Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies



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



UPCOMING EVENTS: Futurism

Rushkoff on “Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus” @ PFSK 2016 Forum
May 13
New York City, NY


Rushkoff on “Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus” @ Hammer Museum
May 17
Los Angeles, California


Rushkoff on “Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus” @ Powell’s Books
May 20
Portland, OR


Rushkoff on “Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus” @ Webvisions
May 20
Portland, OR


BJ Murphy@Moogfest
May 20
Durham, North Carolina


Rushkoff on “Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus” @ Personal Democracy Forum
June 10
New York City, NY


Benedikter@Vienna
June 16
14th “European Transport Congress” and 90th anniversary of the “Austrian Society for Traffic and Transport Science" - Vienna




MULTIMEDIA: Futurism Topics

We can reprogram life. How to do it wisely

A new superweapon in the fight against cancer

3D Virtual Reality Is the Best Storytelling Technology We’ve Ever Had

Douglas Rushkoff on Redesigning the Economy

Angels and Demons of A.I.

Immortality: When We Digitally Copy Our Minds, What Happens to Humanity?

The Rise of A.I., Shifting Economies, and Corporate Consciousness Will Define the Future

Building Better Humans

Google’s DeepMind Ethics Board – Is it a myth?

How humans could evolve to survive in space

A futuristic vision of the age of holograms

A glimpse of the future through an augmented reality headset

This country isn’t just carbon neutral — it’s carbon negative

Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus

Cyborg Buddha – IEET’s James Hughes on Transhuman Enlightenment and Basic Income




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Futurism Topics




Dangers de l’IA : une prophétie auto-réalisatrice ?

by Alexandre Maurer

En 2014 et 2015, de nombreuses personnalités ont exprimé leurs craintes quant aux dangers de l’intelligence artificielle (IA) : Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Bill Gates… Depuis, ce sujet est devenu très présent dans les médias.



IEET Affiliate Scholar Roland Benedikter New Contribution to the ACATECH Report

On April 25 2016 the new report of the German National Academy of Science and Engineering (ACATECH) has been published: Innovation Potential of Human-Machine Interaction. IEET Affiliate Scholar Roland Benedikter contributed to this report. The Report is part of the official “Innovation Dialogue Between The German Federal Government, Economy and Science” (Innovationsdialog zwischen Bundesregierung, Wirtschaft und Wissenschaft 2015-16).

Full Story...
Link to Innovation Potential of Human-Machine Interaction



A New Theory of Time: X-tention is Simultaneously Discrete and Continuous

by Melanie Swan

Time has been conceived mainly as either discrete or continuous, but not widely as a simultaneity of the two. I would like to articulate a new theory of time in which time is reconceived as a ‘raw material’ whose natural state is both discrete and continuous. This is a “middle third” position that extends Husserl’s theory of internal time consciousness by being a new form of time in the middle between and connecting retention-protention (which are continuous) and recollection-expectation (which are discrete).



Is The Singularity A Religious Doctrine?

by John G. Messerly

A colleague forwarded John Horgan‘s recent Scientific American article, “The Singularity and the Neural Code.” Horgan argues that the intelligence augmentation and mind uploading that would lead to a technological singularity depend upon cracking the neural code. The problem is that we don’t understand our neural code, the software or algorithms that transform neurophysiology into the stuff of minds like perceptions, memories, and meanings. In other words, we know very little about how brains make minds.



Cellules souches d’embryon humain : pourquoi faut-il en permettre la recherche ?

by Marc Roux

Dans le cadre de sa campagne pour le premier tour des élections, l’actuel président de la République, M. François Hollande avait fait une déclaration qui intéresse le transhumanisme. Il a en effet annoncé que, une fois élu, il proposerait de faciliter la recherche sur les cellules souches embryonnaires, sous entendu : humaine (CSEh) (L’Express, 22/02/2012).



Predictability and Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS)

by Wendell Wallach

Does predictability provide an overriding concept and perhaps a metric for evaluating when LAWS are acceptable or when they might be unacceptable under international humanitarian law? Arguably, if the behavior of an autonomous weapon is predictable, deploying it might be considered no different from, for example, launching a ballistic missile. This, of course, presumes that we can know how predictable the behavior of a specific autonomous weapon will be.



Breakthrough Starshot: The First Steps to the Stars

by Giulio Prisco

On on the 55th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s pioneering space flight, Internet investor and science philanthropist Yuri Milner and physicist Stephen Hawking announced a plan for our firsts steps to the stars: Breakthrough Starshot.



