Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

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


MULTIMEDIA: Access Topics

Should You Sign Up for Cryonics?

The Future of News? Virtual Reality

Network Society Interview with David Orban

How the Mysterious Dark Net Is Going Mainstream

An Internet Without Screens Might Look Like This

Technology is Harming Our Relationships, and We Can Stop It

BioViva: Ending Aging through Gene Therapy

Otherness: Will We Meet Beings with Different Minds than Ours?

How About a MAXIMUM Wage?

Soon We’ll Cure Diseases with a Cell, Not a Pill

Life, Death and Palliative Care

Ethical Implications of Anti-Aging Medicine

I Leapt From the Stratosphere. Here’s How I Did It:

Gene Therapy is NOT a Monstrous Science / Singularity 1on1

Bipolar Disorder Is Like Having Two Serious Illnesses at Once

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Access Topics

Scientific Illiteracy and the Coming Singularity

by Gareth John

Anyone who’s read any of my previous posts will already know that I am, let us say, technologically challenged. Some twenty years ago I studied towards a PhD in Tibetan Studies and Classical Sanskrit and Tibetan languages. Alas, since then with this knowledge unused it has faded away although I can still say Chandamaharoshana Tantra without bringing on a manic mood swing.

Proliferated Futuristic Weaponry: World’s First 3-D Printed Revolver

by B. J. Murphy

In light of the recent news where the Australian government officially criminalized the mere act of owning blueprints to 3D print a gun, it certainly raises the question of how other countries will handle the future prospect of advanced 3D printed weaponry. The ownership of a gun is already a controversial topic currently being debated here in the United States, and with 3D printed guns now being added into the mix, the controversy is likely to become exacerbated.

Desiderata for a Model of Human Values

by Kaj Sotala

Soares (2015) defines the value learning problem as: By what methods could an intelligent machine be constructed to reliably learn what to value and to act as its operators intended?

Future Fiction: To an Antique Land

by B. J. Murphy

Originally Published on Serious Wonder by Adam Alonzi

The streets are quiet now. They’ve been removed. Harmony permeates a prosperous civilization. What is outside of it is not noble. I cannot now fathom what malfunction could have let me leave the pyramid. The renounced paradise is not far. It surrounds me. The dissonance between my selves is crushing. Such an unbridgeable gap should not be possible. It would be abysmal to die here, though I felt the same way about my old rarefied abode.

Star Trek Philosophy: “Killing Is Wrong, No Matter Who’s Doing It”

by B. J. Murphy

The following dialogue below took place on Star Trek: Voyager, on episode 13, season 7, titled “Repentance.” It was between Seven of Nine (whom is a former Borg drone) and the Doctor (whom is a holographic emergency medical physician), of which they discuss the morality (or lack thereof) behind the act of killing another living being.

Obfuscation: protect privacy by destroying the Web!

by David Brin

Time for a return to the core issue of our time: how shall we best preserve and extend freedom?  Along with freedom’s contingent benefits, like privacy?

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.

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.

“Prior art” is just a fancy term for “too slow lawyering up”  (Short story)

by Marcelo Rinesi

They used to send a legal ultimatum before it happened. Now you just wake up one day and everything green is dead, because the plants are biotech and counter-hacking is a legal response to intellectual property theft, even if the genes in question are older than the country that granted the patent.

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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.

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.

A Multifaceted Strategy to Defeat ISIS

by Gennady Stolyarov II

The recent slaughters of hundreds of innocent civilians in Paris, in Ankara, in Beirut, and aboard the Russian Metrojet Flight 9268 illustrate without a shadow of doubt that the threat from the barbaric sect known as ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, and the Islamic State cannot be contained within the Middle East. ISIS is an enemy of humanity, decency, and Western civilization. It will continue killing completely peaceful civilians of Western nations, both in their home countries and abroad, in gruesome ways. ISIS is a cancer upon humanity, and it will continue to metastasize and inflict damage until it is either eradicated or until it completely kills its host. Like cancer, ISIS cannot coexist with a healthy humankind. This cancerous “Islamic State” should be eradicated using the resources of any willing parties.

