Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

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Despotism (1946)

The Logical Space of Algocracy (Redux)

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How music led to the invention of modern computers

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TECHNOPROG, le transhumanisme au service du progrès social
Marc Roux and Didier Coeurnelle


Enframing the Flesh: Heidegger, Transhumanism, and the Body as “Standing Reserve”

Moral Enhancement and Political Realism

Intelligent Technologies and Lost Life

IEET > Directors > George Dvorsky

George Dvorsky

George P. Dvorsky is a Canadian futurist, science writer, and bioethicist. He is a contributing editor at io9 — where he writes about science, culture, and futurism — and producer of the Sentient Developments blog and podcast. Dvorsky currently serves as Chair of the Board for the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET) and is the founder and chair of the IEET’s Rights of Non-Human Persons Program, a group that is working to secure human-equivalent rights and protections for highly sapient animals. He served for two terms at Humanity+ (formerly the World Transhumanist Association).

Dvorsky is a secular Buddhist, progressive environmentalist, ancestral health advocate, animal rights activist, and electronic musician. Primarily concerned with the ethical and sociological impacts of emerging technologies, specifically, “human enhancement” technologies, he seeks to promote open discussion for the purposes of education and foresight. He writes and speaks on a wide range of topics, including technoscience, ethics, existential risks, artificial intelligence, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, the future of art, and the improvement and modification of human performance and subjective experience.

Dvorsky presented an argument for non-human animal biological uplift at the IEET Human Enhancement Technologies and Human Rights conference at Stanford University in May 2006, and wrote the first published article in defence of the Ashley Treatment in November 2006, and was cited by Ashley X’s parents in their defense. Dvorsky also presented an argument warning of the decline of democratic values and institutions in the face of existential and catastrophic risks at the “Global Catastrophic Risks: Building a Resilient Civilization” conference in November 2008.

In 2010, at the H+ Summit at Harvard, Dvorsky made the claim that the pending development of artificial consciousness, as differentiated from artificial intelligence, needs to be addressed proactively from an ethical and legal perspective, and that protections should be established beforehand to prevent nascent machine minds from coming into harm or abuse. In the case of advanced and highly sapient machine consciousness, Dvorsky proposed a number of specific rights and protections.

Dvorsky, along with Milan M. Ćirković and Robert Bradbury, published a critique of SETI in the May 2012 Journal of the British Interplanetary Society (JBIS) arguing that SETI techniques and practices have become outdated. In its place, Dvorsky, Ćirković, and Bradbury advocated for what they called Dysonian SETI, namely the search for those signatures and artefacts indicative of highly advanced extraterrestrial life.

He co-chaired the recently concluded “Personhood Beyond the Human” conference where experts were brought together to discuss nonhuman persons and special rights and protections for highly sapient animals, namely all great apes, cetaceans, and elephants.

George’s work has been featured in such publications as The Guardian, the BBC, CBC, Forbes, the New York Times, Slate, Radio Free Europe, and al-Jazeera. He is also an avid CrossFitter, an ancestral health enthusiast, and an accomplished music performer, composer, and recording engineer.

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"Freaky Expanding Pill Stays in Your Gut for Days to Deliver Drugs"   Gizmodo  Nov 25, 2016

"How We Might One Day Communicate With Liquids"   Gizmodo  Nov 24, 2016

"Brain Implant Allows Paralyzed Woman to Spell Out Messages With Her Mind"   Gizmodo  Nov 21, 2016

"This USB Stick Performs an HIV Test"   Gizmodo  Nov 19, 2016

"Disturbing Images Show the Extent of Delhi’s Extreme Pollution Emergency"   Gizmodo  Nov 16, 2016

"What a Trump Presidency Means for Your Health"   Gizmodo  Nov 14, 2016

"Brain Implant Allows Paralyzed Monkey to Walk Again"   Gizmodo  Nov 12, 2016

"Health Studies Funded By Beverage Companies Are Dangerously Misleading"   Gizmodo  Nov 10, 2016

