Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

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

UPCOMING EVENTS: Technoprogressivism

Santens @ North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress
September 30-

Sorgner @ Transhumanism: Perspektiven, Chancen, Risiken
December 5
Nürnberg, Germany

MULTIMEDIA: Technoprogressivism Topics

We Were in the ‘Dark Ages’ of Understanding Infectious Disease — Until This Device Arrived

Should You Sign Up for Cryonics?

The Future of News? Virtual Reality

How Digital Media Finally Enables Distributed Enterprise

Network Society Interview with David Orban

Don’t we all wish to be Wonder Woman or Superman?

These Robots Come to the Rescue after a Disaster

How the Mysterious Dark Net Is Going Mainstream

An Internet Without Screens Might Look Like This

The Future of Flying Robots

We Can Now Edit Our DNA. But Let’s Do it Wisely

The moral bias behind your search results

Can a Computer Simulate Consciousness?

A breakthrough new kind of wireless Internet

Sustainable abundance as a political program

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Technoprogressivism Topics

The Revenge of the Pagans: Ovid as prophet of the posthuman

by Rick Searle

I would argue that as far as imagining the future is concerned many of us, in the West at least, have had our vision blurred from what amounts to a 2,000 year philosophical hangover called Christianity. But no one ever seems to care about this point. The most common response I’ve gotten from a certain sect of singularitarians and transhumanists upon pointing out that both their goals and predictions seem to have been ripped from a man on the street’s version of Christianity has been- who cares?

Benefiting from Exponentials Globally

by David Orban

Singularity University is expanding through the SingularityU Global program. The launch of SingularityU Milan, the first Italian chapter, is part of this program. It allows orders of magnitude more people to directly participate in its events and leverage the power of exponential technologies.

Theory and Application of the Extended Mind (Series Index)

by John Danaher

In the past year, I have written several posts about Chalmers and Clark’s famous extended mind thesis. This thesis takes seriously the functionalist explanation of mental events, and holds that the mind is not confined to skull. Instead, it can extend into artefacts and objects in the world around it.

Moral and Legal Imperatives for Sentient A.I. - Terasem Colloquium in Second Life Dec. 10th

by Giulio Prisco

The 2015 edition of the Terasem Annual Colloquium on the Law of Futuristic Persons, themed “Moral and Legal Imperatives for Sentient AI” will take place in Second Life – Terasem sim – on December 10, with Zoltan Istvan and Jack Sarfatti among the speakers.

Anonymous vs ISIS: Vigilante justice in the War against Terrorism

by Stefan Morrone

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind centred around the terrorist group knows as the Islamic State.  First, several attacks in Paris left 129 dead and countless others injured, then a bomb threat in Germany and a threat by ISIS to attack the rest of Europe and Washington, D.C. Fear grips the hearts of people around the world in an iron vice. And that is exactly what ISIS wants.  Right now, they are winning.

APM, Nanotech and a Solution to Middle-Eastern Stability

by Stefan Morrone

The region of the Middle East has been in turmoil for more than a decade.  With the advent of the recent terrorist attacks on Paris and the threat of more by the Muslim extremist group ISIS, many have been pondering how the problems plaguing the Middle East can be solved.  I believe that technology can play an integral role in the process of repairing and advancing the region.  The modernization and digitization of the entire region’s infrastructure would provide numerous benefits that would increase stability and redress the damage done to the economy and society from years of war.

Lockheed Martin’s New Exoskeleton Paves Way Towards Cyborg Future

by B. J. Murphy

Airing every Sunday 9/8c, National Geographic’s latest TV show Breakthrough, hosted by Paul Giamatti, provides a unique walkthrough into the growing arena of “how-to-enhance-human-beings” using advanced science and technology. In their latest episode, “More Than Human,” Giamatti gets up close and personal with Lockheed Martin’s newest exoskeleton suit FORTIS (video clip of the episode is provided below).

Christians Should Support Scientists and Technologists

by Christopher J. Benek

It is often articulated in society that Christianity and science/technology are at odds. While most people of faith do not hold this belief, it is imperative that the church universal continue to dispute this negative stereotype. The most effective way that Christians can do so is by actively affirming their support for people called to work in the fields of science and technology.

