Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies



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



UPCOMING EVENTS: Directors



MULTIMEDIA: Directors Topics

Spaceflight and Cosmic Religions

Minimalist, Open, Extensible Cosmism

What is the Future of Human Advancement?

Future Day Online

Buddhism & Transhumanism

Sex and the Art of Cosmic Governance, on Venus+X

Failing the Artificial Intelligence Test (w/ George Dvorsky)

Why the Turing Test is Bullshit

Where is Heaven?

Back To The Future In The Metaverse

Granting rights and personhood to apes

Futurists discuss The Transhumanist Wager

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

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

Countering Objections to Mind Uploading




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Directors Topics




A for Almighty - Fred Hoyle’s Cosmic Theology

by Giulio Prisco

Fred Hoyle imagined a scientific theology with a hierarchy of Gods in the universe, from lower-case local gods all the way to an asymptotic cosmic God that emerges from the physical universe, comes into full being at the end of time, controls space and time with subtle quantum messages and time loops, seeds the universe with Life, and works through Life.



Ontario Could Soon Require Anti-Vaxxer Parents to Attend a Science Class

by George Dvorsky

In an effort to curb the dangerous trend of vaccine avoidance, the Liberal government in Ontario wants parents seeking vaccine exemptions for their kids to attend a mandatory education session. It’s a good idea, but getting anti-vaxxers to change their opinions will probably require more than that.



Computer Science Students Fooled By Artificially Intelligent TA

by George Dvorsky

Students taking an online course at Georgia Tech’s School of Interactive Computing were duped into thinking one of their teaching assistants, named Jill Watson, was an actual human. And how can you blame them—the virtual TA managed to answer many of their questions with 97 percent certainty.



Experts Held a Secret Meeting to Consider Building a Human Genome From Scratch

by George Dvorsky

Earlier this week, over a hundred scientists, lawyers, and entrepreneurs gathered to discuss the radical possibility of creating a synthetic human genome. Strangely, journalists were not invited, and attendees were told to keep a tight lip. Which, given the weighty subject matter, is obvious cause for concern.



These Are the Most Serious Catastrophic Threats Faced by Humanity

by George Dvorsky

Oxford’s Global Priorities Project has compiled a list of catastrophes—both natural and self-inflicted—that could kill off 10 percent or more of the human population. It’s a real buzzkill of a report and it says that any of these catastrophes could happen within the next five years.



This US Oil Field is Single-Handedly Raising Global Greenhouse Gas Levels

by George Dvorsky

A single shale oil field in the United States is responsible for a significant upsurge in global atmospheric levels of ethane, a dangerous gas that has been linked to climate change and pollution. It’s yet more evidence that fracking is screwing up our planet.



Capitalism Mandates a Basic Income Guarantee

by Mark Walker

A Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) is a monthly stipend sufficient to provide the necessities of life. While there is disagreement even amongst friends of BIG as to how much is sufficient, we will work with a figure of $833 a month, $10,000 a year. BIG has been in the news in the last few years with a Swiss referendum on the matter and a pilot program in the works for Finland. Arguments from the left for BIG tend to appeal to social justice considerations. One line suggests that in a wealthy country like the U.S., no one should go hungry or be homeless, and BIG is an efficient means to ensure this minimal standard of care.



Breakthrough Starshot: The First Steps to the Stars

by Giulio Prisco

On on the 55th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s pioneering space flight, Internet investor and science philanthropist Yuri Milner and physicist Stephen Hawking announced a plan for our firsts steps to the stars: Breakthrough Starshot.



Christianity and Transhumanism Are Much Closer Than You Think

by Giulio Prisco

I have long been persuaded that there are strong parallels between transhumanism and religion, not only “new” religions but the traditional religions of our grandfathers as well. There are, of course, differences, but I prefer to emphasize the parallels. After some deep reading and thinking, I realize that Christianity and Transhumanism are closer than I thought, and much closer than you probably think.