"Software Error Implicated in Crash of Mars Lander"   Gizmodo  Nov 3, 2016

"Renewables Now Exceed All Other Forms of New Power Generation"   Gizmodo  Nov 2, 2016

"Extended Space Travel Could Cause Irreversible Back Damage"   Gizmodo  Oct 31, 2016

"This Is the Most Detailed Hydrogen Map of the Milky Way Ever Created"   Gizmodo  Oct 29, 2016

"Our Sun’s Quirky Tilt Means Planet Nine Might Actually Exist"   Gizmodo  Oct 28, 2016

"We Were Wrong About Limiting Children’s Screen Time"   Gizmodo  Oct 27, 2016

"How the Universe Could Annihilate Itself at the Speed of Light"   Gizmodo  Oct 26, 2016

"Brain Implant Allows Paralyzed Man to Feel Objects With a Prosthetic Limb"   Gizmodo  Oct 24, 2016

"Why the Human Lifespan Ends at 122"   Gizmodo  Oct 19, 2016

"Nobel Prize For Chemistry Awarded to Creators of the World’s Tiniest Machines"   Gizmodo  Oct 16, 2016

"Astronomers Spot a Massive Black Hole That’s Gone Rogue"   Gizmodo  Oct 14, 2016

"The Nearest Earth-Like Planet Outside Our Solar System Could Be a Water World"   Gizmodo  Oct 12, 2016

"Listen to the First Music Ever Made With a Computer"   Gizmodo  Oct 9, 2016

"New Wind Turbines Could Power Japan for 50 Years After a Single Typhoon"   Gizmodo  Oct 8, 2016

"FDA Approves World’s First Automated Insulin Pump for Diabetics"   Gizmodo  Oct 7, 2016

"All the Incredible Things We Learned From Our First Trip to a Comet"   Gizmodo  Oct 6, 2016

"Generation Cryo: Fighting Death in the Frozen Unknown"   Gizmodo  Oct 3, 2016

"How the Rosetta Spacecraft Will Crash Onto Comet 67P"   Gizmodo  Oct 2, 2016

"Our Last Line of Defense Against Gonorrhea Is Failing"   Gizmodo  Oct 1, 2016

"Monsanto Just Got Access to the World’s Most Powerful Gene-Editing Tool"   Gizmodo  Sep 30, 2016

"Skeletal Analysis Suggests Lucy Died After Falling From a Tree"   Gizmodo  Sep 14, 2016

"Alien Hunters Spot Freaky Radio Signal Coming From Nearby Star"   Gizmodo  Sep 13, 2016

"Mylan’s New Generic EpiPen is Still Too Goddamned Expensive"   Gizmodo  Sep 12, 2016

"Want to Find Aliens? Look for Planets That Have Become Stars"   Gizmodo  Aug 27, 2016

"The First Nuclear Power Plant in Belarus Is a Dangerous Fiasco"   Gizmodo  Aug 26, 2016

"Rising Sea Levels Threaten Nearly a Trillion Dollars Worth of US Homes"   Gizmodo  Aug 25, 2016

"This Is Where Europe’s Upcoming Rover Mission Will Explore Mars"   Gizmodo  Aug 22, 2016

"Paralyzed Patients Learn to Walk Again Using Virtual Reality"   Gizmodo  Aug 21, 2016

"Peter Thiel is Right About One Thing"   Gizmodo  Aug 18, 2016

"Global Warming Will Make It Nearly Impossible to Hold the Summer Olympics"   Gizmodo  Aug 16, 2016

"Clones Age Normally, So Relax"   Gizmodo  Aug 13, 2016

"Ancient Campfires May Have Unleashed Humanity’s Top Bacterial Killer"   Gizmodo  Aug 10, 2016

"Most Americans Fear a Future of Designer Babies and Brain Chips"   Gizmodo  Aug 8, 2016

"Record-Setting Hard Drive Writes Information One Atom At a Time"   Gizmodo  Aug 2, 2016