Tech Company Humai Wants to Resurrect the Dead Using A.I.

by B. J. Murphy

As we continue to exponentially march towards the future, how we use advanced science and technology will become increasingly complex, if not in ways of which appear almost magical. The question we should be asking ourselves: how far can we go? One tech. company believes they’ll be able to resurrect the deceased using artificial intelligence (A.I.), nanotechnology, and cryonics – 30 years from now! Yep. You read that right

Is Anyone Competent to Regulate Artificial Intelligence?

by John Danaher

Artificial intelligence is a classic risk/reward technology. If developed safely and properly, it could be a great boon. If developed recklessly and improperly, it could pose a significant risk. Typically, we try to manage this risk/reward ratio through various regulatory mechanisms. But AI poses significant regulatory challenges. In a previous post, I outlined eight of these challenges. They were arranged into three main groups. The first consisted of definitional problems: what is AI anyway? The second consisted of ex ante problems: how could you safely guide the development of AI technology? And the third consisted of ex post problems: what happens once the technology is unleashed into the world? They are depicted in the diagram above.

Platform Adoption Statement #1 of the Nevada Transhumanist Party

by Gennady Stolyarov II

The following sections are hereby added to the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform. Pursuant to Article I, Section XXV, these sections are not officially considered part of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Constitution at this time, but shall have equivalent standing to the Platform Sections within that Constitution. It will be possible to officially amend the Nevada Transhumanist Party Constitution to include these statements during periodic biennial filings of Certificates of Continued Existence with the Nevada Secretary of State.

Superhuman Health

by David Orban

On the healthcare panel at the Frontiers of Interaction conference I spoke about the power of artificial intelligence to keep us healthy and help doctors heal us.

Artificial Intelligence is Already Here—Artificial Consciousness is What Eludes Us - See more

by Nicole Sallak Anderson

“I’m trying to throttle back, because particularly the triplets are starting to gain consciousness.
They’re almost two.” Elon Musk in a “Wait, But Why” interview with Tim Urban

Vers la conscience artificielle?

by Alexandre Maurer

L’intelligence artificielle est en plein essor. Les ordinateurs remplacent l’homme dans des tâches intellectuelles de plus en plus complexes [1]. Des intelligences artificielles telles que Watson [2] parviennent aujourd’hui à comprendre des questions formulées en langage naturel. Cependant, quelle que soit la complexité de ces systèmes informatiques, il semble leur manquer une propriété essentielle pour être considérés comme des alter ego : la conscience.

Computo Ergo Sum: Imagining and Building Moral Machines

by David Orban

Our lives are shaped by smarter and smarter machines, helping us in big and small decisions. Corporations are busy developing products and services based on artificial intelligence. The moral implications of this symbiotic relationship must be deeply explored. A wide and inclusive public conversation is needed to address the issues they are raising.

Viewpoints on Modern Cosmism

by Giulio Prisco

In the pictures I am with George Carey, Ben Goertzel, and Vlad Bowen, the day before the Modern Cosmism conference last month in New York. Here I try to summarize some interrelated and compatible but slightly different viewpoints on modern Cosmism.

Sci Fi Visons : Gloom vs Optimism

by David Brin

Some brilliant anthologies for your shopping list! These include one about war and one that’s free, one about Star Wars and one by me!

Blockchain Technology, Smart Contracts and Smart Property

by John Danaher

Blockchain technology is at the heart of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Most people have heard of Bitcoin and some are excited by the prospect it raises of a decentralised, stateless currency/payment system. But this is not the most interesting thing about Bitcoin. It is the blockchain technology itself that is the real breakthrough. It not only provides the foundation for a currency and payment system; it also provides the foundation for new ways of organising and managing basic social relationships. This includes legal relationships such as those involved in contractual exchange and proprietary ownership. The most prominent expression of this potential comes in the shape of Ethereum, an open source platform that allows developers to use blockchains for whatever purpose they see fit.

The Campaign Against Sex Robots: A Critical Analysis

by John Danaher

The Campaign Against Sex Robots launched to much media fanfare back in September. The brainchild of Dr. Kathleen Richardson from De Montfort University in Leicester UK, and Dr. Erik Brilling from University of Skovde in Sweden, the campaign aims to highlight the ways in which the development of sex robots could be ‘potentially harmful and will contribute to inequalities in society’. What’s more, despite being a relative newcomer, the campaign may have already achieved its first significant ‘scalp’. The 2nd International Conference on Love and Sex with Robots, organised by sex robot pioneer David Levy was due to be held in Malaysia this month (November 2015) but was cancelled by Malaysian authorities shortly after the campaign was launched.

