Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies



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



UPCOMING EVENTS: Vision

Santens @ North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress
September 30-


Danko Nikolic@“Rise of the AI” in Berlin
February 25
Berlin


Sorgner@Star Trek “New Worlds” event
April 15-17
Nürnberg, Germany


Kevin LaGrandeur at Cleveland MOCA
April 28
Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art’s (MOCA) Spring Exhibition


Sorgner@8th Beyond Humanism Conference
May 25-28
Universidad Complutense of Madrid, Faculty of Philosophy


Campa@Third ISA Forum on Sociology
July 12
Vienna, Austria


Stefan Sorgner @ Meditation & Wirklichkeit Conference in Berlin
November 25-26
Berlin




MULTIMEDIA: Vision Topics

Does Giving Animals More Rights Improve the Quality of Human Life?

Cloud-Brained Humanoid Robots Are Right around the Corner

Are Smartphones Trapping Us in Anti-Social Bubbles?

3 Myths of Genius Debunked

More Than Star Dust, We’re Made of the Big Bang Itself

Can Stem Cells Reverse Aging?

Shape-shifting tech will change work as we know it

How we’ll fight the next deadly virus

A delightful way to teach kids about computers

A robot that runs and swims like a salamander

Network Society: the coming socio-economic phase transformation

What Carries Our Personal Identity?

The Longevity Dividend

All your devices can be hacked

Military robots and the future of war




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Vision Topics




Humai’s Vision For the World of Tomorrow

by B. J. Murphy

The world is accelerating towards a future beyond fathomable comprehension. While we have a relatively good idea as to what might occur in 10 or 20 years time, when we start gazing out into the unknown — 25 to 30+ years from now — we find ourselves meandering beyond a point of which we can no longer properly conceive.

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How Science Can Make Us Immortal

by John G. Messerly

If death is inevitable, then all we can do is die and hope for the best. But perhaps we don’t have to die. Many respectable scientists now believe that humans can overcome death and achieve immortality through the use of future technologies. But how will we do this?

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Top Three Strategies for Avoiding an Existential Risk

by Phil Torres

Since the first species of Homo emerged in the grassy savanna of East Africa some 2 million years ago, humanity has been haunted by a small constellation of improbable existential risks from nature. We can call this our cosmic risk background. It includes threats posed by asteroid/comet impacts, super volcanic eruptions, global pandemics, solar flares, black hole explosions or mergers, supernovae, galactic center outbursts, and gamma-ray bursts. While modern technology could potentially protect us against some of these risks — such as asteroids that could induce an “impact winter” — the background of existential dangers remains more or less unchanged up to the present.

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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!

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Phil Torres publishes book on Existential Risks

IEET Affiliate Scholar Phil Torres has published a book on Existential Risks, titled The End: What Science and Religion Tell Us About the Apocalypse. The Foreword was written by IEET Fellow Russell Blackford. 

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Link to Existential Risks, titled The End: What Science and Religion Tell Us About the Apocalypse.



Riccardo Campa will be speaking at Vienna conference

IEET Fellow Riccardo Campa will present a lecture on “Robots and Unemployment: A Scenario Analysis” in Vienna.

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Stefan Sorgner interviewed by Deutschlandradio Kultur

IEET Fellow Stefan Sorgner was interviewed on February 7, 2016 ago by Deutschlandradio Kultur.

Full Story...



How Science Can Make Us Immortal

by John G. Messerly

If death is inevitable, then all we can do is die and hope for the best. But perhaps we don’t have to die. Many respectable scientists now believe that humans can overcome death and achieve immortality through the use of future technologies. But how will we do this?



Fun sans fin

by EMG

A la fin du dix-huitième siècle, des bricoleurs ont fabriqué les premières boites à musique : de subtils petits mécanismes capables de jouer des harmonies et mélodies tout seuls. Quelques uns comptaient des cloches, percussions, orgues, et même des violons, tout cela coordonné par un cylindre rotatif. Les exemples les plus ambitieux étaient de véritables orchestres lilliputiens, comme le Panharmonicon, inventé à Vienne en 1805, ou l’Orchestrion, produit en série à Dresde en 1851.



The Super-Shulgin Academy: A Singularity I Can Believe In

by Andrés Gómez Emilsson

Imagine that the year is 2050. A lot of AI applications are now a normal part of life. Cars drive themselves, homes clean themselves (and they do so more cheaply than maids possibly could) and even doctors have been now partially replaced with neural networks. But the so-called Kurzweilian Singularity never took off. You can now talk for 10 rounds of sentences with a chatbot without being able to tell if it is a real person or not. The bots anticipate your questions by analyzing your facial expressions and matching them to a vast library of pre-existing human-machine conversations in order to maximize their level of Turing success (i.e. success at convincing humans the algorithm is a human).

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Daniel Dennett: In Defense of Robotic Consciousness

by John G. Messerly

Daniel Dennett (1942 – ) is an American philosopher, writer and cognitive scientist whose research is in the philosophy of mind, philosophy of science and philosophy of biology, particularly as those fields relate to evolutionary biology and cognitive science. He is currently the Co-director of the Center for Cognitive Studies, the Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy, and a University Professor at Tufts University. He received his PhD from Oxford University in 1965 where he studied under the eminent philosopher Gilbert Ryle.



