Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies



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



UPCOMING EVENTS: Life

Eurosymposium on Healthy Aging
September 29-1
Brussels, Belgium


Posthuman and Transhuman Bodies in Religion and Spirituality Panel
October 28
Harvard University


Anticipation 2017 Conference
November 8-10
London, England


Robotic Online Short Film Festival
November 20
Universidad Elche, Spain


Hughes @ Transhumanist Culture Festival
November 27
Stockholm, Sweden


Hughes @ Singularity Salon
November 28
Stockholm, Sweden


Transpolitica 2016 Conference
December 3
London, England




MULTIMEDIA: Life Topics

How Parasites Commandeer and Change Our Neurocircuits

Genetic Engineering Will Change Everything Forever – CRISPR

A new way to heal hearts without surgery

How fear of nuclear power is hurting the environment

“Parenting” Looks Nothing Like Evolutionary Caregiving

Neo - Official Teaser Trailer

Born Poor, Stay Poor: The Silent Caste System of America

Build Mental Models to Enhance Your Focus

Take This Perception Test to See How Visually Intelligent You Are

Genome Mapping Will Expand Our Life Expectancies

Cybercrime: Hacking Goes Way Beyond Simple Identity Theft

Cyberchondria: Do Online Health Searches Prompt Symptoms

The Quantified Self with Anders Sandberg

Born Poor, Stay Poor: The Silent Caste System of America

Caffeine? That’s So Analog. Introducing Electric Neural Stimulation.




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Life Topics




Pushing Humans off the Loop: Automation and the Unsustainability Problem

by John Danaher

There is a famous story about an encounter between Henry Ford II (CEO of Ford Motors) and Walter Reuther (head of the United Automobile Workers Union). Ford was showing Reuther around his factory, proudly displaying all the new automating technologies he had introduced to replace human workers. Ford gloated, asking Reuther ‘How are you going to get those robots to pay union dues?’. Reuther responded with equal glee ‘Henry, how are you going to get them to buy your cars?’.



How to Make Intelligent Robots That Understand the World

There are some amazing robots roving the surface of Mars. However, they are heavily dependent on their human operators. But what if we could provide them with human-like intelligence so that they could find their own way without assistance? What if we could teach them to autonomously deal with completely novel situations? IEET Contributor Danko Nikolic on the 28th of September will answer your questions.

Full Story...
Link to Guaana



Here’s Why The IoT Is Already Bigger Than You Realize

by Charles Bell

Sometimes it feels like the Internet of Things (or IoT) is a little bit overblown. Maddening commercials like this one try to make it seem like a spiritual revolution for humankind, and you may have seen our thoughts on the emergence of the term “smart” to define objects. Furthermore, the main IoT applications that people actually seem to care about at this point are pretty much FitBits and Nest thermostats-fun Christmas presents, but not exactly groundbreaking technological concepts.



Competitive Cognitive Artifacts and the Demise of Humanity: A Philosophical Analysis

by John Danaher

David Krakauer seems like an interesting guy. He is the president of the Santa Fe institute in New Mexico, a complexity scientist and evolutionary theorist, with a noticeable interest in artificial intelligence and technology. I first encountered his work — as many recently did — via Sam Harris’s podcast. In the podcast he articulated some concerns he has about the development of artificial intelligence, concerns which he also set out in a recent (and short) article for the online magazine Nautilus.



Call for Papers The Second International Conference on Anticipation

The 2nd International Conference on Anticipation provides an interdisciplinary meeting ground in which researchers, scholars and practitioners who are seeking to understand anticipation and anticipatory practices can come together to deepen their understanding and create productive new connections.

Full Story...



Critical Nature of Emotions in Artificial General Intelligence

by David J. Kelley

Abstract
This paper reviews the key factors driving the Independent Core Observer Model Cognitive Architecture for Artificial General Intelligence specific to modeling emotions used to drive motivational and decision making processes in humans; as it relates to or inspires the ICOM motivational systems.  Emotions in ICOM are key elements of the ability to be self-motivating and make decisions.  Behavioral tuning research case work around motivations in ICOM, as seen in the series 4 ICOM Isolation Studies designed to validate the series 4 model versus series 3 model and used to bench mark as well as tune the ICOM emotional processing core, are presented.  Detailed is the reasoning for emotions in ICOM as used as a method of tagging ideas, concepts, and experiences for evaluation. Such emotions are the driving force behind the ICOM system’s subjective experiences.



