a long-time leader in the Democratic Socialists of America, the largest American socialist organization. Part 2 of 2.

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The Future of Democratic Equality pt1

Changesurfer Radio

Dr. J. chats with Joseph Schwartz, Professor of Political Science at Temple University and author of The Future of Democratic Equality: Reconstructing Social Solidarity in a Fragmented United States. Prof. Schwartz is a long-time leader in the Democratic Socialists of America, the largest American socialist organization. Part 1 of 2.

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Login Now Required For Commenting

Due to an unprecedented number of spam comments—now exceeding legitimate comments by ten to one—we have made the decision to require commenters to create an account with us and login before posting comments. Please use the link on the bar at the top right of this page.

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Primal Transhumanism

Sentient Developments

In this episode of the Sentient Developments podcast George Dvorsky discusses primal transhumanism and the seemingly contradictory trend towards ancestral health that’s happening in the futurist community. To that end George addresses the paleo diet, functional fitness, and the importance of sleep. In the second half of the episode he discusses the recent lawsuit launched by PETA in which they accuse SeaWorld of enslaving orca whales. In this suit, PETA claims that the US Constitution backs up their claim as the 13th mention makes no mention of the kinds of persons it’s set up to protect.

iTunes people can subscribe here. Or you can just subscribe to the RSS. You can download the episode directly here (mp3).

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Plastic Ocean

Let’s talk trash.

Capt. Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation first discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch—an endless floating waste of plastic trash. Now he’s drawing attention to the growing, choking problem of plastic debris in our seas.

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Natasha & H+ Profiled on NPR

Studio 360

The NPR arts and culture show Studio 360 profiled Natasha and Greg Stock this week:

Everything we’re able to do today to enhance humans — from genetic engineering to artificial limbs — simply improves on the base model we were born with. But for some people, that doesn’t go far enough. They think we shouldn’t be stuck with the factory-installed settings in our DNA. And they’re not satisfied with a lifespan that tops out at 100 years.

Natasha Vita-More is an artist who imagines a future in which humans are freed from the constructs dictated by nature — a transhumanist. “It seems rather ridiculous that we back up our computers but as far as our minds are concerned, we just leave it up to whatever happens,” she says.

Among her early transhumanist-themed artworks is Primo Posthuman, a prototype human incorporating imagined — but potentially feasible — technological enhancement. The high concept computer-generated image looks a little like the instruction manual to The Bionic Woman, with replaceable genes, enhanced intelligence, and a lifespan listed as “ageless.” A label that points to the kneecap says, “Solar protected skin with tone-texture changeability.”

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Marcelo Rinesi

Why I’m certain no computer could have written this column

by Marcelo Rinesi

On the face of it, the choice of where we’re applying AI commercially and where we aren’t is deeply weird.

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David Brin

How to Define Science Fiction

by David Brin

The question has filled pages and books, resonating across hotel bars and conferences for decades. What, exactly, is science fiction?

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Ilia Stambler

Transhumanist Conferences in Israel

by Ilia Stambler

I am happy to report about a series of transhumanist conferences organized by IconTLV—Israel’s International Science Fiction Festival—on October 16-27, 2011.

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