Stefan Sorgner speaking on Transhumanism and Star Wars

IEET Fellow Stefan Sorgner has been invited to talk about Transhumanism and Star Trek at the Star Trek event, “New Worlds.”

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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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Will Reproductive Rights Advocates Stand Up for Men?

by Valerie Tarico

Frozen embryos open new questions about forced parenthood and whether men, too, might have rights under Roe v. Wade.

Those of us on the Left like to say that we’re all “in it” together: rich, poor; white, brown; queer, straight; old, young; secular, devout; and even other species.

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Transhuman Debate 2.0: SF East Bay — want to argue?

IEET is co-sponsoring “Transhuman Debate 2.0” on April 2, 2016, in Oakland, California.

The event is seeking debaters who want to bicker on the following topics:

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Stefan Sorgner edited a German journal on Transhumanism

IEET Fellow Stefan Sorgner has edited a special edition of the German journal “Aufklärung und Kritik” on Transhumanism.

Full Story...
Link to Aufklärung und Kritik



Small Mammalian Brain Prize Winner!

by Michael Cerullo

A team at 21st Century Medicine (http://www.21cm.com/), led by Robert McIntyre has won Small Mammal Brain Preservation Prize, which carries an award of $26,735.

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...



Apple Search Finally Stops Directing People Seeking Abortions to Adoption Centers

by Valerie Tarico

Ask Siri where to get an abortion and get a list of adoption agencies–for five years that was the experience of Apple users in cities ranging from San Francisco to Philadelphia. Recent technical upgrades appear to have resolved the problem, but advocates seeking to end abortion stigma say they intend to keep an eye on Siri and her competitors.



Pulp Ethics Exponential tech needs exponential ethics

by Nicoletta Iacobacci

Numerous innovations have the potential to dramatically augment human cognition and capabilities. They could magnify the economy and give rise to other, even more powerful technologies. Our response to this is crucial.

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John Searle’s Critique of Ray Kurzweil

by John G. Messerly

John Searle (1932 – ) is currently the Slusser Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his PhD from Oxford University. He is a prolific author and one of the most important living philosophers.



New Gravestone Technology: Hi-Tech Gimmickry?

by Robert Bruce

The typical gravestone hasn’t changed in hundreds, if not thousands of years. That said, there are more than a few companies out there trying to use modern technology to upgrade the traditional stone or marble marker. With the likes of wi-fi, video screens and QR codes abound, are these new additions useful or just a hi-tech gimmick?

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Basic Income Guarantee will allow us to move up the Maslow Pyramid - interview with Gerd Leonhard

by Hank Pellissier

Gerd Leonhard is an acclaimed European futurist; his popular videos are featured at IEET and he is a regular IEET contributing writer. In this interview I explore his opinions and forecasts on Basic Income Guarantee.

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The one percent discovers transhumanism: Davos 2016

by Rick Searle

The World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland just wrapped up its annual gathering. It isn’t hard to make fun of this yearly coming together of the global economic and cultural elites who rule the world, or at least think they do.

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“McMindfulness”: is Buddhism contaminated by capitalism?” - interview with Terry Hyland

by Hank Pellissier

Terry Hyland is an expert on Buddhism who was interviewed by IEET for a previous article, in August 2015. He is Emeritus Professor at University of Bolton, UK and Lecturer in Philosophy at Free University of Ireland, teaching courses in mindfulness. He has written over 150 articles, 19 book chapters and 6 books.

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Stefan Sorgner co-organizing 8th Beyond Humanism Conference in Madrid

IEET Fellow Stefan Sorgner is co-organizing the 8th Beyond Humanism Conference, with five other scholars.

The event is May 25-28, 2016, at Universidad Complutense of Madrid, Faculty of Philosophy.

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The Value of Deep Work and How to Prioritise It

by John Danaher

My life is filled with trivial, time-wasting tasks. As an academic, teaching and research are the most valuable* activities I perform. And yet as I progress in my career I find myself constantly drawn away from these two things to focus on administrative tasks. While efficient administration is important in large organisations (like universities), it feels like a major time-sink to someone like me because (a) I am not ultimately rewarded for being good at it (career progression depends far more research and, to a lesser extent, teaching) and (b) I don’t have any aptitude for or interest in it.

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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 ».



Is Cheap Oil a Bad Thing?

by David Brin

I cannot understand the markets’ panic over lower oil prices.  Sure, it hurts if you own Exxon or drilling-fracking services companies, or work for one, or if you are Saudi or Venezuela or Russia or Iran.  But for most of the world, it amounts to a spectacular tax cut and cost discount for all manufacturers, transportation and consumers of almost anything. See this article on much cheaper airline deals

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Ray Kurzweil’s Basic Ideas

by John G. Messerly

Ray Kurzweil is an author, inventor, futurist, and currently Director of Engineering at Google. He is involved in fields such as optical character recognition, text-to-speech synthesis, speech recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments; he is the author of several books on health, artificial intelligence, transhumanism, the technological singularity, and futurism; and he may be the most prominent spokesman in the world today for advocating the use of technology to transform humanity.

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