Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies



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



UPCOMING EVENTS: Innovation

Melanie Swan @ Rethink/ECONOMICS
September 15
ConsenSys, 49 Bogart Street, Brooklyn NY


Eurosymposium on Healthy Aging
September 29-1
Brussels, Belgium


Robotic Online Short Film Festival
November 20
Universidad Elche, Spain


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


BlockCon 2017
March 28-29
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore




MULTIMEDIA: Innovation Topics

Robot Overlordz - Emerging Citizens & Cyborgs

A small country with big ideas to get rid of fossil fuels

Rachel O’Dwyer on Bitcoin, Blockchains and the Digital Commons

Augmented Reality: Pokémon GO Is Only the Beginning

Meaning of Life TV Talks with IEET Exec. Director James Hughes

The jobs we’ll lose to machines — and the ones we won’t

Worrying about the Robo-pocalypse Is a First-World Problem

Can A Robot Feel?

Robots Must Pay For Their Crimes!

Can We Use Genetics To Build NEW Species?

Why the Internet Is the Greatest Achievement of Any Civilization, Ever

What Makes You YOU? Individuality, Consciousness and The Borg

The Future of Human-Machine Relationships, HER Movie Review

Algorithms and Online Dating Won’t Change Your Ancient Brain

How To Make A Living When Robots Take Our Jobs




Subscribe to IEET Lists

Daily News Feed

Longevity Dividend List

Catastrophic Risks List

Biopolitics of Popular Culture List

Technoprogressive List

Trans-Spirit List









Innovation Topics




Want to Find Aliens? Look for Planets That Have Become Stars

by George Dvorsky

Jupiter is often referred to as a “failed star,” leading some futurists to wonder if our descendants might set it ablaze in a process called planetary stellification. A new study suggests this is indeed theoretically possible—and that we should be on the hunt for galactic aliens who have already converted their gas giants into stellar objects.



Interview with Gerd Leonhard and his New Book TECHNOLOGY vs. HUMANITY

by Gerd Leonhard

IEET Managing Director Steven Umbrello interviewed futurist and author Gerd Leonhard about his new book, Technology vs. Humanity.



Paralyzed Patients Learn to Walk Again Using Virtual Reality

by George Dvorsky

A groundbreaking new experiment shows that brain-machine interfaces, when used in conjunction with exoskeletons and virtual reality, can trigger partial recovery in patients recovering from spinal cord injuries.



IEET Affiliate Scholar Phil Torres Publishes New Paper in JET

Imagine that someone points a gun to your head and threatens to pull the trigger. How would you assess the overall risk of your situation? One possibility is to examine the gun: to determine its various properties, how powerful it is, the speed at which bullets emerge from the barrel, and so on. This is what many existential risk scholars have focused on with respect to existential risks: the range of technologies that could be used for harmful ends.

Full Story...
Link to Journal of Evolution and Technology



Peter Thiel is Right About One Thing

by George Dvorsky

Billionaire douchebag Peter Thiel has plenty of crazy ideas, but his commitment to radical life extension isn’t one of them.



Vote for IEET’s Managing Director’s Scholarship Competition

IEET Managing Director Steven Umbrello has entered a photo competition in order to be entered to win a scholarship for his graduate studies. In order to help him make the shortlist you can follow the link below to vote for his picture titled ‘Arrogance Dying’.

VOTE HERE



Shedding Light on Peter Thiel’s Dark Enlightenment

by Rick Searle

Lately I’ve been experiencing quite a bit of deja vu, and not in the least of a good kind. The recent bout was inspired by Ben Smith’s piece for BuzzFeed in which he struggled to understand how an Ayn Rand loving libertarian like the technologist Peter Thiel could end up supporting a statist demagogue like Donald Trump. Smith’s reasoning was that Trump represented perhaps the biggest disruption of them all and could use the power of the state to pursue the singularity and flying-cars Theil believed were one at our fingertips.



Clones Age Normally, So Relax

by George Dvorsky

It’s been 20 years since the birth of Dolly the Sheep, the first mammal to be cloned from an adult. Because Dolly died prematurely, scientists have worried that cloning accelerates the aging process. But a new analysis of 13 cloned sheep—including a batch of Dolly’s genetic duplicates—shows this isn’t the case.



Vers une reconnaissance d’un droit à la longévité

by Hadrian Pourbahman

Hadrien Pourbahman, étudiant en Master 2 spécialisé en droit de la santé et des biotechnologies, a effectué un stage au sein de l’AFT Technoprog. Cet article synthétise ses travaux et fournit des références pour vous permettre d’approfondir les sujets.



Piketty on Free Higher Education and the Value of Meritocracy

by John Danaher

I have worked hard to get where I am. I come from a modest middle class background. Neither of my parents attended university. They grew up in Ireland in the 1950s and 1960s, at a time when the economy was only slowly emerging from its agricultural roots. I and my siblings were born and raised in the 1970s and 1980s, in an era of high unemployment and emigration. Things started to get better in the 1990s as the Irish economy underwent its infamous ‘Celtic Tiger’ boom. I did well in school and received a (relatively) free higher education, eventually pursuing a masters and PhD in the mid-to-late 2000s.



Taming the Human Data Stream

by Daniel Faggella

“Big Data” is more of an opportunity than it is a benefit in and of itself. This might hold even more true for data gleaned from the human body itself as it does from the information streams from stock markets and eCommerce.



Most Americans Fear a Future of Designer Babies and Brain Chips

by George Dvorsky

Most American adults are nervous about the prospect of enhancing humans beyond normal capacities, a new Pew Research Center poll reveals. But while many of those surveyed expressed concerns about brain-boosting chips and designer babies, a significant number had a positive view of technology’s ability to transform humans and society.



