A majority of IEET readers age 35 or older who answered our recently concluded poll say they expect to die within a normal human lifespan. In contrast, a plurality of readers under age 35 believe that radical life extension will enable them to stay alive in their current bodies “for centuries at least.”
The more I think about it, the more I wonder whether some form of AI Nanny might well be the best path forward for humanity – the best way for us to ultimately create a Singularity according to our values.
I had the pleasure of testifying as a Fellow of the IEET Tuesday afternoon in front of the General and Plastic Devices of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee about long term follow up safety studies and informed consent on silicone breast implants.
Astrophysicists from the University of Zurich, together with astronomers from the University of California at Santa Cruz, present the world’s first realistic simulation of the formation of our home galaxy, the Milky Way.
For more than a decade, I have worked in the field of scenario development, consulting with businesses, governments, and NGOs about possible futures. There’s sort of a rule of thumb among professional futurist-types: scenario elements that sound plausible are almost certainly wrong, while scenario elements that sound utterly implausible are very likely on-target.
Twenty-five hundred years ago, Master Kong was wandering homeless with his disciples, proselytizing his ethical viewpoints. He was greeted in every city with disdain, persecution, imprisonment. When “Confucius” (his Westernized name) died in 479 BC, he expressed wistful dismay that his moral reforms never took root…
Professor Al Bartlett has given his celebrated one hour lecture — “Arithmetic, Population and Energy: Sustainability 101” — over 1,600 times to audiences with an average attendance of 80 in the United States and worldwide. This is part 1 of 8. See the rest here.
Inspired by Ayn Rand, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, along with Patri Friedman and others, are helping the Seasteading Institute plan a floating ‘start-up country’ off the coast of San Francisco, built on oil-rig like platforms in international waters.
Over the past several years a good number of “futurists” and all-out naysayers have systematically worked to undermine and dismiss the potential for radical change to occur in the not-too-distant future. While I’ve always been more a fan of concepts than time-lines, there is little doubt in my mind that a number of disruptive technologies that have been predicted in the past few decades will eventually come to fruition.
Young Americans are a generation betrayed. Official unemployment is more than 25% for those aged 16-19. That means the real figure is much worse, especially in minority communities and depressed parts of the country. But jobs are scarce for everyone. College students are graduating with record levels of student debt before entering the worst job market for graduates in recent memory.
What we call modern “civilization” is seven billion people coexisting—often grumpily—on a resource-shrinking planet. The future often seems dystopian: will we poison ourselves, blow each other up, starve pathetically, die of thirst, bake to extinction via solar radiation, be annihilated by epidemics, or simply slaughter ourselves door-to-door, like Rwandans or Bosnians, for imbecilic racial or ideological reasons?
Recently I had a chat with Mary DeMarle, the lead writer for Deus Ex: Human Revolution, about how the ethics of enhancement and augmentation were considered when crafting the game’s story and characters.
Can Europe, whose motto is “unity in diversity,” help to navigate humanity through the upcoming decades like a clear-eyed Renaissance astronomer? Or will it simply sink, squabbling and sniveling, into irrelevancy?
(Via Alexandra Carmichael of Quantified Self) “Nancy Dougherty made her own set of “mindfulness pills” – placebos labeled Focus, Willpower/Energy, Calm, and Happy. The pills were embedded with sensors that transmitted signals to her phone, recording each time she took the different pills, as well as her heart rate, activity rate, and sleep. Nancy works at Proteus Biomedical, in case you’re wondering how she made this self-experiment happen. She learned that taking an “Energy” pill actually made her bike harder to work and have a higher heart rate, and taking a “Focus” pill actually made her do more work. Watch her fun talk on managing mood and playing with the placebo effect below. (Filmed at the Bay Area QS Show&Tell Meetup #19, at Singularity University.)”
Biologist Mark Pagel shares an intriguing theory about why humans evolved our complex system of language. He suggests that language is a piece of “social technology” that allowed early human tribes to access a powerful new tool: cooperation.
IEET Program Director Kyle Munkittrick interviewed director Rupert Wyatt, and stars Andy Serkis and James Franco, about the ethics of cognitive enhancement and animal uplift in the film Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
In this TED talk Medical ethicist Harvey Fineberg shows us three paths forward for the ever-evolving human species: to stop evolving completely, to evolve naturally—or to control the next steps of human evolution, using genetic modification, to make ourselves smarter, faster, better. Neo-evolution is within our grasp. What will we do with it?
The New Hundred Year Starship program, sponsored by DARPA and NASA Ames, has very little money, but big idea appeal. Many people are tired of the near-term thinking that has prevailed lately. The notion of deep time, our innovation and commitment to our grandchildren must again be on the agenda.