The Rise of A.I. Ethics

by Daniel Faggella

Why is it that the bacon you are about to bite into is an acceptable source of food for you, but possibly not so for the person sitting next to you? Perhaps he or she eats according to a religious code, or has a health-related reason for skipping the meat products. Maybe he or she is a proponent of animal welfare and has decided to only eat meat products that are slaughtered “transparently and humanely”; or, it could be that he or she has decided not to eat an animal that is conscious on any level.

The Future Business of Body Shops

by B. J. Murphy

The following essay was originally published as a chapter for The Future of Business: Critical Insights Into a Rapidly Changing World From 60 Future Thinkers. The book was edited by Rohit Talwar and published by Fast Future Publishing.

Why it matters that you realize you’re in a computer simulation

by Eliott Edge

What if our universe is something like a computer simulation, or a virtual reality, or a video game?  The proposition that the universe is actually a computer simulation was furthered in a big way during the 1970s, when John Conway famously proved that if you take a binary system, and subject that system to only a few rules (in the case of Conway’s experiment, four); then that system creates something rather peculiar.

Promising… and worrisome news

by David Brin

Don’t let the gloom industry get you down. The news isn’t all bad. Progress happens. For example…

The beauty of the holonic understanding of reality

by Enrique Lescure

The Universe can be defined in many ways. What is clear is that there are different levels of realities, which are interacting with one another. Matter is arranged in atoms, which taken together turns into molecules. These molecules arrange themselves in larger objects, such as grains of sand, rock, driplets of liquid, single-cell organisms or cells belonging to larger organisms. This diverse symphony of matter forms eco-systems which form a biosphere that constantly develops through evolution – a neverending symphony of beauty and colours.

De l’amélioration morale

by Marc Roux

Les transhumanistes, en bons humanistes, pensent que l’humain est perfectible, et ceci est valable aussi bien pour ses caractéristiques physiques que morales. La différence réside surtout en ce que, à l’effet de la philosophie, de l’éducation, de la culture ou de la loi, c’est-à-dire du consensus politique, ils estiment que nous sommes maintenant en mesure d’ajouter la technologie pour contribuer à cette amélioration continue (et non la leur substituer, comme se plaisent à l’écrire de nombreux commentateurs pressés). Or, malgré des siècles de législation, de culture, d’éducation et de philosophie, les progrès de ce que les philosophes des Lumières appelaient la Vertu semblent buter sur ce qui reste jusqu’à aujourd’hui la condition biologique de l’humain.

Machine Trust Language (MTL): Human-Machine Collaboration

by Melanie Swan

Andreas Antonopoulos’s articulation of network-enforced trust primitives (Oct 2015, Feb 2014) could be extended more broadly into the concept of Machine Trust Language (MTL). While blockchains are being popularly conceived as trust machines, and as a new mode of creating societal shared trust, Andreas addresses how at the compositional level, this trust is being generated. The key idea is thinking in terms of a language of trust, of its primitives, its quanta, its elemental pieces, its phonemes, words, and grammar that can be assembled into a computational trust system.

Understanding the Threat of Algocracy

by John Danaher

On 2nd November, I gave a talk entitled “The Threat of Algocracy: Reality, Resistance and Accommodation” to the Programmable City Project at Maynooth University. You can watch the video of my presentation (minus the Q&A) below.

Transhumanism’s Goal is to Increase Our Capacity for Love - interview with James Ledford

by Hank Pellissier

Transhumanists have multiple goals - to live longer, to be more intelligent, to enhance the physical body physically. But what about our feelings? Do we want to “upgrade” our emotional capacity? James McLean Ledford believes the primary goal of transhumanism is to “increase our capacity to love.”  I interviewed him via email below:

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All Cyborgs Are Not Created Equal

by J. Hughes

Robotics promise to enhance human capabilities beyond our imagination, but for whom?  Industrialized societies are becoming more unequal, which is bad for our health, our democracies and our economic vitality. One of the culprits in growing inequality is technological innovation. So we should be very concerned about whether the acceleration of emerging technologies, such as robotics and human cyborgization, will make our societies even more unequal.

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Whole Brain Emulation: Reverse Engineering a Mind

by Randal A. Koene

(Transcript of the speech presented at Lincoln Center, New York, at the conference Global Future 2045: Towards a New Strategy for Human Evolution.)

I am going to discuss whole brain emulation, about what it takes to reverse engineer a mind. This is a topic that you’ve heard mentioned a few times over, that term at least (at least during the conference), and several of the speakers that you saw today - and more that are coming up - are going to be talking about technologies, or have talked about technologies, that address a specific part of that. But I want to show: How does all this come together? How could you reverse engineer a mind? And I wanted to show: How do you actually determine the goals for something like that?

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