Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies



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



UPCOMING EVENTS: Virtuality



MULTIMEDIA: Virtuality Topics

How the blockchain will radically transform the economy

The Science of Compulsive Online Behavior

Online Dating Has Created a Six-Fold Increase in Sexual Assaults

Cyberchondria: Do Online Health Searches Prompt Symptoms

Augmented Reality: Pokémon GO Is Only the Beginning

Bill Nye: Are We Living in a Computer Simulation?

How better tech could protect us from distraction

The birth of virtual reality as an art form

This virtual lab will revolutionize science class

3D Virtual Reality Is the Best Storytelling Technology We’ve Ever Had

Is your phone part of your mind?

069: What are the Possibilities of Augmented Reality?

Will Virtual Reality Movies Supplant the Theatrical Experience?

Exploring Transhumanism

Are Smartphones Trapping Us in Anti-Social Bubbles?




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Virtuality Topics




Doug Rushkoff’s New Book Out

Doug Rushkoff’s first book on interactive media, Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age, is now heading to the printer and available for pre-order.

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Making brains: Reverse engineering the human brain to achieve AI

by George Dvorsky

The ongoing debate between PZ Myers and Ray Kurzweil about reverse engineering the human brain is fairly representative of the same debate that’s been going in futurist circles for quite some time now. And as the Myers/Kurzweil conversation attests, there is little consensus on the best way for us to achieve human-equivalent AI.

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Can We Be Happy Forever In Robot Bodies?

by Kris Notaro

This may come as a surprise to many, but apparently near the end of last year golfer Tiger Woods found himself in the middle of a sex scandal that was covered extensively throughout almost every news outlet.  During all this, a sub-scandal erupted when Fox News correspondent Brit Hume said that Woods should convert from his previous religion of Buddhism to Christianity, as Christianity offers more forgiveness than Buddhism.  Woods did not convert and, in fact, during his public apology for all that had happened, discussed his adherence to Buddhism and an intention to reapply himself to its teachings in an effort to change how he was living his life.

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The Abolition of Loneliness

by Hank Pellissier

Many humans feel that no one loves, cares, or understands them.  They deserve a better future.  I believe that transhumanists need to annihilate the sad, estranged, socially-disconnected emotion of loneliness by creating an abundance of cures.

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Wide Range of Opinions on Living in VR

The attitudes of IEET readers toward spending time in a future idealized version of virtual reality cover a broad spectrum, from very little interest to a readiness for 100% immersion.

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Life in a Virtual World

by Mike Treder

If you could live in a world that was just the way you wanted it to be, with specifications you’d chosen, customized and personalized to meet your every need and fulfill your fondest desires, would you spend all your time there? Or would you prefer to stay here, in the real world?

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IEET Readers Mostly Optimistic About Living Long Lives

More than half of those who responded to a recently concluded poll of IEET readers expect to be alive in the year 2100, aided by one or more forms of advanced technology.

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Sex Makes You Smarter — Can ‘Virtual Sex’ Do The Same?

by Andrea Kuszewski

If sex makes you smarter via changes in synaptic strength following the act, can you get the same benefit from virtual sex, as long as your brain is convinced it is real at the time?

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Gelernter’s ‘dream logic’ and the quest for artificial intelligence

by George Dvorsky

Internet pioneer David Gelernter explores the ethereal fuzziness of cognition in his Edge.org article, “Dream-logic, the internet and artificial consciousness.” He’s right about the imperfect and dream-like nature of cognition and conscious thought; AI theorists should certainly take notice.

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Might There Be Intelligences in Other “Dimensions”?

by Ben Goertzel

Many people, after having certain meditative experiences or taking certain psychedelic substances (especially DMT), emerge with a strong intuitive sense that they have been communicating with intelligent transhuman beings in some other “dimension”—a dimension quite close-by to us, but normally inaccessible to us due to the nature of our mind-architecture and self-structure.

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Will you live to see the 22nd century?

by Mike Treder

Unless you were born about five minutes ago (in which case you’re probably not reading this article), odds are that in 90 years you will not still be alive, based on current life expectancy figures. But could something happen between now and then to give you a chance, no matter how old you are today?

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You may have made a friend, but did you find a person?

by Kristi Scott

I just got done reading a New York Times article titled “Making Friends With a Robot Named Bina48” and it couldn’t be more appropriately timed.

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Why Should We Extend Human Rights to Mindclones?

by Martine Rothblatt

Even if we want to extend human rights to software beings, is it practical to do so?

