Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies



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



UPCOMING EVENTS: Futurism

Star Trek Symposium @ Malta
July 16-17
Malta


Humans, Machines, and the Future of Work Conference
December 5-6
Rice University, Houston, Texas




MULTIMEDIA: Futurism Topics

Algocracy and Transhuamnism Podcast: Hannah Maslen on the Ethics of Neurointerventions

How better tech could protect us from distraction

The birth of virtual reality as an art form

Combatting Political Corruption Combats Climate Change

History Lesson: Trump’s Rise Might Signal the Collapse of the Republican Party

Evan Selinger on Algorithmic Outsourcing and the Value of Privacy

Re-imagine the Future

Bill Nye: Want to Combat Climate Change? Talk about It

The School of Life’s Retreat: ‘The Life House’

Gene editing can now change an entire species—forever

The Ethics of A.I. on the Battlefield Are Less Clear-Cut Than You Might Think

Algocracy: Opportunities and Risks (videocast with Adam Ford)

The Future of Making Babies

How to read the genome and build a human being

A provocative way to finance the fight against climate change




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Futurism Topics




How VR Gaming will Wake Us Up to our Fake Worlds

by Eliott Edge

“It has no relationship whatsoever to anything anchored in some kind of metaphysical superspace.  It’s just your cultural point of view […] Travel shows you the relativity of culture.”

— Terence McKenna



Transhumanisme : Comment sortir de la « Vallée de l’étrange » ? 2/2

by Marc Roux

Sous la plume de l’Association Française Transhumaniste questionnement autour de la vallée de l’étrange. Cette étrange vallée caractérise l’acceptable pour l’esprit humain.

Dans la première partie, Marc Roux, président de l’Association française Transhumaniste, expliquait le concept de “Vallée de l’étrange” avant de s’interroger : et si les modifications de l’humain menaient vers de nouvelles formes d’intolérance. Une réflexion qui le mène, aujourd’hui, à prendre position d’une façon très originale…



Paradiso and Inferno in Robin Hanson’s ‘The Age of EM’

by Giulio Prisco

Robin Hanson’s future scenario in “The Age of Em: Work, Love and Life when Robots Rule the Earth” reminds me of Dante. On the one hand, many people will transcend (current concepts of) humanity and “transhumanize” – a word invented by Dante in Paradiso, Canto 1 – to become uploaded souls running on high performance computing circuitry. On the other hand, they will live in red-hot metal cities that create strong hot winds to disperse the excess heat generated by billions of uploads computing their way to continued existence. The infernal city of Dis, described by Dante in Inferno, Canto 8, comes to mind.



Dubai Is Building the World’s Largest Concentrated Solar Power Plant

by George Dvorsky

They like to do things big in Dubai, including a newly-approved concentrated solar power project that will generate 1,000 megawatts of power by 2020—and a whopping 5,000 megawatts by 2030.

he Dubai Water and Electricity Authority (DEWA) has announced the launch of the world’s largest concentrated solar power (CSP) project. Located on a single site within the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the plant will consist of five facilities. The first phase of the project is expected to be completed either in late 2020 or 2021, at which time it’s expected to generate 1,000 MW of power. By 2030, this plant could be churning out five times that amount—enough to raise the emirate’s total power output by 25 percent.



Comment sortir de la “Vallée de l’étrange” ? 1/2

by Marc Roux

Sous la plume de l’Association Française Transhumaniste questionnement autour de la vallée de l’étrange. Cette étrange vallée caractérise l’acceptable pour l’esprit humain.

Le mercredi 19 octobre prochain aura lieu en Angleterre une bien étrange compétition. Pour la 22ème année consécutive, un groupe de 4 personnes sera mis en concurrence avec une série d’ordinateurs face à un jury de spécialistes du langage (anglo-saxon) et de l’informatique. Le but de chacun : prouver qu’il est humain !



New Details Emerge About the Plan to Build an Artificial Human Genome

by George Dvorsky

Last month, a group of scientists, lawyers, and entrepreneurs gathered in secret to discuss the possibility of creating a synthetic human genome from scratch. Details of the plan have finally been made public, and it’s as ambitious as it sounds. But critics say they founders of the new project are avoiding the tough ethical questions.