"Medical Harpoon Reduces Need for Open-Heart Surgery"   Gizmodo  Aug 1, 2016

"Crazy Detailed Brain Map Finds Nearly a Hundred New Regions"   Gizmodo  Jul 31, 2016

"We’ll Only Have a Year to Prepare For a Cataclysmic Super-Eruption"   Gizmodo  Jul 30, 2016

"This is Where the Rosetta Spacecraft Is Going to Die"   Gizmodo  Jul 29, 2016

"This Milk Lasts Up to Nine Weeks Without Spoiling"   Gizmodo  Jul 27, 2016

"The World’s First Child-Sized Exoskeleton Will Melt Your Heart"   Gizmodo  Jun 30, 2016

"Dubai Is Building the World’s Largest Concentrated Solar Power Plant"   Gizmodo  Jun 20, 2016

"Some Antidepressants Might Actually Be Harmful to Children and Teens"   Gizmodo  Jun 19, 2016

"The World’s Oldest Computer May Have Been Used to Predict the Future"   Gizmodo  Jun 17, 2016

"Living Bacteria Can Now Store Data"   Gizmodo  Jun 16, 2016

"New Evidence Suggests a Fifth Fundamental Force of Nature"   Gizmodo  Jun 13, 2016

"Rare Genetic Mutation May Explain Some Forms of Multiple Sclerosis"   Gizmodo  Jun 12, 2016

"New Details Emerge About the Plan to Build an Artificial Human Genome"   Gizmodo  Jun 10, 2016

"Ontario Could Soon Require Anti-Vaxxer Parents to Attend a Science Class"   Gizmodo  May 21, 2016

"Computer Science Students Fooled By Artificially Intelligent TA"   Gizmodo  May 20, 2016

"Experts Held a Secret Meeting to Consider Building a Human Genome From Scratch"   Gizmodo  May 19, 2016

"These Are the Most Serious Catastrophic Threats Faced by Humanity"   Gizmodo  May 9, 2016

"This US Oil Field is Single-Handedly Raising Global Greenhouse Gas Levels"   Gizmodo  May 8, 2016

"Everything You Know About Artificial Intelligence is Wrong"   Gizmodo   Mar 20, 2016

"First Uterus Transplant in US Offers Hope to Thousands of Infertile Women"   Gizmodo  Mar 5, 2016

"Brain Implant Will Let Amputees Move Individual Fingers on Prosthetics With Thoughts Alone"   Gizmodo  Feb 29, 2016

"How ‘Memory Hacking’ Is Becoming a Reality"   GIZMODO  Feb 15, 2016

"New Evidence Suggests Human Beings Are a Geological Force of Nature"   GIZMODO  Jan 29, 2016

"First Successful Gene-Editing in Live Mammals Brings Us Closer to Human Treatments"   Gizmodo  Jan 22, 2016

"#6: How Artificial Intelligence Will Give Birth To Itself"   io9  Dec 26, 2015

"#14: This Artificially Intelligent Boss Means the Workplace Will Never Be the Same"   io9  Dec 18, 2015

"Here’s Why We’ll Eventually Have to Accept Designer Babies"   Gizmodo  Dec 14, 2015

"Will Our Descendants Survive the Destruction of the Universe?"   iO9  Dec 9, 2015

"#24: ETER9: The Social Network That Turns Your Personality Into an Immortal Artificial Intelligence"  Dec 8, 2015

"Approaching Zero: How West Africa is Crushing the Ebola Epidemic"   Gizmodo  Nov 9, 2015

"How Artificial Intelligence Will Give Birth To Itself"   io9  Oct 22, 2015

"Mapping the 88 Million Ways That Humans Are Genetically Different"   Gizmodo  Oct 16, 2015

"Why Brave New World Is No Longer the Terrifying Dystopia it Used to Be"  Sep 28, 2015

"How Vertical Farming is Revolutionizing the Way We Grow Food"  Sep 21, 2015

"This Artificially Intelligent Boss Means the Workplace Will Never Be the Same"   io9  Sep 18, 2015

