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

"How Universal Basic Income Will Save Us From the Robot Uprising"   io9.com  Oct 31, 2014

"12 Technologies We Need To Stop Stalling On And Develop Now"   io9.com  Oct 22, 2014

"10 Horrifying Technologies That Should Never Be Allowed To Exist"   io9.com  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?"   io9.com  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"   io9.com  Dec 24, 2013

"#11 The 12 cognitive biases that prevent you from being rational"   io9.com  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"   io9.com  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?"   sentientdevelopments.com  Jan 12, 2013

"The 12 cognitive biases that prevent you from being rational"   io9.com  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

"Live-Blogging the Afternoon of Day One of Humanity+ San Francisco"   Ethical Technology  Dec 1, 2012

"Saudi Arabia implements electronic tracking system to monitor women’s movements"   io9  Nov 27, 2012

"The emerging science of collective intelligence and the rise of the global brain"   io9  Nov 24, 2012

"10 supplements you can take today to enhance your intelligence"   io9  Nov 23, 2012

"How modern technologies made the fighting in Gaza even worse"   io9.com  Nov 22, 2012

"Researchers interact with rats by becoming virtual rats themselves"   Ethical Technology  Nov 2, 2012

"Existence, Uplift, and Science News"   Sentient Developments  Oct 28, 2012

"Nine Historical Figures Who May Have Predicted Our Future"   io9.com  Oct 9, 2012

"Should We Eliminate the Human Ability to Feel Pain?"   io9.com  Oct 2, 2012

"Did Life on other Planets originate from Earth?"   io9.com  Sep 29, 2012

"How to Live Forever By Turning Your Brain Into Plastic"   io9.com  Sep 17, 2012

"Can Technology Help Us Put an End to Animal Experimentation?"   io9.com  Sep 8, 2012

"Prominent Scientists Sign Declaration that Animals have Conscious Awareness, Just Like Us"   io9.com  Aug 25, 2012

"Billionaire Peter Thiel Invests in the Development of 3D Printed Meat"   io9.com  Aug 23, 2012

"Would it be Boring if We could Live Forever?"   io9.com  Aug 16, 2012

"How Autism is Changing the World for Everybody"   io9.com  Jul 29, 2012

"Are Olympic Athletes Really Mutants?"   io9.com  Jul 27, 2012

"Microscopic Machines could produce Medicine directly inside your Body"   io9.com  Jul 18, 2012

"Will We Ever Learn to Speak Dolphin?"   io9.com  Jul 12, 2012

"The Case Against Autonomous Killing Machines"   io9.com  Jun 30, 2012

"Does a Galaxy filled with Habitable Planets mean Humanity is Doomed?"   io9.com  Jun 25, 2012

"Why Eating like a Caveman May be the Way of the Future"   io9.com  Jun 19, 2012

"Scientists Cure Ebola in Monkeys — and Humans could be Next"   io9.com  Jun 17, 2012

"Could We Build a Weather Machine to Stop Climate Change?"   io9.com  Jun 9, 2012

"Are Humans Becoming More or Less Psychopathic?"   Sentient Developments  May 19, 2012

"Why Humanists Need to Make the Shift to Post-Atheism"   Sentient Developments  May 15, 2012

"Could a single pill save your marriage?"   io9  May 13, 2012

"How Will We Build an Artificial Human Brain?"   io9  May 6, 2012

"Will Sweden abolish the concept of gender?"   io9.com  May 3, 2012

"Beaming solar power to Earth with satellites"   Sentient Developments  Apr 19, 2012

"Gender Selection in Canada: No Easy Answers"   Sentient Developments  Apr 16, 2012

"The Psychopaths Among Us"   Sentient Developments  Apr 12, 2012

"Moral Brain Conference Summary with Twitter Round-up"   Sentient Developments  Apr 6, 2012

"J. Hughes on democratic transhumanism, personhood, and AI"   Sentient Developments  Mar 31, 2012

"How to build a Dyson sphere in five (relatively) easy steps"   Sentient Developments  Mar 29, 2012

"Creatine for Mind, Body, and Longer Life"   Hplusmagazine  Mar 21, 2012

"When the Turing Test is Not Enough"   Sentient Developments  Mar 9, 2012

"PETA loses its case against SeaWorld"   Sentient Developments  Feb 27, 2012

"PETA names plaintiffs in their suit against SeaWorld: Five Orca Whales"   Sentient Developments  Feb 11, 2012

"Video-gaming Pets, the Future of Nonhuman Animals, and Cultural Uplift"   Wanderlust  Jan 27, 2012

"Report: Chimps ‘largely unessential as research subjects’"   Sentient Developments  Dec 31, 2011

"Dysonian Approach to SETI: A Fruitful Middle Ground"   JBIS 64: 156-165  Dec 1, 2011

Recent Multimedia

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

Extinction Level Event   2013-02-27


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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