Will human enhancement cause problems for interpersonal communication?

by John Danaher

China Mieville’s novel Embassytown is a challenging and provocative work of science fiction. It is set in Embassytown, a colonial outpost of the human-run Bremen empire, located on Arieka, a planet on the edge of the known universe. The native alien race are known as the Ariekei and they have an unusual language. They have two speaking orifices and as a result speak two words at the same time.



Computers and Law Special Edition on Algorithmic Governance

by John Danaher

As part of the Algocracy and Transhumanism project I am running, myself and my colleague Dr. Rónán Kennedy put together a special edition of the journal/magazine Computers and Law on the topic of algorithmic governance. It consists of a diverse range of articles on the increasingly prominent role of algorithms in decision-making, and the implications this has for the law. The special edition arose from a workshop we held on the topic back in March 2016.



A Free Education for all the World’s People: Why is this Not yet a Thing?

by Eliott Edge

When we as a global community confront the truly difficult question of considering what is really worth devoting our limited time and resources to in an era marked by such global catastrophe, I always find my mind returning to what the Internet hasn’t really been used for yet—and what was rumored from its inception that it should ultimately provide—an utterly and entirely free education for all the world’s people.

Full Story...



Alcor Life Extension Foundation sponsors health clinic in Nyakiyumbu, Uganda

by Hank Pellissier

The Alcor Life Extension Foundation, the “world leader in cryonics, cryonics research, and cryonics technology”, is sponsoring a health clinic for orphans in the impoverished village of Nyakiyumbu, Uganda.



Defining the Blockchain Economy: What is Decentralized Finance?

by Melanie Swan

The aim of this article is to explore the intersection of blockchain technology and finance from a practical, theoretical, and conceptual standpoint.



Mylan’s New Generic EpiPen is Still Too Goddamned Expensive

by George Dvorsky

Pharmaceutical company Mylan has announced plans to launch its first generic EpiPen. But at a cost of $300—which is half of the branded product’s list price—it’s still a heap of money for this critically important medicine.



Transhumanisme et quête de sens

by Alexandre Maurer

Le transhumanisme peut être un moyen de donner plus de sens à l’humanité. Essayons d’expliquer pourquoi.



Calling All Parents: Don’t Let Calculus I Be the End!!!!

by Nicole Sallak Anderson

In a recent article published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), author Maggie Kuo wrote,



Science: A long, long road to… us

by David Brin

== Lottsa Luca ==

Luca, the Last Universal Common Ancestor, is estimated to have lived some four billion years ago, when Earth was a mere 560 million years old.  For a long time the three great domains of life—bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes—seemed to have no common point of origin. But now scientists have zeroed in on 355 genes that probably originated in Luca, the joint ancestor of bacteria and archaea (and hence us eurkaryotes)… and thus they stumbled onto strong indications of conditions for the origin of all Earthly life.  Because those 355 genes point very strongly at deep sea volcanic vents – “the gassy, metal-laden, intensely hot plumes caused by seawater interacting with magma erupting through the ocean floor.”



Akashic Physics Aand Engineering, Video Q/A with Ralph Abraham And Sisir Roy

by Giulio Prisco

I hosted an online VR/video chat with mathematician Ralph Abraham and physicist Sisir Roy, authors of “Demystifying the Akasha: Consciousness and the Quantum Vacuum.” Full video, slides, and first impressions below.



Who knows best? Personal Happiness and the Search for a Good Life

by John Danaher

I would like to be happier. I would like to live a good life. But I often get it wrong. Once upon a time I thought that getting a PhD would make me happy. It didn’t. It made me painfully aware of my own ignorance and more anxious about the future. Another time I thought that going on holidays to Spain for a week would make me happy: what could be better than a week relaxing in the sunshine, without a care in the world? Surely it would be just the balm that my overactive mind needed? But it didn’t make me happy either. It was too hot and I quickly got bored. By the end of the week I was itching to get home.



IEET Affiliate Scholar Roland Benedikter et al. Publish New Article on Head-Transplanting

This article discusses the philosophical implications and potential social consequences of two experimental – and at the present moment still widely speculative – topics at the intersection between scientific and medical advances, the human body, the human mind, and the globalized health care sector.

