Tis the season for post-mortems… for pompous declamations and dissections, explaining to us all what the F— just happened. And so, across the next week or so, I’ll offer summaries and links to a panoply of rationalizations for this bizarre turn of events. How liberals, conservatives and other pundits got it wrong… and what I think may be glimmers of actual insight.
What if you could fax someone a real, three-dimensional object? The solution might come in the form of programmable matter - a material that takes on predetermined shapes and can change its configuration on demand. We’re already seeing early prototypes coming from Carnegie Mellon and Intel in the form of “claytronics.” So what’s in store for this technology, and why should we be excited about it?
For the first time ever, a neural device has been used to restore locomotion in paralyzed primates. It may be years before clinical trials can begin for humans, but this latest breakthrough marks an important step in that direction.
An analysis of 15 years’ worth of experimental research into the health risks posed by sweetened beverages is raising questions about the impartiality and credibility of studies funded by the soda industry.
Through an incredible anecdote, Earl Lewis demonstrates why STEM can’t do it alone. Scientists and humanists needs each other, and institutions have a responsibility to continue to fund and nurture the humanities.
The discourse of transhumanism is notorious for its liberal appeal to ‘enhancement’: ‘physical enhancement’, ‘cognitive enhancement’, ‘moral enhancement’, etc. Much if not most of the discussion is speculative – but in any case, it is aspirational.
D’après la définition de l’Organisation Mondiale de la Santé, la santé ne consiste pas en l’absence de trouble ou de maladie mais en un état de complet bien-être. Cette conception ouverte laisse libre cours à une interprétation subjective. L’état de santé dépend de ce que chacun en dit.
Neo Futurism is a movement of the 21st century and developed in the area of design, Urbanism and architecture. This movement could be seen as a deviation from the postmodern attitude. Neo Futurism represents an idealistic belief in the future better. We can read The Neo Futuristic City Manifesto written by Vito di Bari.
In the face of artificial intelligence and machine learning, we need a new radical humanism, says Tim Leberecht. For the self-described “business romantic,” this means designing organizations and workplaces that celebrate authenticity instead of efficiency and questions instead of answers. Leberecht proposes four (admittedly subjective) principles for building beautiful organizations.
If you ever had the opportunity, would you have sex with a robot? Keep in mind, when I reference robots, I’m not thinking about completely mechanized machines, with sharp ridges and gears. Rather, these robots would be the culmination of years of research in the fields of soft robotics, synthetic skin and organ printing, and artificial intelligence (AI). In other words, unless you were to cut them open, you wouldn’t be able to differentiate them from actual human beings
My last post discussed public opposition to “Building a Better Human With Science.” People are generally skeptical of both futuristic technologies as well the scientists developing them. It also turns out that future technologies are disproportionately opposed by religious persons, and most accepted by the least religious. This confirms my experience teaching transhumanism in college classes over the decades—a religious worldview is a good predictor of opposition to new technologies.
A recent piece New York Times article, “Building a Better Human With Science? The Public Says, No Thanks,” reports on a new survey by the Pew Research Center which show public skepticism about improving the physical and intellectual life of the human species. As reported, “Americans aren’t very enthusiastic about using science to enhance the human species. Instead, many find it rather creepy.”
Standardized testing is like bringing a knife to a gun fight. It’s not totally useless, but it does misunderstand the situation. The Imagination Institute’s Scott Barry Kaufman suggests a more three-dimensional search for intelligence.
Researchers with the ExoMars mission are pointing to a potential computing glitch as the cause of last week’s crash of the Schiaparelli lander. The challenge now will be to isolate and correct the error in hopes of preventing a repeat in 2020, when mission planners aim to land a much larger rover on the Red Planet.
In this episode IEET Affiliate Scholar John Danaher interviews Dr Laura Cabrera. Laura is an Assistant Professor at the Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences at Michigan State University where she conducts research into the ethical and societal implications of neurotechnology. He asks Laura how human enhancement can affect inter-personal communication and values and talk about the issues in her recent book Rethinking Human Enhancement : Social Enhancement and Emergent Technologies.
Last year, renewable energy accounted for more than half of all new forms of power generation produced worldwide. It’s an unprecedented milestone for our civilization—one that points to a bright future for solar and wind power.
Nootropics, or smart drugs, were once the domain of a select few biohackers testing the limits of brain enhancement. But Nootropics are becoming more mainstream, leaving many to wonder what effect smart drugs will have on esports—one of the most rapidly growing spectator sports in the world, where cognitive enhancement could become a competitive advantage.