The Machine Wins 4-1 : what does this mean for the future of AI?

by Giulio Prisco

The Machine – Google DeepMind’s AlphaGohas beaten one of the best human Go players 4-1, with moves that have been described as unexpected, beautiful – and inhuman.

What does AlphaGo breakthrough mean for the future of AI?

Full Story...



Everything You Know About Artificial Intelligence is Wrong

by George Dvorsky

It was hailed as the most significant test of machine intelligence since Deep Blue defeated Garry Kasparov in chess nearly 20 years ago. Google’s AlphaGo has won two of the first three games against grandmaster Lee Sedol in a Go tournament, showing the dramatic extent to which AI has improved over the years. That fateful day when machines finally become smarter than humans has never appeared closer—yet we seem no closer in grasping the implications of this epochal event.



First Uterus Transplant in US Offers Hope to Thousands of Infertile Women

by George Dvorsky

A team of surgeons at the Cleveland Clinic have performed the first uterus transplant in the United States. A 26-year-old woman underwent the nine-hour operation on Wednesday, setting the stage for a future pregnancy—and what might possibly become a routine procedure in US hospitals.

Full Story...



Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof: the Diamond Lady of DIY Governance 2.0

by Giulio Prisco

After interviewing my friend Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof, founder of Bitnation, for my recent Bitcoin Magazine article titled “Bitnation Launches World’s First Blockchain-Based Virtual Nation Constitution,” I am thinking of the parallels between Susanne’s vision of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) “Governance 2.0” and my vision of DIY “Religion 2.0.”

Bitnation’s vision of future open societies is, in one word, awesome.

Full Story...



Brain Implant Will Let Amputees Move Individual Fingers on Prosthetics With Thoughts Alone

by George Dvorsky

For the first time ever, researchers have successfully demonstrated a system that enables a person to move the individual fingers of a prosthetic hand using just their thoughts.

Full Story...



How ‘Memory Hacking’ Is Becoming a Reality

by George Dvorsky

Movies like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Inception suggest it may eventually be possible to erase, modify, or even implant memories into your brain. An upcoming episode of NOVA introduces viewers to this futuristic possibility and the scientists who are trying to make it happen.



The Cosmos and the Brain - a Great Week for Science

by Giulio Prisco

Yesterday I and thousands of viewers around the world watched live the LIGO press conference on the first gravitational waves detection from a black hole fusion event. Two days before, the Small Mammal Brain Preservation Prize was awarded to the first demonstration that a brain can be preserved for future mind uploading. What a great week for science!

Full Story...



The Small Mammal Brain Preservation Prize Has Been Won

by Giulio Prisco

The Brain Preservation Foundation (BPF) announced that the Small Mammal Brain Preservation Prize has officially been won. The spectacular result achieved by 21st Century Medicine researchers provides the first demonstration that near-perfect, long-term structural preservation of an intact mammalian brain is achievable.

Full Story...



New Evidence Suggests Human Beings Are a Geological Force of Nature

by George Dvorsky

For years, the term “Anthropocene” has been used to informally describe the human era on Earth. But new evidence suggests there’s nothing informal about it. We’re a true force of nature — and there’s good reason to believe we’ve sparked a new and unprecedented geological epoch.



Review of ‘Against Transhumanism’ by Richard Jones

by Giulio Prisco

Physicist Richard Jones, author of the (highly recommended) nanotechnology book “Soft Machines: nanotechnology and life” and editor of the Soft Machines blog, has written a short book provocatively titled “Against Transhumanism – The delusion of technological transcendence.” The book, an edited compilation of essays previously published on Soft Machines and IEEE Spectrum, is free to download.

Full Story...



First Successful Gene-Editing in Live Mammals Brings Us Closer to Human Treatments

by George Dvorsky

For the first time ever, scientists have used the CRISPR gene-editing tool to successfully treat a genetic muscle disorder in a living adult mammal. It’s a promising medical breakthrough that could soon lead to human therapies.

Full Story...



