Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies



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



UPCOMING EVENTS: SciTech

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


Wendell Wallach @ Connecticut Science Center
May 5
Connecticut Science Center




MULTIMEDIA: SciTech Topics

Cloud-Brained Humanoid Robots Are Right around the Corner

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

Shape-shifting tech will change work as we know it

A robot that runs and swims like a salamander

All your devices can be hacked

Military robots and the future of war

Podcast Interview - Is High Tech Turning Us Into the Borg?

Transhumanism: Are We Decommissioning Evolution?

“Hey Bill Nye, How Are Ethics and Morals Related to Science?”

We Need to Teach Kids Creative Thinking

March of the Machines

How we’ll find life on other planets

Have we reached the end of physics?

Future of Technology: the new question is WHY not IF

Technology versus Humanity: a provocative film by Futurist Speaker Gerd Leonhard




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SciTech Topics




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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Cloudworld: A Hegelian Theory of Complexity and Algorithmic Reality

by Melanie Swan

Philosophy could be an important conceptual resource in the determination of human-technology interactions for several reasons. First, philosophy concerns the topics of world, reality, self, society, aspirations, and meaning, all of which we are hoping to reconfigure and accentuate in our relations with technology. Improving human lives is after all one of the main purposes of technology. Second, philosophy relates to thinking, logic, reasoning, and being, which are the key properties of what we would like our technology entities to do.

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Reality Transducer or Omniscience Engine? Five Metaphors for the Internet of Things

by John Danaher

I think metaphors are important. They can help to organise the way we think about something, highlighting its unappreciated features, and allowing us to identify possibilities that were previously hidden from view. They can also be problematic, biasing our thought in unproductive ways, and obscuring things that should be in plain view. Good metaphors are key.

 

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Wendell Wallach book signing at Connecticut Science Center

IEET Fellow Wendell Wallach will be giving a talk and singing his recent book A Dangerous Master:  how to keep technology from slipping beyond our control at the Connecticut Science Center on Thursday, May 5, 2016.

Full Story...
Link to A Dangerous Master: how to keep technology from slipping beyond our control



Can You Effectively Rewire Your Brain?

by Daniel Faggella
When someone is asked to name one thing they’d like to change about themselves, rarely do they answer, “I’d like to change my brain.” But changing the way your brain works is possible, according to Author and Neuroanatomist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, and ongoing research into the inner workings of the human brain will have a profound effect on today’s younger generation and many more generations to follow.

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Should we stop killer robots? (2) - The Right Reason Objection

by John Danaher

(Previous post)

This post is the second in a short series looking at the arguments against the use of fully autonomous weapons systems (AWSs). As I noted at the start of the previous entry, there is a well-publicised campaign that seeks to pre-emptively ban the use of such systems on the grounds that they cross fundamental moral line and fail to comply with the laws of war. I’m interested in this because it intersects with some of my own research on the ethics of robotic systems. And while I’m certainly not a fan of AWSs (I’m not a fan of any weapons systems), I’m not sure how strong the arguments of the campaigners really are.

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OpenAI - My Quick Thoughts

by Ben Goertzel

Generally obviously OpenAI is a super-impressive initiative.   I mean —  a BILLION freakin’ dollars, for open-source AI, wow!!

So now we have an organization with a pile of money available and a mandate to support open-source AI, and a medium-term goal of AGI … and they seem fairly open-minded and flexible/adaptive about how to pursue their mandate, from what I can tell…

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Can Humanity Rein In The Rise Of The Machines? - interview with Steve Omohundro

by Daniel Faggella

Opinions expressed by Hawking, Gates, and Musk about the dangers of artificial intelligence rang loud and clear in 2015, and continue to echo into the new year. Since then, there have been plenty of predictions of humanity’s doom at the hands of autonomous machines. But there have been leading thinkers in the AI space who have also come out from behind the curtain to play devil’s advocate and make clear opposing positions.

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YouTube Will Save Civilization with Reality Education

by Nicole Sallak Anderson

I know, I know. You’re skeptical. YouTube is home to millions of channels, and the most famous and profitable are of young Millennial men and women opening toys or playing video games while you watch.

But bear with me, because I believe that YouTube is the answer to a huge problem we have right now in our world—The lack of reality education.

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Redefining the Relationship of Man and Machine

by Gerd Leonhard
What are the challenges and opportunities facing society in the next 10 years as a result of an accelerating pace of technological development? 

(this essay is an excerpt of a chapter in The Future of Business, published by Futurescapes)

From technology disruption to furthering human happiness 

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James Barrat’s “Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era”

by Gareth John

I have read my way through James Barrat’s ‘Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era’  and I decided to offer up some thoughts concerning its central premise from the perspective of someone who’s on the periphery of scientific knowledge about AI. A layman’s view, so to speak.

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“Technology Could Bring Heaven on Earth, or Create Hell” - interview with futurist Gerd Leonhard

by Hank Pellissier

Gerd Leonhard is an acclaimed European futurist; his popular video was recently featured at IEET and he will soon be an IEET contributing writer. To introduce him to our audience, I interviewed him on his forecasts, ideas, and values.

IEET: Can you expand on your comment in the video, where you say: ”we will see more changes in the next 20 years than we did in the previous 300” ?

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Danko Nikolic in Berlin Conference “Rise of the AI”

IEET contributor Danko Nikolic will be speaking at a conference in Berlin on February 25, titled “Rise of AI.”