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.

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 Case For Universal Prosperity (Part 4)

by Michael Hrenka

Currently, automation is often seen as very negative, because it eliminates jobs. When jobs become much less of a necessity, due to their income generating function being taken over by a SUPI, the negative sentiments against automation will decrease – and may even turn into demands for faster automation. Social and political resistance against automation will disappear. Therefore, the speed of innovation can increase, which should give the economy a big boost.

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.

Will At-Home Therapeutic Miscarriage Make Abortion Clinics Obsolete?

by Valerie Tarico

At the turn of the millennium, the FDA approved a pill that could replace most abortions with early at-home therapeutic miscarriage.  When will that potential be realized?

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.

The Case For Universal Prosperity (Part 3)

by Michael Hrenka

What is universal prosperity? My idea of universal prosperity is that we can lift the living standards of everyone to a really decent level within the next decades. This “prosperity” life standard would include the following:

Approaching Zero: How West Africa is Crushing the Ebola Epidemic

by George Dvorsky

The West African Ebola outbreak is finally starting to approach manageable levels, after nearly 18 excruciating months and over 11,000 lost lives. Here’s what the current situation on the ground looks like and how the battle against Ebola finally might be won.

This is the largest and longest Ebola outbreak in human history. At its peak, there were 950 confirmed cases each week, prompting fears of a global pandemic. Officials have reported 28,421 confirmed, probable, and suspected cases in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Of these, some 11,300 people have died — a fatality rate of 40%. A total of 881 healthcare workers have been infected; of those, 513 died.

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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.

Full Story...

The Case For Universal Prosperity (Part 2)

by Michael Hrenka

For the rest of this article I assume a model which I see as suboptimal – but realistic – conservative compromise:
Almost all social security policies get slashed in favour of a sufficient UBI.
Consumption taxes and income taxes are both increased so much that they can cover any additional cost that a sufficient UBI would impose.
Land value taxation and social dividends are not used to finance the UBI, even though that might be seen as preferred solution.

Crypto Enlightenment: A Social Theory of Blockchains

by Melanie Swan

There is something new and fundamental happening in the world which could be the start of the next enlightenment period. The core of this is shifting from centralized to decentralized models in all aspects of our lives, both individual and societally.

The Ethics of Commercial Surrogacy: Gender Inequality Arguments

by John Danaher

This is a follow-up to my previous post on Debra Satz’s analysis of commercial surrogacy. In that post, I reviewed three classic objections to surrogacy and presented some of Satz’s critiques of those objections. As I mentioned, this was a ground-clearing exercise. Although Satz’s thinks that the traditional objections are flawed, she is not herself a supporter of commercial surrogacy (to be precise, she is not a supporter of ‘contract pregnancy’, which makes the target and conclusion of her arguments less clear — I’ll return to this point below).

A World in Which

by Jamais Cascio

Why do we think about the future? This may seem an odd setting in which to ask this question. We’re all here tonight because we’re interested in big changes that seem to be thundering ahead in technology, in politics, in the human experience. But there has to be more than “interest.” An organization like the Institute for the Future wouldn’t be around for nearly a half-century if it was really just the Institute for Idle Curiosity About Tomorrow.

How Cheap Can Energy Storage Get? Pretty Darn Cheap

by Ramez Naam

This is part 3 of a series looking at the economic trends of new energy technologies. Part 1 looked at how cheap solar can get (very cheap indeed). Part 2 looked at the declining cost and rising reliability of wind power. Now let’s talk about storage.

The Case For Universal Prosperity (Part 1)

by Michael Hrenka

In this article series I present two different versions of a universal basic income (UBI). The first two parts are about a moderate UBI that aims to cover basic living expenses. As short-term goal I propose experimentation with this moderate concept with the medium-term goal to implement it on the national level. It does not matter much which nation is meant exactly, because the logic of the UBI will be basically the same for all nations.

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