Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

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


November 5-7
Trento, Italy

Sorgner @ Transhumanism: Perspektiven, Chancen, Risiken
December 5
Nürnberg, Germany

MULTIMEDIA: Futurism Topics

Envy of the Future

Techno-Religions and Silicon Prophets

Predicting the Future Primes Your Brain for Learning

How Quantum Biology Might Explain Life’s Biggest Questions

Technology Made Us Human

10 Amazing Robots That Will Change the World

The dilemma of human enhancement

Human Nature and the Spectre of Human Enhancement

Human Enhancement

AI, Immortality and the Future of Selves

We need to learn to rebuild our bodies

The Singularity Song

Futurist Gray Scott on Artificial Intelligence

Futuristic Now Episode 001

The Future of Superhuman Technology

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Futurism Topics

Autonomous cars & accidents: The human and financial standpoint

by Richard van Hooijdonk

In our previous post, we saw how autonomous self-driving cars will transform every aspect of our lives. Cities will change the way they function and develop, travelling will become safe and efficient and car manufacturers will have to look for newer methods to survive the competition. One major issue with these autonomous cars is the fear of being driven around by a machine.

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Gun Control’s MP3 Moment

by Jamais Cascio

Reading the continued, ongoing arguments about gun regulations (“reasonable” or otherwise) is frustrating. Not only for the usual reasons (absolutist positions, inability to recognize multi-causal phenomena, relentless hostility towards different opinions, etc.), but because of how incredibly irrelevant it is becoming. 3D-printable firearms are already here, and becoming increasingly reliable. Every gun control law in the world is obsolete.


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Visioneer Your Future - how do young people conceive of and understand the future?

by Emilie Whitaker

Visioneering has imbued these pages of late be it the important role played in fuelling the creative and visionary spirit through the crafting of an image, or the political necessity of such work for breaking binaries and embarking on a creative destruction of sense in order to produce new canvases, ideas and actions befitting the 21st century (see Cabrera and Peake).

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Scenario 2099: Rewilding, Population Implosion, Artificial Photosynthesis, and - Global Cooling?

by Tsvi Bisk

Howard Nathan was reading his hologram news “paper” at breakfast (funny how archaisms survive, he thought— there hadn’t been paper newspapers for well over 50 years). It was December 2099, and the pundits had begun to pontificate about the new century. The headline “Worried Environmentalists” caught his eye; it was an article about the impending manmade Ice Age and the disappearance of the world’s deserts.

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Predictive Commercial Technologies Will Alter the Way We Live

by Daniel Faggella

Not only is artificial intelligence set to take over much of the job market in the coming decades, but it also seems to increasingly make our lives that much more convenient. Seems like a double-edged sword, for better or worse. Perhaps one or the other is not inherently bad or good, but the implications of both – this article focuses on the latter - are worth exploring and discussing.

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The Simulated Future

by Gray Scott

Are we living in a simulated reality? Are we merely simulated quantum instances inside a holographic substrate? Is the cosmos an advanced computer simulation created by a future technologically mature human civilization?  Who are the original simulators and what are they looking for? Could our reality be the product of a lonely quantum AI machine stranded on the outer edges of our galaxy in the distant future? If we are inside of a simulation, does it even need a creator or could the digital simulation be a naturally emergent phenomena, an infinite fractal, with no beginning and no end. 

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Practicing Discipline in Scientific Endeavor

by Nicole Sallak Anderson

In 518 BC, the Greek mathematician, Pythagoras, founded a school in which the topics of mathematics, music and philosophy were studied with great discipline and secrecy. Men and women were welcome to live in community and study together, and eventually this group of individuals would contribute much to the subject of mathematics, including:

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Driverless Cars: the Catalyst Towards Futuristic Smart Cities

by Richard van Hooijdonk

Have you ever considered how many hours are wasted, traveling to work and back every day? Now picture a scenario where you can work while you are being driven to your destination along the fastest and safest routes – without it costing you anything extra? Wouldn’t that be great? Brace yourself – cities are about to change forever. It’s already happening in the backyards of tech and automobile giants like Google, Audi and Mercedes where driverless cars or self-driven automotive technology is being developed and fine-tuned.

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The Tyranny of Mathematics

by Tsvi Bisk

”…mathematics…ought only to give definiteness to natural philosophy, not to generate or give it birth.” [1] Francis Bacon

“So far as the laws of Mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain. And so far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.”- -Albert Einstein, Geometry and Experience

While the postmodernist social scientist often uses the language of words to obfuscate, the postmodern ‘hard sciences’ scientist sometimes appears to use the language of mathematics to obfuscate. Mathematics is a language not a science. It is the language of science and of the known physical world. The inorganic reality of our known world can be described mathematically with eerie precision. This we know is an absolute fact. I stress ‘known world’ because we cannot know empirically that mathematics pertains for all of nature. To know this empirically, one would have to be outside of nature, to be a supernatural being, to be a supernatural God.