Full Story...
Link to Addleton Academic Publisher



Phenomenological Coupling, Augmented Reality and the Extended Mind

by John Danaher

Contrast these two scenarios. First, I’m in the supermarket. I want to remember what I need to buy but I’m not the kind of guy who write things down in lists. I just keep the information stored in my head and then jog my memory when I arrive at the store. If I’m lucky, the list of items immediately presents itself to my conscious mind. I remember what I need to buy. Second, I’m in the supermarket. I want to remember what I need to buy. But I’m hopelessly forgetful so I have to write things down in a list. I take the list from my pocket and look at the items. Now, I remember what I needed to buy.



Rester humain… ou devenir plus humain ?

by Alexandre Maurer

On lit souvent des phrases telles que “Mieux vaut être très humain que transhumain !”, ou “Le transhumanisme n’est pas un humanisme, car il nous déshumanise par définition !”. Et si ces condamnations étaient en fait basées sur une imposture sémantique ?



Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari

by Steve Fuller

My sociology of knowledge students read Yuval Harari’s bestselling first book, Sapiens, to think about the right frame of reference for understanding the overall trajectory of human condition. Homo Deus follows the example of Sapiens, using contemporary events to launch into what nowadays is called ‘big history’ but has been also called ‘deep history’ and ‘long history’. Whatever you call it, the orientation sees the human condition as subject to multiple overlapping rhythms of change which generate the sorts of ‘events’ that are the stuff of history lessons. But Harari’s history is nothing like the version you half remember from school.



Should Couples Who Want Healthy Babies Deliberately Expose Themselves to Zika

by Valerie Tarico

For a woman who wants to safeguard against fetal brain damage from Zika, the surest protection may be a Zika infection that begins and ends prior to pregnancy—but questions remain about some adult risks.



Bio-Cryptoeconomy: Nanorobotic DACs for Cell Repair and Enhancement

by Melanie Swan

Blockchains as the new platform for technological innovation invite the creative imagining of applications at both the level of technology use and in the rethinking of economic principles. Some recent developments include optimism about rising Bitcoin prices and the rewards-halving milestone, trepidation about scalability, block size, and the latest hacking scandal of the Ethereum DAO, and fast-paced single ledger adoption by financial institutions.



Want to Find Aliens? Look for Planets That Have Become Stars

by George Dvorsky

Jupiter is often referred to as a “failed star,” leading some futurists to wonder if our descendants might set it ablaze in a process called planetary stellification. A new study suggests this is indeed theoretically possible—and that we should be on the hunt for galactic aliens who have already converted their gas giants into stellar objects.



Rising Sea Levels Threaten Nearly a Trillion Dollars Worth of US Homes

by George Dvorsky

Real estate database company Zillow is warning that nearly 1.9 million homes in the United States could be flooded by the end of the century. That’s about two percent of the nation’s total housing stock, amounting to $882 billion in value.



Interview with Gerd Leonhard and his New Book TECHNOLOGY vs. HUMANITY

by Gerd Leonhard

IEET Managing Director Steven Umbrello interviewed futurist and author Gerd Leonhard about his new book, Technology vs. Humanity.



Paralyzed Patients Learn to Walk Again Using Virtual Reality

by George Dvorsky

A groundbreaking new experiment shows that brain-machine interfaces, when used in conjunction with exoskeletons and virtual reality, can trigger partial recovery in patients recovering from spinal cord injuries.



IEET Affiliate Scholar Phil Torres Publishes New Paper in JET

Imagine that someone points a gun to your head and threatens to pull the trigger. How would you assess the overall risk of your situation? One possibility is to examine the gun: to determine its various properties, how powerful it is, the speed at which bullets emerge from the barrel, and so on. This is what many existential risk scholars have focused on with respect to existential risks: the range of technologies that could be used for harmful ends.

Full Story...
Link to Journal of Evolution and Technology



Liberalism’s Great Challenge: How Can We Critique Ideas while Protecting People?

by Valerie Tarico

Secular and reformist Muslims plead that we learn to tell the difference between analyzing ideas and attacking people.

When Islam is at question, members of the American Left and Right race into opposite corners. After the Orlando nightclub massacre, to cite one recent example, conservatives spewed anti-Muslim invective to the point that ordinary American Muslims were afraid to leave home.



Our emerging culture of shame

by Rick Searle

remember a speech that the novelist Tom Wolfe gave on CSPAN or some such back in the 1990s in which he said something like “Nietzsche predicted that the 20th century would be the age of ideology, and that the century after the age of morality, and I believe him” I’ve never been able to find the source of the quote, but the more the 21st century rolls on, the more I’m finding it to increasingly, frighteningly true.

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