Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies



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



UPCOMING EVENTS: Access



MULTIMEDIA: Access Topics

Work/Life Balance Is a Non-Issue If You Find Your Purpose

Is Your To Do List Functioning As Mood Repair or Enhancing Your Productivity?

Poverty Is a Threat to Democracy

How We Fail Non-traditional Students

The Future of Making Babies

Automate Now? Robots, Jobs and Universal Basic Income A Public Debate

The Digital Economy Should Be about Capital Creation, Not Extraction

Episode #1- Tal Zarsky on the Ethics of Big Data and Predictive Analytics

A futuristic vision of the age of holograms

Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus

Google, Amazon, and Netflix Know Their Most Important Product Is You

Maria Mitchell: America’s First Celebrity Scientist

Autonomous Cars 101

Why Are We Here? Singularity University Colloquium

How I started a sanitary napkin revolution!




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Access Topics




The World’s First Child-Sized Exoskeleton Will Melt Your Heart

by George Dvorsky

We’ve seen exoskeletons before, but nothing quite like this one. The new brace, developed by Spanish researchers, will help children with spinal muscular atrophy.

The 26-pound device consists of long support rods and are adjusted to fit around a child’s legs and torso. A series of motors mimic human muscles in the joints, endowing the patient the required strength to stand upright and walk. A series of sensors, along with a movement controller and a five-hour battery, complete the system. The aluminum and titanium device can also be expanded and modified to accommodate children between the age of 3 and 14.



Worst case scenario – 2035 and no basic income.

by Khannea Suntzu

There is now an almost constant stream of articles saying what was politically incorrect to state out loud just 5-8 years ago – Technological Unemployment is certain, it is imminent and ‘something like a basic income’ will be necessary. I have said so much on this societal issue in the last ten years that it quite often feels like an obligatory rehash of the arguments in favor of a basic income. The best and most authoritative arguments are still being voiced by Martin Ford and I suggest everyone to check his level-headed and well researched presentations on the topic. In my understanding Martin blows arguments against out of the water.



China May Be the Reason that Speech Recognition Takes Off

by Daniel Faggella

Google may have DeepMind, but Baidu, China’s homegrown Google, has Deep Speech.

Deep Speech, which debuted in December 2015, is a speech recognition system that uses an artificial neural network to translate audio input directly to transcribed output. By contrast, most speech recognition systems, including Siri, use multiple, engineer-crafted steps to make translations.



A snapshot on the fight against death

by Fran Villalba Segarra

We are humans. We are animals that are born, grow and die. A life, indeed, limited by death. Some, through religion, have tried to address this issue. People believed and still legitimately believe that their soul will go to heaven once they die. However, we are now really close to finally defeating death through science. The aim of this article is to address this exact topic; immortality. This will be done through two sets of arguments. The first one will deal with the social issues related to the topic; the second with the scientific part. Although human death has not yet been cured, it is thought that it will be within the next fifty years, bringing social issues that will have to be considered.



The Injustice of Sexism

by John G. Messerly

I read an interesting article this morning titled, “Late-breaking sexism”: why younger women aren’t excited about electing a woman president.” Its main theme is that while women have made great strides, there is still a lot of sexism in the USA, especially the kind that manifests itself in a woman’s late twenties and early thirties when the demands of career and family intersect.



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.



Guaranteed Mirage Income?

by Jonathan Kolber

Abstract:

According to Oxford, B of A Merrill Lynch, and other researchers, technological job displacement will increase dramatically in the next decade. Awareness of the threat this poses to societal stability is rapidly rising. Along with this awareness, there is increased discussion of guaranteed income (in various flavors) as a solution. This article explores the myriad challenges associated with permanently implementing any such program on a national basis.



Intelligence Squared Debate: Are Lifespans Long Enough?

by Jules Hamilton

I attended the intelligence squared debate for aging.  The motion was “Are Lifespans Long Enough?” Honestly, it almost seems like a rigged question.

However, its framing does challenge a common philosophy language trap. “Are Lifespans Long Enough?” What is “enough?” Is it what we have? Is it the minimum to expect? Is it always more?

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Using P2P value maps and universal darwinism for a crypto basic income system

by Johan Nygren

Back in the early 2000s, Ryan Fugger invented something that will come to change the future of economics. He invented Ripple, a P2P credit clearing system. Some argue that P2P credit is unstable and prone to inflation, and I second that, and I believe Ripple should be combined with some form of stable index. Perhaps something like solarcoin.org — what could be more stable than the energy of a photon?