Posthuman Rights: Dimensions of Transhuman Worlds

Woody Evans has published an article on Posthuman rights in the Spanish journal, Teknokultura. Below is the abstract of the paper. You can click on the journal title to find the full article online.

Full Story...
Link to Teknokultura



How Augmented and Virtual Realities Might Change Productivity Forever in the Next 10 Years

by Daniel Faggella

In the last 10 years, we’ve seen some amazing leaps and bounds in human productivity. Our phones are smaller, our internet is faster, and software and hardware automates much of what we used to do manually.



Nous ne vieillirons pas ensemble

by Didier Coeurnelle

Vertiges et perspectives d’une vie en bonne santé beaucoup plus longue.
Chaque jour, la mort, la grande faucheuse, fait son travail avec un peu plus de difficulté. En effet, chaque jour nous gagnons environ 6 heures d’espérance de vie. Ces progrès ne sont pas également répartis. Contrairement à ce que beaucoup pensent, c’est dans la plupart des pays du Sud et non pas dans les pays du Nord que les progrès sont les plus rapides.



Blockchains and the Emergence of a Lex Cryptographia

by John Danaher

Here’s an interesting idea. It’s taken from Aaron Wright and Primavera de Filippi’s article ‘Decentralized Blockchain Technology and the Rise of Lex Cryptographia’. The article provides an excellent overview of blockchain technology and its potential impact on the law. It ends with an interesting historical reflection. It suggests that the growth of blockchain technology may give rise to a new type of legal order: a lex cryptographia. This is similar to how the growth in international trading networks gave rise to a lex mercatoria and how the growth in the internet gave rise to a lex informatica.



Christianity and Transhumanism Are Much Closer Than You Think

by Giulio Prisco

I have long been persuaded that there are strong parallels between transhumanism and religion, not only “new” religions but the traditional religions of our grandfathers as well. There are, of course, differences, but I prefer to emphasize the parallels. After some deep reading and thinking, I realize that Christianity and Transhumanism are closer than I thought, and much closer than you probably think.



Nuclear Waste Pollution is an Existential Risk that Threatens Global Health

by Margaret Morris

Deadly environmental pollution has become an existential risk that threatens the prospect for the long-term survival of our species and a great many others. Here we will focus on the nuclear waste aspect of the problem and ways to mitigate it before there is a critical tipping point in our global ecosystem.

As philosopher Nick Bostrom said in his 2001 paper titled “Existential Risks,” published in the Journal of Evolution and Technology, “Our future, and whether we will have a future at all, may well be determined by how we deal with these challenges.”1

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The Approaching Golden Age of Africa

by Jules Hamilton

As we witness seedlings of massive transformation throughout the world, Africa remains the last populated continent to be fully integrated into our global economy. Africa suffers from problems like corrupt governments, lack of infrastructure, remaining tribal and religious tension, poor education, and bad health care. But these problems will be addressed directly and indirectly in the approaching decade by a confluence of forces.

Full Story...



The Evolution of Social Values: From Foragers to Farmers to Fossil Fuels

by John Danaher

I was first introduced to the work of Ian Morris last summer. Somebody suggested that I read his book Why the West Rules for Now, which attempts to explain the differential rates of human social development between East and West over the past 12,000 years. I wasn’t expecting much: I generally prefer narrowly focused historical works, not ones that attempt to cover the whole of human history. But I was pleasantly surprised.



Le progrès n’est plus ce qu’il était. Grandeurs et décadences des risques

by Didier Coeurnelle

A l’aube de l’histoire de l’humanité, l’intelligence de ceux qui nous ont précédés n’était probablement guère inférieure à celle du lecteur de ces lignes. Certains paléontologues pensent même que les capacités de raisonnement de nos ancêtres étaient supérieures aux nôtres.



Blockchains and DAOs as the Modern Leviathan

by John Danaher

In 1651, Thomas Hobbes published Leviathan. It is arguably the most influential work of political philosophy in the modern era. The distinguished political theorist Alan Ryan believes that Hobbes’s work marks the birth of liberalism. And since most of the Western world now lives under liberal democratic rule, there is a sense in which we are all living in the shadow of Leviathan.



Are we heading towards a singularity of crime?

by John Danaher

On the 8th August 1963, a gang of fifteen men boarded the Royal Mail train heading from London to Glasgow. They were there to carry out a robbery. In the end, they made off with £2.6 million (approximately £46 million in today’s money). The robbery had been meticulously planned. Using information from a postal worker (known as “the Ulsterman”), the gang waylaid the train at a signal crossing in Ledburn, Buckinghamshire.