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Book Review: The Transhumanist Wager by Zoltan Istvan

by Nicole Sallak Anderson

I’ve found time to review another author’s work, “The Transhumanist Wager” by Zoltan Istvan. I had the pleasure of first meeting Zoltan at a Transhumanism conference near Berkeley, CA. In general, he’s a staunch advocate of the Transhuman movement - Zoltan is passionate about his work and he doesn’t mind stepping on a few toes to get his message out there.

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New Transhuman Policy Center Seeks Papers

by Steven Umbrello

The Transhumanism movement and philosophy have been growing a quite a rapid pace, and because of that its sometimes hard to keep up with all the newest technologies, subsidiary philosophical positions and current events.

That being said, some of you may have missed one of the latest initiatives with regards to pushing transhumanist ideals in the political realm, the Transhuman Policy Center.  The TPC’s goals are best summed up by its mission statement:

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Our Mind-Meld Future - WE are The Singularity

by Brian Hanley

The singularity is not going to do away with humanity. If there is one, we will be at the center of it. We will be the singularity, together.

Today we are doing brain stem stimulation for treating Parkinson’s disease. Vagus nerve stimulation stops rheumatoid arthritis and can control other immune activity. Cortical arrays pick up brain activity allowing control of robot arm and decoding of speech.  Rejection and scarring are problems with electrodes, but recent advances in injectable micro-electrodes and flexible, stretchable interconnects are changing that. We are slowly improving this technology.

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IEET Poll: China Rising

We asked “Will China be the dominant world power in the 2020s?” Almost two thirds of the 143 respondents felt that China will continue to grow in influence, but will not be dominant by the 2020s.

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DARPA’S Tiny Guardians in the Form of Microchips

by B. J. Murphy

In the second decade of the 21st century, crime has fully embraced the age of advanced technology. To address these futurist crimes, we have to consider combating them, fire with fire. In other words, using advanced technology to counter-balance the level of power criminals could possibly attain at the opportunity of the technological age. Which is why DARPA is stepping up its game in terms of chip making.

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IEET sponsors “The Future of Politics” conference in Oakland, California

IEET is co-sponsoring a conference on “The Future of Politics.” The event will be held at Humanist Hall, in Oakland, California, on Sunday, October 18, from 10:30 am to 6:00 pm.

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10 Science Fiction Movies That Predicted the Future

by Marc Howard

10. Body Security Scan

Movie: Total Recall – 1990

In less than 25 years since the film Total Recall was released in cinemas, one of its technologies has gone from fiction to fact and an unpopular reality for travelers. Unlike scanners in Total Recall, which showed the skeleton, the real world scanners only penetrate to the skin, making the naked body visible to security personnel.

Privacy groups have been opposed to the new scanners and succeeded in having the TSA withdraw the machines. Protesters identified the pornographic nature of the images created by the machines as a breach of human dignity. Until the devices can meet new standards, air travelers have to suffer the familiar indignity of being frisked hands on by security personnel instead.

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6 Astounding Ways Africa Is Paving the Way for the Future of Technology

by Jack Smith IV

Every week, the American tech sector uses the most advanced mobile technologies in the world to create some new meaningless distraction. Tinder for dogs, Airbnb for boats, Yo — all sorts of luxury convenience tools created to manufacture and solve problems that don’t exist and extract some in-app purchases along the way.

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Trendanalyse: Körperwelten 2020

by Sven Gábor Jánszky

Zu Anfang des Jahres 2009 hat der 2b AHEAD-ThinkTank seine These zu den “Körperwelten 2020” formuliert. Danach beginnt ein neues Bewusstsein die Menschen zu beeinflussen: Die Überzeugung, dass es die Aufgabe jedes Einzelnen ist, den eigenen Körper zu optimieren. Jeder Körper ist formbar und eine unserer Hauptaufgaben ist das Management des Körpers, so unser neues Credo. Kurzfristig scheinen die Ernährungs- und Getränkebranche, die Medizin, Pharma- und Kosmetikbranche sowie Fitness- und Reiseanbieter betroffen zu sein. Sie sind schon heute gezwungen, auf die neuen Bedürfnisse der Bodytuner zu reagieren.

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Envisioning the World of Tomorrow: a Catalog of Future-Looking Web Sites

by David Brin
What technologies are currently shaping our world…and which will continue to mold our future? In this special posting, we’ll take you on a tour of many wondrous web sites and other resources that aim spotlights at the future. And invite you all to chime in with favorites that I missed!

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The Debate Between the Economists and the Technologists, Who Wins?

by Rick Searle

For a while now robots have been back in the news with a vengeance, and almost on cue seem to have revived many of the nightmares that we might have thought had been locked up in the attic of the mind with all sorts of other stuff from the 1980’s, which it was hoped we would never need.