"World’s Largest Camera Will Show Us the Universe Like We’ve Never Seen It"   io9  Sep 17, 2015

"Sleep Drug Modafinil Affirmed by Scientists as a Safe and Effective Brain Booster"   io9  Sep 3, 2015

"How SETI Will Understand Messages Broadcast by an Alien Intelligence"   io9  Sep 3, 2015

"ETER9: The Social Network That Turns Your Personality Into an Immortal Artificial Intelligence"  Aug 30, 2015

"8 Craziest Mega-Engineering Projects We Could Use to Rework the Earth"   io9  Aug 13, 2015

"Why the Argument Against a Ban on Autonomous Killer Robots Falls Flat"   io9  Aug 12, 2015

"Penis 2.0: Here’s What the Penis of the Future Should Look Like"   io9  Jul 25, 2015

"US Congress Wants Religious Experts to Weigh in on Three-Parent IVF"   io9  Jul 3, 2015

"Your Children Won’t Be Able To Live In Space, Without A Major Upgrade"   io9  Jun 25, 2015

"What Would Happen If All Our Satellites Were Suddenly Destroyed?"  Jun 14, 2015

"The White House Supports A Proposed Ban On Editing The Human Germline"   io9  Jun 4, 2015

"Scientists Make Monkeys Smarter Using Brain Implants - Could You Be Next?"  May 19, 2015

"China’s Manufacturers Are Shifting Towards Zero-Labor Factories"   io9  May 11, 2015

"9 Bizarre Jobs That Will Redefine Our Lives In The 2050s"  May 8, 2015

"A New York Judge Has Granted Legal Person Rights To Chimpanzees (Updated)"  Apr 23, 2015

"How Humanity Will Conquer Space Without Rockets"   io9  Jan 13, 2015

"How Universal Basic Income Will Save Us From the Robot Uprising"  Oct 31, 2014

"12 Technologies We Need To Stop Stalling On And Develop Now"  Oct 22, 2014

"10 Horrifying Technologies That Should Never Be Allowed To Exist"  Sep 18, 2014

"The Radical Plan To Phase Out Earth’s Predatory Species"   io9  Aug 11, 2014

"Why Solitary Confinement Is The Worst Kind Of Psychological Torture"   io9  Jul 25, 2014

"Why Anesthesia Is One of the Greatest Medical Mysteries of Our Time"   io9  Jul 10, 2014

"Is It Time to Give Up on the Singularity?"  Jun 11, 2014

"10 Futurist Phrases And Terms That Are Complete Bullshit"   io9  May 30, 2014

"Why Asimov’s Three Laws Of Robotics Can’t Protect Us"   io9  Apr 15, 2014

"Scientists Create Genetically Modified Cells That Protect Against HIV"   io9  Mar 17, 2014

"Bioengineered monkeys with human genetic diseases have almost arrived"   io9  Feb 1, 2014

"These are the science stories to watch for in 2014"   io9  Jan 9, 2014

"#4 A Test to Measure How Rational You Really Are"   io9  Dec 26, 2013

"The Worst Lies You’ve Been Told About the Singularity"  Dec 24, 2013

"#11 The 12 cognitive biases that prevent you from being rational"  Dec 19, 2013

"#14 New Computer Programming Language Imitates The Human Brain"   io9  Dec 16, 2013

"Experts Gather at Yale to Discuss Whether Animals Are People"  Dec 10, 2013

"What will jail terms be like when humans can live for centuries?"   io9  Nov 15, 2013

"A Brief History of Painkillers (And Why They Work)"   io9  Nov 7, 2013

"No, Extreme Human Longevity Won’t Destroy the Planet"   io9  Oct 15, 2013

"How the pseudoscience of Social Darwinism nearly destroyed humanity"   io9  Sep 21, 2013

"Germany is the first European country to recognize a third gender"   io9  Sep 12, 2013

