Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies



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



UPCOMING EVENTS: Technoprogressivism

BlockCon 2017
March 28-29
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore




MULTIMEDIA: Technoprogressivism Topics

A political party for women’s equality

US Government ‘Preparing for the Future of Artificial Intelligence’ Discussion with James Hughes

Aaron Wright on Blockchains and the Law

Toyota’s $1 Billion AI Investment

Growing Bricks From Bacteria

The Coming Transhuman Era

Can a divided America heal?

How the Internet of Things Will Change the World

Create Anything You Want With Programmable Matter

How STEM Was Born: And Why Scientists Needs Humanists

Why Don’t Computers Allow Us to Talk Directly to Animals?’

Artificial Intelligence

Are We More a Product of Our Genes, or of Our Lifestyle?

Martine Rothblatt And Her View On The Future | Interviewed By Ray Kurzweil

Standardized Testing Isn’t Totally Useless, but It Does Miss the Point




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Technoprogressivism Topics




Martine Rothblatt, Lawrence Krauss, Douglas Rushkoff, Russell Blackford endorse Science Missionaries

by Hank Pellissier

IEET Fellows Martine Rothblatt and Douglas Rushkoff, and IEET contributor Lawrence Krauss, have endorsed the “Science Missionary” campaign of the Brighter Brains Institute that is sending technology to rural Uganda. The charitable drive will focus on solar energy, clean water, eco-briquettes, medicine, and internet access.



The Logical Space of Algocracy (Redux)

by John Danaher

(The following is, roughly, the text of a talk I delivered to the IP/IT/Media law discussion group at Edinburgh University on the 25th of November 2016. The text is much longer than what I actually presented and I modified some of the concluding section in light of the comments and feedback I received on the day. I would like to thank all those who were present for their challenging and constructive feedback. All of this builds on a previous post I did on the ‘logical space of algocracy’)



Moving Past the 2016 Election and into the FUTURE…

by Nicole Sallak Anderson

I voted today and in spite of all the cynicism of my fellow citizens, I enjoyed it. I love going to my local polling place. I live in the mountains and have the luxury of knowing the people who work there, bumping into neighbors and never, ever having to wait in line. We may be the middle of nowhere, but our polling place rocks. Every vote of mine felt good, even the presidency. Those of you who follow my blog know I’m pro third party, so yes, I voted my conscience today, but more over I also got to vote for a US Senator, US Congressperson, State Assembly and TONS of ballot measures (I live in Cali—we had over 17 propositions!)



Nous sommes des humains augmentés… depuis des siècles !

by Alexandre Maurer

L’idée d’humain « augmenté » suscite des peurs chez certains, qui affirment que cela remet en cause notre identité humaine.

Cependant, à partir de quel moment pouvons-nous dire que nous sommes « augmentés » ? Ne le sommes-nous pas déjà ? Et nul besoin de songer aux derniers accessoires technologiques : cela remonte très loin dans notre histoire !



Disturbing Images Show the Extent of Delhi’s Extreme Pollution Emergency

by George Dvorsky

Delhi, the capital city of India and home to 25 million residents, is in the midst of an “extreme pollution event.” In other words the city has been overrun with smog—tons of it. Recent photographs show the extent of the problem, which is being blamed on everything from vehicle emissions and crop burning through to smoking and fireworks.



Getting from 1932 to 1945

by J. Hughes

A piece I just wrote for the IEEE:

If the future is coming at an ever accelerating pace, then perhaps we can get from 1932 to 1945 in record time.

Full Story...



Trump and the Iron Heel

by Rick Searle

Like many others, I am still absorbing the shock of Trump’s victory in the presidential election. For the last month I had been on a holding pattern on the blog in the remote chance the pundits and pollsters had gotten this election terribly wrong. They have. Rather than having elected Hillary Clinton who would have preserved the status quo with all its flaws, but also its protections, a large portion of the electorate has chosen to blow up the system and take a dangerous, potentially dystopian turn.

Full Story...



Saving the White Working Class from Neoliberalism?

by Benjamin Abbott

In the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election, various class-struggle leftists have been emphasizing neoliberalism as the culprit and highlighting the plight of the white working class. Proponents of these analyses exhort us to organize with the white working class for economic justice as a key component of antiracism.

Full Story...



The missing vision

by David Wood

The United States of America have voted. In large numbers, electors have selected as their next President someone committed to:

  • Making it much harder for many types of people to enter the country
  • Deporting many of the current residents
  • Ramping up anti-Islam hostility
  • Denouncing global warming as a hoax
  • Undoing legislation to protect the environment
  • Reducing US support for countries facing hostile aggression
  • Dismantling the US deal with Iran over nuclear technology
  • Imposing punitive trade tariffs on China, likely triggering a trade war
  • Packing the Supreme Court with conservative judges who are opposed to choice.

Full Story...



Technoprogressivism Under Trump

by J. Hughes

This is from an interview I gave yesterday to a French journalist. Thought you might be interested.

Full Story...



Summary of: “How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds”

by John G. Messerly

I recently read an article in The Atlantic by Tristan Harris, a former Product Manager at Google who studies the ethics of how the design of technology influences people’s psychology and behavior. The piece was titled: “The Binge Breaker” and it covers similar ground to his previous piece “How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist”.



