Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies



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



UPCOMING EVENTS: Vision

Eurosymposium on Healthy Aging
September 29-1
Brussels, Belgium


Environmentalism, Progressivism and Technoprogressivism Meetup
October 2
Unitarian Hall - East Melbourne 110 Grey Street, East Melbourne


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


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


Hughes @ Transhumanist Culture Festival
November 27
Stockholm, Sweden




MULTIMEDIA: Vision Topics

A.I. Ethics: Should We Grant Them Moral and Legal Personhood?

How Parasites Commandeer and Change Our Neurocircuits

A new way to heal hearts without surgery

How fear of nuclear power is hurting the environment

Want to Be a Physicist? Develop an Affinity for the Weird

“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

Has Apple Lost Steve Jobs’ Vision of Simplicity?

Cybercrime: Hacking Goes Way Beyond Simple Identity Theft

Cyberchondria: Do Online Health Searches Prompt Symptoms

Will we become posthuman?




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Vision Topics




Monsanto Just Got Access to the World’s Most Powerful Gene-Editing Tool

by George Dvorsky

Agriculture company Monsanto has acquired a non-exclusive global licensing agreement from MIT’s Broad Institute and Harvard to use the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing system. The firm will use it to design and grow new seeds and plants, but there are key restrictions on its use to prevent Monsanto from abusing this revolutionary new technology.



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?’.



India Awakens Conference Fundraiser and Ticket Sale

by Giulio Prisco

The India Awakens Conference fundraiser and ticket sale is live! Please contribute to our fundraiser to cover the Conference’s costs, and choose one of the recommended donation levels to attend the Conference (in person or online) or receive the video proceedings on DVD.



Is Robust Moral Realism a kind of Religious Belief?

by John Danaher

Robust moral realism is the view that moral facts exist, but that they are not reducible to non-moral or natural facts. According to the robust realist, when I say something like ‘It is morally wrong to torture an innocent child for fun’, I am saying something that is true, but whose truth is not reducible to the non-moral properties of torture or children. Robust moral realism has become surprisingly popular in recent years, with philosophers like Derek Parfit, David Enoch, Erik Wielenberg and Russell Shafer-Landau all defending versions of it.



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.



Exponential Impact at the Singularity University Global Summit

by David Orban

At Singularity University we address the world’s greatest challenges, through the application of exponential technologies, spreading knowledge through conferences, educating through our courses, and creating, accelerating and funding startups.



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...



Decadent Europe’s Islamist Dystopia

by Rick Searle

Sometimes I get the feeling that the West really is intellectually and spiritually bankrupt. I take my cue here not from watching Eurovision or anything like its American equivalent, but from the fact that, despite how radically different our circumstance is from our predecessors, we can’t seem to get beyond political ideas that have been banging around since the 19th century. Instead of coming up with genuine alternatives we rebrand antique ideas. After all, isn’t “fully automated luxury communism” really just a technophilic version of communism which hopes to shed all association with breadlines or statues of strapping workers with hammers in their hands? Let’s just call the thing Marxism and get it the hell over with.



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.



A Way Forward

by Stephen Yearwood

In its “Vision”statement IEET says that the “liberal democratic revolution” is “still growing strong.” These days, it is difficult to find evidence in support of that statement.



Skeletal Analysis Suggests Lucy Died After Falling From a Tree

by George Dvorsky

The world’s most famous human ancestor, an extinct hominid named Lucy, died after falling from a tall tree, according to scientists. It’s a revelation that points to tree-dwelling behavior in recent evolutionary history, but some scientists aren’t convinced.



IEET Affiliated Scholar Nikola Danaylov Launches Crowdfunding Campaign for Singularity1on1

Singularity 1on1 is an experiment in both podcasting and creative infopreneurship; an opportunity for real growth - both for you and for me. An invitation to challenge me, you and our friends. And a gift of something non-material, something you cannot touch but can be powerfully touched by none-the-less. Something I cannot mail to you right after you press the ‘donate’ button. But something you can choose to receive and carry in your heart. [Just like all truly precious gifts are.]

Full Story...



Alien Hunters Spot Freaky Radio Signal Coming From Nearby Star

by George Dvorsky

Astronomers using the RATAN-600 radio telescope in the Russian Republic of Karachay-Cherkessia have detected an unusual signal emanating from a star located about 94 light-years from Earth. It’s not clear if the signal is being transmitted by aliens, but the researchers say we should keep a close watch on this intriguing new extraterrestrial candidate.



Science Fiction! Science Fiction!

by David Brin

An apropos moment for a SF’nal posting, as I report to you all from the World Science Fiction Convention in Kansas City, MO. Many fascinating people saying an doing interesting things. Lots of discussion of “da future.” And congratulations to the winners of the 2016 Hugo Award! But that will wait a bit. For now…



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.



The “Transcension Hypothesis” and the “Fermi Paradox”

by John G. Messerly

John Smart, a colleague of mine in the Evolution, Cognition and Complexity Group, has advanced the transcension hypothesis. In Smart’s words:



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 ?

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