The Monotony of Work

by John G. Messerly

I corresponded with an old friend yesterday who was communicating the tedium of his work as a software engineer. He is thankful that he earns a six-figure salary, and he understands that most people in the world would happily trade places with him, but that doesn’t change the fact that a future filled with a lifetime of coding doesn’t excite his probing and restless mind. Minds like his need stimulation, and they could contribute so much to the rest of us if they were freed to follow their interests . Moreover, while technology companies pay some of the best wages in the United States, they expect more than 40 hours of work in return, which leaves my friend with less time with his children than he would like.



Stefan Sorgner @ “Grand Narratives, Posthumanism, and Aesthetics” Conference

Katherine Hayles and IEET Fellow Stefan Lorenz Sorgner will be keynote speakers at the conference “Grand Narratives, Posthumanism, and Aesthetics”, which will take place at Aarhus University from the 22nd until the 24th of March 2017. Read the conference program here.

Full Story...
Link to Posthuman Aesthetics, Aarhus University



IEET Affiliate Scholar John Danaher Interviewed by Futurezone

When machines take all the jobs that people need to find new meaning in life. This could be for the company, according to John Danaher both curse and blessing.

Full Story...
Link to Futurezone



IEET Affiliate Scholar John Danaher Publishes New Paper - Robots, Law and the Retribution Gap

Here is a new paper that John Danaher, IEET Affiliate Scholar, has published and will be coming out in the journal Ethics and Information Technology. In case you are interested, the idea for this paper originated in this blogpost from late 2014.

Full Story...
Link to Ethics and Information Technology



Les robots devraient-ils avoir le permis de tuer ?

by Marc Roux

Vous en avez assez de lire des articles qui parlent du transhumanisme à la place des transhumanistes ? Cette chronique est faite pour vous.

« Avec les robots guerriers, la guerre va changer de visage » nous informait le Monde du 12 novembre. Pour commémorer la “Der des Ders”, le célèbre journal faisait le point des dernières orientations des armées françaises en matière de robotique.



Vacancy - Research Assistant on the Algocracy and Transhumanism Project

IEET Affiliate Scholar John Danaher is hiring a research assistant as part of his Algocracy and Transhumanism project. It’s a short-term contract (5 months only) and available from July onwards. The candidate would have to be able to relocate to Galway for the period. Details below. Please share this with anyone you think might be interested.

Full Story...
Link to Algocracy and Transhumanism Project



Will Transhumanism Change Racism in the Future?

by Zoltan Istvan

Despite decades of progress, racism and bigotry are still prevalent in the United States. Often, they even dominate the news in American media, like during the Baltimore riots or the Ferguson shooting. Movements like Black Lives Matter remind us that the society we live in still has many biases to be fought against, but that good work can be done to combat bigotry if people unite against it.



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.



A for Almighty - Fred Hoyle’s Cosmic Theology

by Giulio Prisco

Fred Hoyle imagined a scientific theology with a hierarchy of Gods in the universe, from lower-case local gods all the way to an asymptotic cosmic God that emerges from the physical universe, comes into full being at the end of time, controls space and time with subtle quantum messages and time loops, seeds the universe with Life, and works through Life.



Capital Lust, Not Capitalism, is Destroying the Earth and the Economy - See more at: http://ehumanda

by Nicole Sallak Anderson

I don’t like the word capitalism, but not because I’m against the free market. Open trade and markets provide wealth and raise the standard of living for the majority of people in democratic societies. Free markets also allow the exchange of ideas and innovations without the meddling of governments or religion.



Futurespection: How do we get better?

by David Brin

The hot new journal, Evonomics just ran my appraisal of how Advertising is failing the Internet.  I explore how a real Web economy might replace the maelstrom of ads. Could simple micro-payments work, paying pennies for what you use? I’ve been working on this analysis for 3 years. A two-parter with major implications for your future online.



Douglas Rushkoff joins IFTF as Research Fellow

We’re thrilled to announce that media theorist, author, and professor Douglas Rushkoff has joined Institute for the Future as a Research Fellow. Douglas is a professor of Media Theory and Digital Economics at CUNY/Queens, IEET Fellow and author of more than a dozen bestselling books about media, technology, and culture.