Technology and Caregiving go Hand in Hand

by Marie Miguel

Hungry? You can order some pizza and pay for it online. Need to pay your bills? You don’t have to go to the bank or to the billing company to do it. You can either do it online on your desktop or on your smartphone. Need to buy a gift for your nephew whose birthday is this weekend? No need to go out during your lunch break to buy a gift. Just order online and you can have it delivered at your door step.

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The Penalty for Poverty Should Not Be Death

by Richard Eskow

The Brookings Institution recently issued a report showing that poor Americans die at a much earlier age than rich Americans, and that this life expectancy gap between rich and poor is growing rapidly. A professor of public health at Yale University told the New York Times, “It’s embarrassing.”

Yes, it is.

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Review of Michael Bess’, Our Grandchildren Redesigned

by John G. Messerly

Vanderbilt University’s Michael Bess has written an extraordinarily thoughtful new book: Our Grandchildren Redesigned: Life In The BioEngineered Society Of The Near Future. The first part of the book introduces the reader to the technologies that will enhance the physical, emotional, and intellectual abilities of our children and grandchildren: pharmaceuticals, bioelectronics, genetics, nanotechnology, robotics, artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, and virtual reality.



Should India Promote Scientific Research on Aging?

by Kalluri Subba Rao

Should India promote scientific research on aging? This was the question put to me by a learned friend of mine during our discussion on the ever increasing population of India and in particular that section of the population beyond 60 years of age. I was suggesting, rather emotionally, that it is high time that India had taken the health and other problems of senior citizens seriously and active research be promoted on the phenomenon of getting old and such age associated health and social problems.

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New Technologies as Social Experiments: An Ethical Framework

by John Danaher

What was Apple thinking when it launched the iPhone? It was an impressive bit of technology, poised to revolutionise the smartphone industry, and set to become nearly ubiquitous within a decade. The social consequences have been dramatic. Many of those consequences have been positive: increased connectivity, increased knowledge and increased day-to-day convenience.



VR Will Create Multiple Existences - “meatspace” will not be considered the only true reality

by Brent Logan Reitze

The nature of what is truly real has been pondered by philosophers for centuries. Plato argued we were only seeing shadows of true reality. Descartes pointed out nothing could be proven by your own thoughts. And while we must assume a shared reality to function with other over the course of daily life, that assumption will come to be questioned in the future with the rise of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies. 

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Longevity and the Indian Tradition

by Ilia Stambler

Does the pursuit of longevity, or even radical longevity, have future in India? The following article will consider this question mainly in ideological, cultural and historical terms, rather than in terms of analyzing current technological and demographic trends. In demographic terms, as was also noted earlier, the life expectancy in India is till relatively low compared to other countries (about 65-66 years), yet it is clearly on the rise[1] and no limit can be set for this increase.

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Beauty Will Be in the Bionic Eye of the Beholder

by B. J. Murphy

How might we define beauty in a future of cyborgs and the genetically enhanced?

Today we live in a world that has been radically transformed by the hands of advanced science and technology. Depending on which sci-fi literature you might’ve read, one could accurately portray today’s reality as a sci-fi future. A future where everyone is interconnected using tiny computational devices which fit in their pockets, biological limbs being replaced by advanced bionic prosthetics, and disease being combated using gene-editing tools.

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Some potential interventions to ameliorate degenerative aging

by Ilia Stambler

The interventions into the degenerative aging process are still in their infancy. A long effortful road will yet need to be traveled from basic research on cell cultures and animal models to effective, safe and widely available human therapies. And many dangers to human health (such as overdose and overstimulation) and many unsubstantiated false claims yet await on this road that need to be guarded against as much as possible. Yet vast promising research is progressing, especially as regards potential pharmaceutical interventions into the aging process.[1] [2] [3] Below are some examples.

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A Pressing Issue — Lack of Knowledge about Global Health

by Natasha Vita-More

Global health could easily be the most pressing global issue today, due in large part to humanity’s general lack of knowledge about health and what this lack of knowledge means to humanity’s future.

Which disease—from the array of infectious diseases, cancer, Tay-Sachs, sickle-cell anemia to Alzheimer’s—should we as a world community invest in curing?

Full Story...



Goertzel Launches Indiegogo to create AI Tablets for African Children

IEET Fellow Ben Goertzel is promoting an Indigogo campaign to complete YaNetu, a project that would provide AI tablets to African children.