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IEET Affiliate Scholar Seth Baum interviewed on the History Channel

On Monday, January 4, 2016, the History Channel aired a 2-hour documentary called “The Seven New Signs of the Apocalypse” at 9pm ET.

Full Story...
Link to The History Channel



Will Cyborgs Rule the World?

by Daniel Faggella

Thanks to movies like Terminator, Universal Soldier and Blade Runner, the popular image of a cyborg is that of a futuristic, evil killing machine. The reality, however, is quite different, says Dr. Chris Hables Gray, a cyborg expert and professor at the  University of California at Santa Cruz. In fact, he says cyborgs are everywhere; technically speaking, anyone who’s had a vaccination can be considered a cyborg.

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#6: How Artificial Intelligence Will Give Birth To Itself

by George Dvorsky

According to IEET readers, what were the most stimulating stories of 2015? This month we’re answering that question by posting a countdown of the top 30 articles published this year on our blog (out of more than 1,000), based on how many total hits each one received.

The following piece was first published here on October 22, 2015,  and is the #6 most viewed of the year.

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#12: Bad luck and cancer; did the media get it wrong?

by Andrew Maynard

According to IEET readers, what were the most stimulating stories of 2015? This month we’re answering that question by posting a countdown of the top 30 articles published this year on our blog (out of more than 1,000), based on how many total hits each one received.

The following piece was first published here on January 3, 2015, and is the #12 most viewed of the year.

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Confronting Future Catastrophic Threats to Humanity

by Seth Baum

This is the introductory editorial to the Futures special issue.  It was co-written with Bruce E. Tonn.

Humanity faces a range of threats to its viability as a civilization and its very survival. These catastrophic threats include natural disasters such as supervolcano eruptions and large asteroid collisions as well as disasters caused by human activity such as nuclear war and global warming. The threats are diverse, but their would-be result is the same: the collapse of global human civilization or even human extinction.

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Responses to catastrophic AGI risk: a survey

by Roman Yampolskiy

Abstract

Many researchers have argued that humanity will create artificial general intelligence (AGI) within the next twenty to one hundred years. It has been suggested that AGI may inflict serious damage to human well-being on a global scale (‘catastrophic risk’).

After summarizing the arguments for why AGI may pose such a risk, we review the fieldʼs proposed responses to AGI risk. We consider societal proposals, proposals for external constraints on AGI behaviors and proposals for creating AGIs that are safe due to their internal design.

(This report was co-written with IEET contributing writer Kaj Sotala)

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#16: What, Me Worry? - I Don’t Share Most Concerns About Artificial Intelligence

by Lawrence Krauss

According to IEET readers, what were the most stimulating stories of 2015? This month we’re answering that question by posting a countdown of the top 30 articles published this year on our blog (out of more than 1,000), based on how many total hits each one received.

The following piece was first published here on May 25, 2015, and is the #16 most viewed of the year.

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Why Steven Pinker’s Optimism About the Future of Humanity is Misguided

by Phil Torres

It’s easy to be seduced by the news headlines into thinking that the world is going to hell. The Syrian war is an international tangle of state and non state actors, some of whom are genuinely motivated by apocalyptic narratives in which they see themselves as active participants. In fact, a growing number of observers have suggested that the Syrian conflict could be the beginning of a Third World War. Here in the US, there are daily mass shootings, campus rapes, racial discrimination, and police brutality, to name just a few causes for moral alarm. In Europe, the past month has seen multiple terrorist attacks in Paris and London and the worst refugee crisis since World War II. And so on.

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#25: Transhumanism - The Final Religion?

by Dirk Bruere

According to IEET readers, what were the most stimulating stories of 2015? This month we’re answering that question by posting a countdown of the top 30 articles published this year on our blog (out of more than 1,000), based on how many total hits each one received.

The following piece was first published here on July 15, 2015, and is the #25 most viewed of the year.

Full Story...



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.



Blue Origin Defeats SpaceX In Landing Reusable Rocket

by B. J. Murphy

Achieving what Elon Musk’s company SpaceX has only attempted to do (and failed thus far), Blue Origin, a private space company founded by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, has officially landed a reusable rocket after a quick trip to and from space.



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?

In the LA Review of Books, Internet Privacy: Stepping Up Our Self-Defense Game, Evan Selinger reviews a slim book—Obfuscation: A User’s Guide for Privacy and Protest, by Finn Brunton and Helen Nissenbaum.



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).



Is Anyone Competent to Regulate Artificial Intelligence?

by John Danaher

Artificial intelligence is a classic risk/reward technology. If developed safely and properly, it could be a great boon. If developed recklessly and improperly, it could pose a significant risk. Typically, we try to manage this risk/reward ratio through various regulatory mechanisms. But AI poses significant regulatory challenges. In a previous post, I outlined eight of these challenges. They were arranged into three main groups. The first consisted of definitional problems: what is AI anyway? The second consisted of ex ante problems: how could you safely guide the development of AI technology? And the third consisted of ex post problems: what happens once the technology is unleashed into the world? They are depicted in the diagram above.



Tesla, Google and the Road to Autonomy

by Stefan Morrone

The automobile industry is still looking to develop the first fully autonomous vehicle, but Tesla Motors recently took the industry one step closer. The US car company has managed to simultaneously make one of the biggest advancements in the history of recent automobile technology and generate massive controversy at the same time.



Phil Torres Establishes X-Risks Institute

What will the future look like? The further upwards one moves from the basement domain of physics, the harder it often gets to predict long-term trends. Nonetheless, we have some fairly good clues about what to expect moving forward.

Full Story...

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