Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies



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




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David Wood on “Technological Unemployment” @ Z-Day

The Vision Thing

The Problem of Personal Identity in Two Pages

Review of EX MACHINA

Gray Matters

The Dawn of Killer Robots


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


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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)

AlonzoTG on 'Uploading and Autonomy' (Apr 16, 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
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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

Kris Notaro

#18: Will gender exist 100 years from now?

by Kris Notaro

Traditional values of looking at gender in binary fashion grow less and less important as scientists show that gender identity is diverse in nature and is caused by many biological and social conditions.

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An Appeal for Support

Join those who are committed to a future of hope and reason, of science and optimism, of flourishing and sustainable societies.

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Dances With Robots

HRP-4C is a robotic woman just unveiled to reporters in Tsukuba City (northeast of Tokyo) Japan. This cybernetic human sells for about $200,000. Developed at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, the HRP-4C female robot is able to walk and follow some basic commands. The robotic woman is about the same size as an average Japanese young woman, at a height of 158 centimeters; it weighs just 43 kilograms (including battery). Thirty motors in the body help it to walk and move about; eight motors power facial expressions.

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Martine Rothblatt

#19: Cyberconsciousness Won’t Take Aeons to Evolve

by Martine Rothblatt

Humanity is devoting some of its best minds, from a wide diversity of fields, to helping software achieve consciousness. The quest is not especially difficult as it is a capability that can be intelligently designed; there is no need to wait for it to naturally evolve.

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Mike Treder

Justice, Abundance, and Emerging Technologies

by Mike Treder

Is the choice between lots of consumer comforts and lots of liberal democracy a false dichotomy?

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Russell Blackford

#20: Vatican Condemns Nobel Prize to Robert Edwards

by Russell Blackford

British biologist Robert Edwards, who developed the process of in vitro fertilization (IVF), has won a Nobel Prize. But the Vatican says the choice of Professor Edwards was “completely out of order.”

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David Brin

The Quest for Individual Immortality

by David Brin

The quest for individual immortality is admittedly tempting yet fundamentally irrelevant to the great project we have inherited: to build and improve the Enlightenment Civilization.

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George Dvorsky

#21: There’s More to Singularity Studies Than Kurzweil

by George Dvorsky

I’m finding myself a bit disturbed these days about how fashionable it has become to hate Ray Kurzweil - because it’s not all about Ray.

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Kyle Munkittrick

Let Designer Kids Be Kids

by Kyle Munkittrick

Could it be that genetic engineering might be part of what cures us of the hyper-parenting pandemic?

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David Brin

#22: The Real Struggle Behind Climate Change = A War on Expertise

by David Brin

The schism over global climate change (GCC) has become an intellectual chasm, across which everyone perceives the other side as Kool-Aid drinkers. Although I have mixed views of my own about the science of GCC and have closely grilled a number of colleagues who are front-line atmospheric scientists, I’m afraid all the anecdotes and politics-drenched “questions” flying about aren’t shedding light. They are, in fact, quite beside the point. That is because science itself is the main issue: its relevance and utility as a decision-making tool.

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J. Hughes

#23: Belief in Progress vs. Rational Uncertainty

by J. Hughes

Most Enlightenment thinkers believed in the inevitability of human political and technological progress, transforming the Christian expectation that history was predetermined to end in the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth into a conviction that humanity would be able to continually improve itself. But the scientific worldview does not support historical inevitability, only uncertainty.

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Armageddon Science: The Science of Mass Destruction

Changesurfer Radio

Dr. J. chats with Brian Clegg, author of a dozen books on science, mostly recently Upgrade Me and Armageddon Science: The Science of Mass Destruction. We discuss the challenge of educating the public about, and mitigating the risks of, asteroids, supervolcanoes, nuclear war, bio- and cyberterrorism, the Singularity and civilizational “unraveling.” Along the way he dismisses a couple catastrophic risks such as black holes from the LHC.

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Andrew Maynard

Small Gods and the Art of Technology Innovation

by Andrew Maynard

There’s something rather liberating about being asked to give a no-holds talk on your perspective on life, the universe, and everything. So when the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center asked if I would speak as part of their “Where do we go from here?” series, I jumped at it.

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Mike Treder

#24: The Uncertain Future of Transhumanism

by Mike Treder

Let’s consider four distinct scenarios of technological development and transhumanist assimilation that might take place over the next 15 to 20 years.

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Melanie Swan

Key Themes in Aging Research

by Melanie Swan

With the aging of populations worldwide, increasing health care costs, and complexities inherent in conducting medicine in a data-rich era of genomics and personalized medicine, the understanding and potential re-engineering of human biological processes is critical.

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Kyle Munkittrick

#25: How To Make Sex Better

by Kyle Munkittrick

Sex, on its own, in the wild, natural and unadorned, is still complicated. Don’t believe me? Look at a peacock or a bird of paradise. Salmon die after they procreate. Sea slugs penis joust. Now throw in evolved human biology, history, culture, technology, and science and you have a real disaster on your hands.

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Mike Treder

The Definition of Emerging Technologies

by Mike Treder

In an article titled “The Long Journey From Nanotechnology To Emerging Technologies,” Tim Harper attempts a definition of ‘emerging technologies’.

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J. Hughes

#26: Liberal Democracy vs. Technocratic Absolutism

by J. Hughes

Transhumanists, like Enlightenment partisans in general, believe that human nature can be improved but are conflicted about whether liberal democracy is the best path to betterment.