Full Story...
Link to Indigogo



A Conversation With Bionic Actress Angel Giuffria

by B. J. Murphy

What will the future look like in the eyes of those one step ahead of us?

I’ve been speaking a lot lately about what I believe the future will be like, as envisioned by robotics company Humai. For a change of pace, I decided to reach out to someone else and get their take on the world of tomorrow.

That someone is cyborg and bionic actress Angel Giuffria

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Longevity Cookbook: Pharmacological Extension of Lifespan

by Maria Konovalenko

Here is a teaser from the Longevity Cookbook project.

The first chapter is on pharmacologic enhancement of lifespan. This chapter includes different ways of trying to develop pharmaceuticals to combat aging.

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Future Emotions: How Synaesthesia, Technology and Experimental Music Dilate Our Internal Geographies

by Rory Viner

What follows is a description of experiments using the medium of sound and emerging sound technologies to destabilize conceptions and reposition ourselves to histories of social trauma and to our own sense of self. Can we interrogate these intersections of meaning and data in new ways? Can we dilate emotional immediacy through such re­imaginings? Does technology allow and help us to reconsider these approaches?

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Longévité, IA, risques existentiels : dangers et opportunités (partie B)

by Didier Coeurnelle

Partie B : Que faire ? > Lien vers la partie A de l’article

4. Faire avancer la recherche en matière de longévité sera plus facile avec l’aide de l’intelligence artificielle

De nombreuses approches sont possibles lorsqu’il s’agit d’augmenter notre espérance de vie maximale. La recherche se focalise en général sur les domaines suivants :



Why Wait for Designer Babies? Five Things You Can Do Now to Increase Your Child’s Intelligence

by Nicole Sallak Anderson

Artificial Intelligence. Nanobots. 3D printing of organs. Prosthetics that read your brainwaves. Virtual Reality. Mars colonies. Gene editing. Of all the technologies on our horizon, I think gene editing is the one that will come to the table first.

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Justice-Related Objections to Effective Altruism

by John Danaher

This post is the first substantive entry in my series about effective altruism. In a previous post, I offered a general introduction to the topic of effective altruism (EA) and sketched out a taxonomy of the main objections to the practice. In that post, I adopted a ‘thick’ definition of EA, which holds that one ought to do the most good one can do, assuming a welfarist and consequentialist approach to ethics, and favouring evidentially robust policy interventions.

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Against Transhuman Separatism: Breakaway Cultures Become Broken Cultures

by Woody Evans

I was recently invited to participate in a conference on “startup societies”—those groups, usually libertarian, that want to peel off from dominant cultures and governments in order to explore their own interests and freedoms in international waters.  You may have heard of The Principality of Sealand, Operation Atlantis, Liberland, Fort Galt, The First Millennial Foundation (AKA The Living Universe Foundation), or the dozens of other wannabe micronations.  What would the potentials for transhuman experimentation, I was asked, be in such micro societies?  In formulating my reply by email, I realized there was more to say, and I wanted to loop the rest of you in on the conversation.

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Le choix d’une vie très longue en bonne santé : pourquoi ? (4/4) : Effets écono

by Marc Roux

Dernière partie dédiée à la réflexion sur “Le choix d’une vie très longue en bonne santé : pourquoi?” Préserver et renforcer la part de l’économie non marchande L’accroissement d’abord progressif, puis éventuellement considérable de la durée de vie en bonne santé a commencé depuis longtemps par se traduire par une augmentation de la quantité d’activité fournie par des personnes curieusement qualifiées par les statistiques françaises de « non-actives ».



Gerontological Manifesto

by Alexey Matveyevich Olovnikov

The necessity to create various remedies for degenerative age-related diseases is beyond any doubts. But this process is somewhat like a Sisyphean task, because the aging of each person only deepens over time, persistently destroying the results of treatment. Pharma is forced to deal with the countless consequences, rather than with their cause. The primary cause of aging is still deeply buried in gerontological terra incognita. Meanwhile, a growing and imminent new threat for humankind is becoming increasingly apparent. This threat is the increasing aging of the human population as a whole.



Basic Income is certain, but ‘they’ will wait as long as they can to implement it.

by Khannea Suntzu

Looking at the barrage of news on technological unemployment, we may get lucky and avoid the predictable denialism phase altogether. A lot of time gets wasted on denying things that are inescapable. We may get lucky, as in “we might avoid a massively disfunctional dystopian future full of mass-poverty and the consequences thereof“.

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