"New Computer Programming Language Imitates The Human Brain"   io9  Aug 25, 2013

"Does infinity really exist?"   io9  Aug 13, 2013

"Is human super-intelligence a bad idea?"   io9  Jul 23, 2013

"Could open-source GMOs bring down Monsanto at last?"   io9  Jul 16, 2013

"These Unresolved Ethical Questions Are About to Get Real"   io9  Jul 10, 2013

"A Test to Measure How Rational You Really Are"   io9  Jul 5, 2013

"Would you copy your mind to a robotic body-double?"   io9  Jun 25, 2013

"7 Totally Unexpected Outcomes That Could Follow the Singularity"   io9  Jun 19, 2013

"Why You Should Fight For Your Right to Die"   io9  Jun 7, 2013

"Humans may soon regenerate damaged body parts like salamanders"   io9  May 29, 2013

"Here’s the Real Reason Why Virtual Reality Doesn’t Work Yet"   io9  May 17, 2013

"Do these startling longevity studies mean your lifespan could double?"   io9  May 13, 2013

"How to Build an Artificial Womb"   io9  Apr 24, 2013

"New Interface Allows Humans to Move a Rat’s Tail With Their Thoughts"   io9  Apr 15, 2013

"Are Women Having Too Many C-Sections in the United States?"   io9  Apr 9, 2013

"Is it time we got over the taboo against human enhancement?"   io9  Apr 8, 2013

"How Much Longer Until Humanity Becomes A Hive Mind?"   io9  Mar 18, 2013

"This wireless brain implant could make telekinesis a reality"   io9  Mar 14, 2013

"Scientists Enhance Intelligence of Mice with Human Brain Cells"   io9  Mar 11, 2013

"Mississippi Officially Bans Slavery at Last"   io9  Feb 25, 2013

"I’m Elyn Saks and this is what it’s like to live with schizophrenia"   io9  Feb 15, 2013

"7 Best-Case Scenarios for the Future of Humanity"   Sentient Developments  Feb 3, 2013

"Why getting physically stronger will help you live longer"   Sentient Developments  Feb 1, 2013

"It Could Be A War Crime To Use Biologically Enhanced Soldiers"   io9  Jan 24, 2013

"Bruce Sterling Thinks Artificial Intelligence Has Jumped the Shark"   io9  Jan 19, 2013

"Should we eliminate the human ability to feel pain?"  Jan 12, 2013

"The 12 cognitive biases that prevent you from being rational"  Jan 10, 2013

"Why We Should Let the Robots Take Over"   io9  Jan 1, 2013

"When will we finally have a world government?"   io9  Dec 24, 2012

"#11 How to build a Dyson sphere in five (relatively) easy steps"   Sentient Developments  Dec 21, 2012

"#15 Why Humanists Need to Make the Shift to Post-Atheism"   Ethical Technology  Dec 17, 2012

"Other Solar Systems Might Be More Habitable Than Ours"   io9  Dec 11, 2012

"Everything You Need to Know About the American Psychiatric Association’s Updated Guidelines"   io9  Dec 8, 2012

"The Top 10 Claims Made by Creationists to Counter Scientific Theories"   io9  Dec 7, 2012

"Live-Blogging the Morning of Day Two of Humanity+ San Francisco"   Ethical Technology  Dec 2, 2012

Recent Multimedia

What is the Future of Human Advancement?   2015-10-11

Future Day Online   2015-03-01

Failing the Artificial Intelligence Test (w/ George Dvorsky)   2014-06-18

Why the Turing Test is Bullshit   2014-06-15

Granting rights and personhood to apes   2013-12-13

Personhood Beyond the Human Conference - Dec 6-7 2013 at Yale   2013-10-17

Google vs Death - Google’s ‘Calico’ an Anti-Aging Initiative   2013-10-16

Countering Objections to Mind Uploading   2013-05-06

Designer psychologies: Moving beyond neurotypicality - Humanity+ @Parsons 2011   2013-04-08

Lightning Talks Panel - Humanity+ @Parsons 2011   2013-04-07


IEET’s George Dvorsky offers course on Introduction to Transhumanism (Apr 13, 2014)