Full Story...
Link to Institute for the Future



The Future of PR in Emotionally Intelligent Technology

by Jules Hamilton

PR is essentially the practice of managing the spread of information, and this is a tactical craft. For the PR professional years of experience combine knowledge of pragmatic practice and human intuition to generate desired results, a positive image and receptive message.



Les membres bioniques seront-ils un jour à la mode ?

by Marc Roux

7ème article de la Chronique de l’AFT Technoprog! sur Silicon Maniacs

À l’heure où des vétérans américains choisissent de remplacer leurs jambes affaiblies par des prothèses de plus en plus avancées et où on peut lire l’histoire d’un jeune autrichien qui décide de faire de même avec sa main paralysée suite à un accident de moto, la question de savoir si un jour nous verrons de plus en plus d’individus choisir d’aller remplacer leurs membres comme s’ils allaient se faire tatouer ou percer reste provocatrice.



New Monograph on Transhumanism by IEET Fellow Stefan Sorgner to be Published

A new monograph on transhumanism by IEET Fellow Stefan Lorenz Sorgner will come out in August 2016. It will be published by Herder Verlag.

Full Story...
Link to Herder Verlag



Computer Science Students Fooled By Artificially Intelligent TA

by George Dvorsky

Students taking an online course at Georgia Tech’s School of Interactive Computing were duped into thinking one of their teaching assistants, named Jill Watson, was an actual human. And how can you blame them—the virtual TA managed to answer many of their questions with 97 percent certainty.



Stefan Lorenz Sorgner Invited as Visiting Professor to UofJena

IEET Fellow Stefan Lorenz Sorgner was invited to being a visiting professor at the University of Jena during the summer of 2016. There, he will also give the following talk:
Topic: Transhumanism, Big Gene Date, Bioprivacy

Full Story...
Link to ta ethika



Enseigner le Transhumanisme ?

by Marc Roux

9ème article de la Chronique de l’AFT Technoprog! sur Silicon Maniacs : http://www.siliconmaniacs.org/enseigner-le-transhumanisme/

Originally posted on Technoprog on March 17 2012



A Less Bleak Lesson from the Silent Universe

by Rick Searle

The astronomers Adam Frank and Woodruff Sullivan have an interesting paper out where they’ve essentially flipped the Drake Equation on its head. If that equation is meant to give us some handle on the probability that there are aliens out there, Frank and Sullivan have used the plethora of exoplanets discovered since the launch of the Kepler space telescope to calculate the chance that, so far, we alone have been the only advanced civilization in the 13.7 billion year history of the universe.



Will a Conscious, Intelligent AI Emerge in Our Lifetimes?

by Daniel Faggella

How likely is it that artificial intelligence will achieve a human-level intelligence in the next 10 years, 20 years, 100 years, or for that matter ever? If you know researchers, you know they don’t like to prognosticate about future outcomes.



Artificial Intelligence in the UK: Risks and Rewards

by Alexander Karran

The following report was created by Transpolitica senior consultant Alexander Karran in response to the ongoing inquiry into robotics and artificial intelligence by the UK parliament’s Science and Technology Committee. The report was submitted on behalf of Transpolitica, to address the topics listed on the Science and Technology Committee inquiry page:



Impacts of Indefinite Life Extension: Answers to Common Questions

by Gennady Stolyarov II

As a proponent of attaining indefinite human longevity through the progress of medical science and technology, I am frequently asked to address key questions about the effects that indefinite life extension would have on human incentives, behaviors, and societies. Here, I offer my outlook on what some of these impacts would be.



“We’ll Live Forever and We’ll Become Cyborgs”

by David Orban

I’ve been interviewed in Panorama, an Italian weekly magazine. (Thanks to Dotwords for the English translation, which I slightly edited.)

Originally published on DavidOrban.com on April 24 2016



These Are the Most Serious Catastrophic Threats Faced by Humanity

by George Dvorsky

Oxford’s Global Priorities Project has compiled a list of catastrophes—both natural and self-inflicted—that could kill off 10 percent or more of the human population. It’s a real buzzkill of a report and it says that any of these catastrophes could happen within the next five years.

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