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The Future of Real: Meaning and Social Intelligence in a Transhuman Age

by Dorothy Deasy

I remember seeing the children falling through the air, their limbs akimbo, grasping for land or any anchor that would save them from the fall. I remember the feelings of terror, panic, pity and helplessness as I watched, unable to intervene. And then I awoke – alone, scared and slowly came to the realization that it was simply a dream, though still I feared closing my eyes again too soon lest I return. That dream took place more than 30 years ago. Much of the detail has faded – how did they come to fall? Were they pushed or did they jump like lemmings? – still I remember the images, can recall the emotions. It was just a dream; it wasn’t real. But I recall the experience of the dream. The personal semiotics that the dream contained were real, telling me something about my own psyche, my own sense of self and so making it an experience with meaning.

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VR Chains and DAC Brains: Upload your Mind as a VR AI DAC

by Melanie Swan

Blockchain thinkers or DAC Brains are the notion of having DAO/DAC entities running with smart contracts on blockchains for the purpose of conducting thinking operations. The genesis of blockchain thinkers could be organic or inorganic: human mindfile lifelogs and uploads, and any variety of brain emulations  and AI ML/DL algorithms (artificial intelligence machine-learning deep-learning algorithms). One idea is to instantiate your mindfile on the blockchain as a lifelogging tracker and standalone ideation tool: your own mind as an AI DAC.

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On the Right Side of Futurology: A Look at the Struggle Ahead

by Phil Torres

Dan Barker, echoing an idea expressed by many atheists, describes theology as “a subject without an object.” Since there’s little reason for thinking a God exists – much less the God of the Bible – the entire field is ultimately vacuous, despite the grandiloquent rigamarole of, as Jerry Coyne puts it, Sophisticated Theologians(TM). Theology studies nothing. Its heart and soul is a phenomenon that almost certainly doesn’t exist.

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The Future of Property

by Enrique Lescure

Within the Anglo-American, and then specifically American political discourse, the dominant paradigm for around two generations right now is that the main guarantor of liberty (defined as the absence of physical force) is the institution of private property, and the main threat against private property and thence liberty is the state. While the purest expression of these sentiments reside amongst Market Libertarian elements, these thoughts have come to dominate a lot of the thinking within political economics in the west, and thence in the world.

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Why Superintelligence May Not Help Us Think about Existential Risks — or Transhumanism

by Steve Fuller

Among transhumanists, Nick Bostrom is well-known for promoting the idea of ‘existential risks’, potential harms which, were they come to pass, would annihilate the human condition altogether. Their probability may be relatively small, but the expected magnitude of their effects are so great, so Bostrom claims, that it is rational to devote some significant resources to safeguarding against them. (Indeed, there are now institutes for the study of existential risks on both sides of the Atlantic.) Moreover, because existential risks are intimately tied to the advancement of science and technology, their probability is likely to grow in the coming years.

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How Steady Can Wind Power Blow?

by Ramez Naam

NREL recently released data showing that next-generation wind turbines could reach an incredible capacity factor of 60% over 2 million square kilometers of the US, or enough to provide roughly 10x as much electricity as the US uses. If true, this would be a game-changer in wind power, as I explain below.

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42 Splices and Counting: Nine Facts You Should Know About the Planned Parenthood Smear Campaign

by Valerie Tarico

Imagine that someone hated you (or your company) and wanted to make you look bad. So, he pretended to be a friend or colleague, went to your events, repeatedly asked you to meetings or lunch, gained your trust, and then spent two years recording private conversations. Could he find stuff that would make you sound like a heartless monster? If you’re like me, the answer is a resounding yes. In fact, there’s no way it would take years.

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AI is So Hot, We Forgot All About The ‘AI Winter’ (interview with Dr. Nils J. Nilsson)

by Daniel Faggella

The great influencers and contributors in the field of AI today can’t help but acknowledge that part of their success comes from ‘standing on the shoulders’ of the thinkers and doers who came before.  Dr. Nils J. Nilsson, former Stanford researcher and author of The Quest for Artificial Intelligence, is such a pioneer in the field of AI that he aptly recalls the ‘AI Winter’, a period of time in the late 1970s and early 1980s when funding dwindled and AI research went underground.  

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Why We Should Preserve the Privacy and Spirit of Bitcoin

by Giulio Prisco

The trend toward mainstream,” sanitized” forms of Bitcoin that can be adopted by governments and banks is here to stay, which is not a bad thing. At the same time, it’s also important to preserve important aspects of the original vision of the Bitcoin Founders – a P2P currency that can’t be controlled by banks and governments, and supports untraceable private transactions.

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The Three-Body Problem, by Liu Cixin, Wins the Hugo Award for Best Novel

by Giulio Prisco

The Three-Body Problem,”  Ken Liu’s English translation of the first book of Liu Cixin’s best-selling Chinese science fiction trilogy, has won the Hugo Award for best novel.

The book is solid classic science fiction, like the best space operas of vintage science fiction that we loved and still fondly remember as our first introduction to space and science. See my review of “The Three-Body Problem.”

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