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Why “Why Transhumanism Won’t Work” Won’t Work

by Phil Torres

There is nothing wrong with someone not knowing about a given subject. But there is something wrong with someone not knowing about a subject and pontificating about it as if he does.

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Workshop on Advancing Substrate Independent Minds Held in Teleplace

by Giulio Prisco

The First Online Workshop on Advancing Substrate Independent Minds, ASIM2010-1, was held in Teleplace on June 5, 2010. It was a very intense workshop with 10 talks and lively discussions.

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Martine Rothblatt’s Lifenaut Project Featured in New Scientist

The Terasem Foundation, a project of IEET Trustee Martine Rothblatt, is working with IEET Senior Fellow Bill Bainbridge on capturing human personality for later instantiation. Their free Lifenaut and CyBeRev services have just received a positive review from New Scientist.

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Cerebral Imperialism

by Richard Eskow

Could it be that there is no intelligence without a body? That there’s only computation? That cognition is the byproduct of biological processes, and never the driver of them?

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Goals and Meta-Goals

by Ben Goertzel

Ever have the experience that you seriously think you’re trying to achieve one thing, but then in hindsight, years later, you look back and feel like your past self was actually trying to achieve something else entirely?

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Telepresence Education for a Smarter World

by Giulio Prisco

(co-authored with J. Simone Riccardi)  There can be no doubt that the explosion of Internet technology started in the 90s has had a huge impact on our culture. For the first time in history, geographically distributed large groups of people have been able to interact in near-real time. Usenet groups and mailing lists, and then the Web, message boards, blogs, social networks, IP voice and video conferencing, have enabled and empowered global communities held together by common interests and world-views instead of geographical proximity.

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Caprica, Gamer, & Surrogates: Overlooked Benefits of Virtual Worlds

by Ben Scarlato

In its first season, Caprica has done an excellent job of exploring the ethical issues relating to V-World (the virtual world created by the ultra-rich Daniel Graystone), looking at the dangers of becoming overly immersed in V-World, and whether an avatar constitutes a real person. Also in the past year, we’ve seen Gamer and Surrogates, two movies that explore some common themes with interesting parallels to those in Caprica.

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How Should Society Be Structured?

by Ben Goertzel

Democracy ... capitalism ... communism ... socialism ... anarchism ... the list goes on and on ... is there any really good way to structure a human society? If not, then what’s the best of the bad lot?

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The Sociocultural Mind

by Ben Goertzel

One of the charming peculiarities of modern Western culture—and especially American culture, which I’ve lived in most of my life, and which has played a pivotal role in the development of humanity’s advanced technologies—is its emphasis on the individual rather than the social group.

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Why the “Toward a Science of Consciousness” Conference is Important to Technoprogressivism

by Kris Notaro

Politics, Consciousness, AI, Technoprogressivism, Transhumanism all mixed into one.

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Dolphins Rule, Fish Get No Respect

Respondents to a recently concluded IEET reader poll chose Dolphin as the animal whose consciousness they would most like to briefly inhabit. Given a dozen animals to choose from, Fish ranked dead last.

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Uploading for Life Extension Will Be Valid

by Ben Hyink

While it may be impolitic now for technoprogressives to focus on uploading, for radical life extension advocates it is invaluable to have access to brief and compelling arguments in favor of the efficacy of such a process.

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Online Games, Super Empowerment, and a Better World

by John Robb

For active online gamers, real life is broken. It doesn’t make any sense. Effort isn’t connected to reward. The path forward is confused, convoluted, and contradictory. Worse, there’s a growing sense that the entire game is being corrupted to ensure failure. So why play it?

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Compassion

by Ben Goertzel

We tend think about compassion on the level of individual selves and minds: Bob feels compassionate toward Jim because Jim lost his wife, or his wallet, etc. Bob sympathizes with Jim because he can internally, to a certain extent, “feel what Jim feels.”

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Future Evolution of Virtual Worlds as Communication Environments

by Giulio Prisco

Virtual worlds are persistent online computer-generated environments where people can interact, whether for work or play, in a manner comparable to the real world. The most popular current example is World of Warcraft, a massively multiplayer online game with eleven million subscribers. However, other virtual worlds, notably Second Life, are not games at all but Internet-based collaboration contexts in which people can create virtual objects, simulated architecture, and working groups.

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Augmented (Fashion) Reality

by Jamais Cascio

Earthquakes, global warming, patent lawsuits… it’s all a bit much, sometimes. Even a sober-minded “moral guide to the future” needs a break. So today, we talk about fashion.

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Patterns All the Way Down!

by Ben Goertzel

You’ve probably heard the story…

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