Top Hitting Articles for November (Nov 29, 2012)

George Dvorsky is now a Contributing Editor at io9 (Jun 03, 2012)

George Dvorksy offers Online Seminar on Transhumanism (Apr 27, 2012)

George Dvorsky guest blogging on io9 (Apr 26, 2012)

NASA contacts George Dvorsky about his Dyson Sphere concept (Apr 06, 2012)

George Dvorsky interviewed by “The Future and You” (Mar 09, 2012)

New IEET Program Promotes Idea of the “Non-Human Person” (Feb 11, 2011)

Dvorsky on “The Future of Humans” (Oct 05, 2010)

Uncertainty About Alien Threats (May 26, 2010)

Large Hadron Collider Working Again (Nov 21, 2009)

David Brin guestblogging at George’s Sentient Developments (Mar 20, 2009)

Neuroscientist David Eagleman guest blogging on George’s Blog next week (Feb 12, 2009)

Update on Humanity+ Board Elections (Jan 16, 2009)

Humanity+ Board Elections (Jan 12, 2009)

George gets io9ed and Metafiltered (Dec 20, 2008)

George’s posts on Convergence 08 (Nov 19, 2008)

George’s notes on Cyborg Buddha presentation at Convergence (Nov 16, 2008)

Convergence08: Opening panel on AI (Nov 16, 2008)

Reports from Global Catastrophic Risks conference in Mountain View CA (Nov 16, 2008)

Ashley X’s Parents Declare Treatment a Success (Mar 16, 2008)

George Wins Three 2008 Blogisattva Awards (Feb 25, 2008)

Announcing the next phase of Betterhumans (Nov 14, 2007)

IEET featured in New York Times article on cyborg athletes (May 15, 2007)

Betterhumans Relaunching With IEET Columnists (Apr 07, 2007)

IEET Launches Cyborg Buddha Project (Mar 25, 2007)

Dvorsky’s blog wins Blogisattva awards (Feb 27, 2007)

Dvorsky’s Sentient Developments Nominated as a Top Buddhist Blog (Jan 31, 2007)

Techno-cultural literacy in 2007 (Dec 31, 2006)

Journal of Personal Cyberconsciousness features IEET uplift paper (Nov 16, 2006)

de Grey’s SENS research program survives TR/Pontin’s challenge (Jul 11, 2006)

HETHR Reviews (Jun 06, 2006)

IEET Board member now podcasting Sentient Developments (Jan 16, 2006)

Past Appearances

Dvorsky, Bostrom @ Moogfest 2014 (Asheville, North Carolina - Apr 23, 2014)

Personhood Beyond the Human (Yale University, New Haven, CT USA - Dec 06, 2013)

George Dvorsky on Al Jazeeera (Al Jazeera - Mar 28, 2012)

George Dvorsky on Skeptically Speaking (CJSR FM88.5, Edmonton, Alberta - Jun 25, 2010)

Hughes, Dvorsky, deGrey, Goertzel, Vita-More, Lin and Naam @ H+ Summit (Cambridge, MA - Jun 12, 2010)

George Dvorsky on “Introduction to Transhumanism” (Buffalo, NY - May 28, 2010)

Dvorsky @ Science vs. Faith Debate (Toronto, Canada - Apr 18, 2009)

Hughes, LaTorra, Fauve, Cascio, Treder @ Convergence 08 (Mountain View, California - Nov 15, 2008)

GLOBAL CATASTROPHIC RISKS: Building a Resilient Civilization (Computer History Museum, Mountain View, CA - Nov 14, 2008)

Dvorsky on “Should science shape the modern athlete?” (Toronto, Canada - Sep 26, 2008)

George on Transhumanism and Life Extension (Toronto, Canada - Apr 18, 2008)

George on “Cyborgs of the Past, Present and Future” (Mississauga, Canada - Jan 31, 2008)

Chat with George Dvorsky at ImmINst (Virtual - Nov 18, 2007)


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