A Response to ‘Michael LaTorra explains Buddhist Transhumanism in a nutshell’ by Giulio Prisco

by Gareth John

This essay is a response to Giulio Prisco’s article on Mike LaTorra’s essay Buddhist Transhumanism in a Nutshell.

Being the ex-Buddhist that I am, who studied and practiced Zen for three years before migrating to the Tibetan tantric tradition, I guess it’s only to be expected that I would have some criticisms of Michael LaTorra’s perspective. However, bear in mind that these are my criticisms alone, so should in no way be taken as authoritative.

Full Story...



Michael LaTorra explains Buddhist Transhumanism in a nutshell

by Giulio Prisco

My friend Michael LaTorra, an ordained Zen priest and the abbot of the Zen Center of Las Cruces, New Mexico, has written a short, simple and readable introduction to Buddhist Transhumanism. The article was published in Theology and Science in April with the title “What Is Buddhist Transhumanism?

Full Story...



Goertzel, Hughes, Prisco in Cosmist article by Harper’s Magazine

Ben Goertzel (IEET Fellow), James Hughes (IEET Executive Director), and Giulio Prisco (IEET Board or Director member) are referenced in the January issue of Harper’s Magazine in an article titled “Everything That Rises.”

Full Story...
Link to Harper's



#6: How Artificial Intelligence Will Give Birth To Itself

by George Dvorsky

According to IEET readers, what were the most stimulating stories of 2015? This month we’re answering that question by posting a countdown of the top 30 articles published this year on our blog (out of more than 1,000), based on how many total hits each one received.

The following piece was first published here on October 22, 2015,  and is the #6 most viewed of the year.

Full Story...



Giulio Prisco and Micah Redding interviewed in Motherboard

IEET Board Member Giulio Prisco and IEET Contributing Writer Micah Redding were recently featured in a MotherboardVICE article titled The Turing Church Preaches the Future of Religion.

Full Story...
Link to Motherboard



#14: This Artificially Intelligent Boss Means the Workplace Will Never Be the Same

by George Dvorsky

According to IEET readers, what were the most stimulating stories of 2015? This month we’re answering that question by posting a countdown of the top 30 articles published this year on our blog (out of more than 1,000), based on how many total hits each one received.

The following piece was first published here on September 18, 2015, and is the #14 most viewed of the year.

Full Story...



Here’s Why We’ll Eventually Have to Accept Designer Babies

by George Dvorsky

Last week’s historic summit on human gene-editing has come to a close, and its organizing committee has given the go-ahead for scientists in the US to experiment on human genes — only if it doesn’t result in a pregnancy. It’s a surprisingly progressive stance. But make no mistake, human trait selection is coming. Here’s why we’ll eventually accept the prospect of genetically modified “designer babies.”

Full Story...



Man’s Greatest Achievement: Nikola Tesla on Akashic Engineering and the Future of Humanity

by Giulio Prisco

The maverick genius Nikola Tesla was a Cosmist, a pre-transhumanist thinker, and an early proponent of a synthesis of Eastern mysticism and Western can-do engineering spirit. Tesla boldly dared to imagine “Akashic engineering” and Man’s “most complete triumph over the physical world, his crowning achievement which would place him beside his Creator and fulfill his ultimate destiny.”



Will Our Descendants Survive the Destruction of the Universe?

by George Dvorsky

Billions of years from now, the universe as we know it will cease to exist. The good news is, that gives us a lot of time to prepare, and maybe even figure out a way to cheat cosmic death. Here are some possible ways our descendants might survive a cosmological apocalypse.



#24: ETER9: The Social Network That Turns Your Personality Into an Immortal Artificial Intelligence

by George Dvorsky

According to IEET readers, what were the most stimulating stories of 2015? This month we’re answering that question by posting a countdown of the top 30 articles published this year on our blog (out of more than 1,000), based on how many total hits each one received.

The following piece was first published here on August 30, 2015, and is the #24 most viewed of the year.

Full Story...

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