The Trolley Problem and the Making of a Superhero for Transhuman Times

by Steve Fuller

A slight amended version of this article appears on the 24 October 2016 edition of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Religion & Ethics website, under the title: “The ‘Trolley Problem’ and the Problem of Moral Progress: Postscript to the Trial of Jesus for Transhuman Times

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.

 



Alter futurism Manifesto 21

by Pedro Villanueva

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.



IEET Affiliate Scholar Roland Benedikter Talk at Acatech

The convergence of man and machine becomes the central challenge for a country that lives from the export of cutting-edge technology - a comment

Link to Heise



Westworld and the Human Connection with our Future Companion Robots

by B. J. Murphy

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



Building a Better Human With Science Revisited

by John G. Messerly

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.



“Building a Better Human With Science? The Public Says, No Thanks”

by John G. Messerly

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.”



IEET Fellow Martine Rothblatt Creates First Full Size Electric Helicopter

IEET Fellow Martine Rothblatt Creates First Full Size Electric Helicopter

Read full article



Renewables Now Exceed All Other Forms of New Power Generation

by George Dvorsky

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.



Pour un transhumanisme « open source »

by Alexandre Maurer

Dans les œuvres de fiction, le transhumanisme s’inscrit souvent dans un futur dystopique dominé par l’argent et les multinationales. C’est notamment le cas du jeu Deus Ex, dont le dernier épisode a attiré l’attention des médias.



Breaking into the Simulated Universe

by Eliott Edge

I argued in my 2015 paper “Why it matters that you realize you’re in a Computer Simulation” that if our universe is indeed a computer simulation, then that particular discovery should be commonplace among the intelligent lifeforms throughout the universe.  The simple calculus of it all being (a) if intelligence is in part equivalent to detecting the environment (b) the environment is a computer simulation (c) eventually nearly all intelligent lifeforms should discover that their environment is a computer simulation.  I called this the Savvy Inevitability.  In simple terms, if we’re really in a Matrix, we’re supposed to eventually figure that out.



Le syndrome 1984 ou Gattaca

by Julien Varlin

On accuse souvent le transhumanisme d’être la porte ouverte à une société dystopique totalitaire et à des inégalités extrêmes. Et si on se trompait de cible ?



Brain Implant Allows Paralyzed Man to Feel Objects With a Prosthetic Limb

by George Dvorsky

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC have developed a system that’s enabling a man with quadriplegia to experience the sensation of touch through a robotic arm that he controls with his brain.



Blockchain Fintech: Programmable Risk and Securities as a Service

by Melanie Swan

Access instead of Ownership
One of the most radical and potentially disruptive ideas for the near-term blockchain financial services market is Securities as a Service. Consider the music industry, where in the past, it was quite normal to purchase and own records and CDs, but now music is often accessed through digital media services like Spotify. There is access to music, but not much thought of ownership. “Listening to music” is the consumable asset, which is priced per network models for its access and consumption.



Brexit for Transhumanists: A Parable for Getting What You Wish For

by Steve Fuller

For the past two years, Zoltan Istvan has been campaigning for the US presidency on the Transhumanist Party, a largely one-man show which nevertheless remains faithful to the basic tenets of transhumanism. Now suppose he won. Top of his policy agenda had been to ensure the immortality of all Americans. But even Zoltan realized that this would entail quite big changes in how the state and society function. So, shortly after being elected president, he decides to hold a national referendum on the matter.



IEET Scholars Cited in New Book ‘The Posthuman Body in Superhero Comics’

Many of IEET’s scholars have been published in new book, The Posthuman Body in Superhero Comics, this book “examines the concepts of Post/Humanism and Transhumanism as depicted in superhero comics. Recent decades have seen mainstream audiences embrace the comic book Superhuman.” (Palgrave)

Buy Here

Link to The Posthuman Body in Superhero Comics



Have you ever inspired the greatest villain in history? I did, apparently

by David Orban

In 2010 when I organized the H+ Summit conference at Harvard University, together with my friend Alex Lightman, I would not have imagined that it would be a key event in the history of Inferno. Instead it seems that, according to the protagonists of the book, the villain of the story got his ideas at the conference. On Saturday, October 15 I organized a special screening of the film Inferno, with SingularityU Milan, followed by a debate on the limits of technology and how to apply it in a positive direction for the development of humanity.



Nobel Prize For Chemistry Awarded to Creators of the World’s Tiniest Machines

by George Dvorsky

The 2016 Nobel Prize for Chemistry has been awarded to a trio of scientists for their pioneering work in developing molecular machines. These gadgets measure just a thousandth of a human hair in width, and they’re poised to revolutionize everything from manufacturing and materials to medicine and the functioning of the human body.



Listen to the First Music Ever Made With a Computer

by George Dvorsky

Researchers from New Zealand have restored the very first recording ever made of computer generated music. The three simple melodies, laid down in 1951, were generated by a machine built by the esteemed British computer scientist Alan Turing.



New Wind Turbines Could Power Japan for 50 Years After a Single Typhoon

by George Dvorsky

Typhoons are generally associated with mass destruction, but a Japanese engineer has developed a wind turbine that can harness the tremendous power of these storms and turn it into useful energy. If he’s right, a single typhoon could power Japan for 50 years.

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