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Marcelo Rinesi

The Backwardness of WikiLeaks

by Marcelo Rinesi

The most surprising feature of “Cablegate” is how throughly old-fashioned it is. Like a WWI cavalry battle, it’s loud, it’s interesting, and it makes for a good story, but it’s also a painfully traditional conflict between fundamentally obsolete forces.

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Mike Treder

#27: Life in a Virtual World

by Mike Treder

If you could live in a world that was just the way you wanted it to be, with specifications you’d chosen, customized and personalized to meet your every need and fulfill your fondest desires, would you spend all your time there? Or would you prefer to stay here, in the real world?

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Kyle Munkittrick

Another Tiny, Exciting Step Toward Life Extension

by Kyle Munkittrick

With the headlines screaming “age-reversing” possibilities regarding the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard University’s results with mice telomerase manipulation, I felt a bit of cold water was in order.

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J. Hughes

Final Transforming Humanity talk: Can Humanity Survive Evolutionary Engineering?

by J. Hughes

Maxwell Mehlman is a professor of law and bioethics at Case Western Reserve University, and author of Wondergenes: Genetic Enhancement and the Future of Society and The Price of Perfection: Individualism and Society in the Era of Biomedical Enhancement. Max is final speaker of the Transforming Humanity conference held this weekend at the University of Pennsylvania by the Center for Inquiry. He is speaking here on Can Humanity Survive Evolutionary Engineering?.

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J. Hughes

Live-blogging from the Transforming Humanity Conference: Emerging Tech, Hybrid Mice and Smart Drugs

by J. Hughes

These are the last three papers of the Center for Inquiry’s Transforming Humanity conference before Max Mehlman’s closing talk.

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J. Hughes

Live-blogging from the Transforming Humanity Conference: What do we do with Posthumans?

by J. Hughes

In the final stretch of this exciting conference on “Transforming Humanity” we start with an excellent overview of the enhancement debate by Ronald Lindsay the new director of the Center for Inquiry, a lawyer and bioethicist, and author of Future Bioethics.

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Ben Goertzel

A world survey of artificial brain projects, Part II: Biologically inspired cognitive architectures

by Ben Goertzel

A number of leading cognitive architectures that are inspired by the human brain, at various levels of granularity, are reviewed and compared, with special attention paid to the way their internal structures and dynamics map onto neural processes. Four categories of Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures (BICAs) are considered, with multiple examples of each category briefly reviewed, and selected examples discussed in more depth: primarily symbolic architectures (e.g. ACT-R), emergentist architectures (e.g. DeSTIN), developmental robotics architectures (e.g. IM-CLEVER), and our central focus, hybrid architectures (e.g. LIDA, CLARION, 4D/RCS, DUAL, MicroPsi, and OpenCog). Given the state of the art in BICA, it is not yet possible to tell whether emulating the brain on the architectural level is going to be enough to allow rough emulation of brain function; and given the state of the art in neuroscience, it is not yet possible to connect BICAs with large-scale brain simulations in a thoroughgoing way. However, it is nonetheless possible to draw reasonably close function connections between various components of various BICAs and various brain regions and dynamics, and as both BICAs and brain simulations mature, these connections should become richer and may extend further into the domain of internal dynamics as well as overall behavior.

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J. Hughes

Live-blogging from the Transforming Humanity Conference: Neuroethics and Biopolitics

by J. Hughes

After the exciting bath of left vitriol directed at enhancement and explicitly at my efforts to articulate a technoprogressive approach to enhancement, we turn to a friendly set of papers on neuroethics and biopolitics. (Live-blogging this weekend from the conference on the ethics of human enhancement, organized by the humanist Center for Inquiry and being held at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. You can follow George Dvorsky’s thoughts over at Sentient Developments.)

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J. Hughes

Live-blogging from the Transforming Humanity Conference: The Left Bio-Cons Open Fire

by J. Hughes

This morning of the second day of the conference on the ethics of human enhancement, we’re getting a full double barrel blast of bioconservatism from Adrienne Asch as our opening talk. You can follow George’s thoughts over at Sentient Developments, and mine are below.

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Kris Notaro

#28: Can We Be Happy Forever In Robot Bodies?

by Kris Notaro

Eventually, we may reach a point where humans are immortal, hyperintelligent, and don’t suffer from mental illnesses. However, we will still probably argue with those we love, want things we don’t have the ability to get, and experience stress from most of the same factors that have caused it since the dawn of time.

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J. Hughes

Live-blogging from the Transforming Humanity Conference Day 1 Part 2

by J. Hughes

We’re now in the first afternoon of the conference on the ethics of human enhancement, organized by the humanist Center for Inquiry and being held at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. You can follow George’s thoughts over at Sentient Developments, and I’ll be appending him here as well.

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Ben Goertzel

A world survey of artificial brain projects, Part I: Large-scale brain simulations

by Ben Goertzel

Driven by rapid ongoing advances in computer hardware, neuroscience and computer science, Artificial Brain research and development are blossoming. This article constitutes the first half of a two-part world survey of artificial brain projects: this part dealing with large-scale brain simulations, and the second part with biologically inspired cognitive architectures (BICAs). The large-scale brain simulations we consider in depth here include those by Markram, Modha, Boahen, Horwitz, Edelman, Izhikevich, and Just. As well as reviewing the particulars of these simulation projects, we position them in a broader perspective, comparing at the different underlying definitions of the concept of ‘‘simulation,’’ noting that in many ways the projects are modeling neurosystems at different levels as well as using different methodologies.

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