Humai’s Head of Engineering On the Future That is to Come

by B. J. Murphy

Just the other week Humai’s head of engineering John LaRocco sat down with The Hartman Media Company where he discussed artificial intelligence (A.I.), head transplants, and synthetic organs. It was an alluring conversation to listen to, one which will help people acquire a better understanding as to the company Humai’s vision for the future ahead of us.



The Machine Wins 4-1 : what does this mean for the future of AI?

by Giulio Prisco

The Machine – Google DeepMind’s AlphaGohas beaten one of the best human Go players 4-1, with moves that have been described as unexpected, beautiful – and inhuman.

What does AlphaGo breakthrough mean for the future of AI?

Full Story...



Les leçons de l’histoire

by Cyril Gazengel

L’un des principaux centre d’intérêt du transhumanisme concerne l’augmentation de l’humain ; rien de nouveau là dedans. En effet, le rêve de transcendance habite l’imaginaire humain depuis ses origines. De la pensée magique à l’ère scientifique il a pris de nombreuses formes mais ne nous a jamais vraiment quitté.



Review of Michael Bess’, Our Grandchildren Redesigned

by John G. Messerly

Vanderbilt University’s Michael Bess has written an extraordinarily thoughtful new book: Our Grandchildren Redesigned: Life In The BioEngineered Society Of The Near Future. The first part of the book introduces the reader to the technologies that will enhance the physical, emotional, and intellectual abilities of our children and grandchildren: pharmaceuticals, bioelectronics, genetics, nanotechnology, robotics, artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, and virtual reality.



Danaher Awarded by Irish Research Council

IEET Affiliate Scholar John Danaher has been awarded funding by the Irish Research Council for a project entitled “The Threat of Algocracy and the Transhumanist Project.”

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Everything You Know About Artificial Intelligence is Wrong

by George Dvorsky

It was hailed as the most significant test of machine intelligence since Deep Blue defeated Garry Kasparov in chess nearly 20 years ago. Google’s AlphaGo has won two of the first three games against grandmaster Lee Sedol in a Go tournament, showing the dramatic extent to which AI has improved over the years. That fateful day when machines finally become smarter than humans has never appeared closer—yet we seem no closer in grasping the implications of this epochal event.



New Technologies as Social Experiments: An Ethical Framework

by John Danaher

What was Apple thinking when it launched the iPhone? It was an impressive bit of technology, poised to revolutionise the smartphone industry, and set to become nearly ubiquitous within a decade. The social consequences have been dramatic. Many of those consequences have been positive: increased connectivity, increased knowledge and increased day-to-day convenience.



Satoshi Roundtable: Is Bitcoin Dead due to Scalability Issues?

by Melanie Swan

Scalability was the most prominent issue discussed at the February 26-28, 2016 Satoshi Roundtable (the Bitcoin industry’s annual technical meeting).

This is expected as scalability is an ongoing issue to be resolved for any cryptocurrency to achieve mainstream adoption.

Full Story...



Beauty Will Be in the Bionic Eye of the Beholder

by B. J. Murphy

How might we define beauty in a future of cyborgs and the genetically enhanced?

Today we live in a world that has been radically transformed by the hands of advanced science and technology. Depending on which sci-fi literature you might’ve read, one could accurately portray today’s reality as a sci-fi future. A future where everyone is interconnected using tiny computational devices which fit in their pockets, biological limbs being replaced by advanced bionic prosthetics, and disease being combated using gene-editing tools.

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A Conversation With Bionic Actress Angel Giuffria

by B. J. Murphy

What will the future look like in the eyes of those one step ahead of us?

I’ve been speaking a lot lately about what I believe the future will be like, as envisioned by robotics company Humai. For a change of pace, I decided to reach out to someone else and get their take on the world of tomorrow.

That someone is cyborg and bionic actress Angel Giuffria

Full Story...



Let’s Tear Down the Ivory Tower Called School

by Ayesha Khanna

Schools insulated from industry and workplaces do a disservice to young people, as industries of the future require them to innovate and tinker, not just sit in classrooms absorbing lessons.

The industries of the future require students to be innovative and creative so that they can work effectively with technology instead of being replaced by it. They also require resilience and grit, as innovations demand tinkering, and failure is, more often than not, a natural step before success.

Full Story...



Martine Rothblatt at The Women’s Center 30th Annual Leadership Conference

IEET Trustee Martine Rothblatt will be speaking at the 30th Annual Leadership Conference of the Women’s Center.

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