Évolution naturelle ou évolution technologique ?

by Alexandre Maurer

Ce parallèle est-il pertinent ? Oui… et non. Dans cet article, nous tenterons d’en cerner les limites. Puis nous expliquerons pourquoi une évolution technologique (dans le cadre du transhumanisme) nous semble largement préférable.



A World Ruled by Networks

by Rick Searle

One of the more confusing characteristics of our age is how it trucks in contradiction. As a prime example: the internet is the most democratizing medium in the history of humankind giving each of us the capability to reach potentially billions with the mere stroke of a key. At the same time this communication landscape is one of unprecedented concentration dominated by a handful of companies such as Facebook Google, Twitter, and in China Baidu.



Record-Setting Hard Drive Writes Information One Atom At a Time

by George Dvorsky

Researchers working in the Netherlands have developed an atomic-scale rewritable data-storage device capable of packing 500 terabits onto a single square inch. Incredibly, that’s enough to store every book written by humans on a surface the size of a postage stamp. Holy shit.



Medical Harpoon Reduces Need for Open-Heart Surgery

by George Dvorsky

An experimental medical device called the Harpoon TSD-5 is proving its worth in clinical trials, repairing heart valves with perfect success—and without the need to perform open-heart surgery.



This Milk Lasts Up to Nine Weeks Without Spoiling

by George Dvorsky

Refrigerated pasteurized milk typically lasts about two to three weeks before turning into a wretched hive of scum and villainy. A new process developed by researchers at Purdue University extends the shelf life of milk up to 63 days—and without the benefit of added chemicals.



Transhumanist Hank Pellissier on Being an “Atheist Missionary”

by Hank Pellissier

Hank Pellissier is certainly an inimitable individual. As a transhumanist and humanitarian, he applies science and technology to inform his approach to alleviating suffering, such as through his efforts to supplement the diet of the Philippines’ Mangyan community with soylent to improve brain health and nutrition. Currently, his work as the director of the Brighter Brains Institute is focused in Uganda, where he spearheads projects to establish and support humanist schools, health clinics, and orphanages.



IEET Fellow Stefan Sorgner to be Featured on Public TV Show

An interview with IEET Fellow Stefan Lorenz Sorgner on transhumanism, evolution, and human perfection will be broadcasted as part of the following public TV show on the 30th of July at 5.30 pm:

http://www.hr-online.de/website/fernsehen/sendungen/index.jsp?rubrik=54283&key=standard_document_61118836



Longévité et surpopulation : déconstruire une idée reçue

by Alexandre Maurer

Lorsqu’on parle d’allonger radicalement l’espérance de vie, on se heurte à une objection quasi-systématique : “Mais cela va conduire à une crise de surpopulation !”



“Robots will colonize space, without human beings”

by David Orban

Robots will colonize space, without human beings

There’ll be a new civilization, the sum of human intelligence and artificial intelligence, where artificial intelligence will be able to analyze a problem, identify the resources needed to deal with it, plan a strategy, adapt and improve itself to resolve the problem.” It will do this not only for specific, planned objectives – like the IBM computer that beat chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1996 or the vision system that recognizes obstacles in today’s self-driving cars – but “in a generalized way, with any problem”. This will happen soon, “within the next two or three decades”. A valuable time “for us to get ready for a world that will see huge changes, and make sure the effects are positive and compatible with people’s lives and aspirations”.



Agential Risks: A New Direction for Existential Risk Studies

There are two ways to avoid an existential catastrophe involving advanced technologies, such as nuclear weapons, biotechnology, synthetic biology, and nanotechnology. First, we could study the technologies and figure out ways to make them more difficult for malicious agents to exploit. And second, we could study the malicious agents and figure out ways of reducing the probability of them wanting to exploit such technologies.

Full Story...
Link to X-Risks Institute's Technical Reports



Reverse Turing Tests: Are Humans Becoming More Machine-Like?

by John Danaher

Everyone knows about the Turing Test. It was first proposed by Alan Turing in his famous 1950 paper ‘On Computing Machinery and Intelligence’. The paper started with the question ‘Can a machine think?’. Turing noted that philosophers would be inclined to answer that question by hunting for a definition. They would identify the necessary and sufficient conditions for thinking and then they would try to see whether machines met those conditions. They would probably do this by closely investigating the ordinary language uses of the term ‘thinking’ and engaging in a series of rational reflections on those uses. At least, Oxbridge philosophers in the 1950s would have been inclined to do it this way.



IEET Affiliate Scholar Franco Cortese Publishes Article in International Journal of Technoethics

The Technoethical Ethos of Technic Self-Determination

This paper addresses concerns that the development and proliferation of Human Enhancement Technologies (HET) will be (a) dehumanizing and (b) a threat to our autonomy and sovereignty as individuals. The paper argues contrarily that HET constitutes nothing less than one of the most effective foreseeable means of increasing the autonomy and sovereignty of individual members of society. Furthermore, it elaborates the position that the use of HET exemplifies – and indeed even intensifies – our most human capacity and faculty: namely the desire for increased self-determination, which is referred to as the will toward self-determination. Based upon this position, the paper argues that the use of HET bears fundamental ontological continuity with the human condition in general and with the historically-ubiquitous will toward self-determination in particular. HET will not be a dehumanizing force, but will rather serve to increase the very capacity that characterizes us as human more accurately than anything else.

Full Story...
Link to International Journal of Technoethics



Looking Toward the Red Planet. Mars Party.

by Pedro Villanueva

The school of Economics to Mars is a philosophy economic founded by Pedro Villanueva, that promotes a new economy after the economy of the knowledge that prevails today.



Transparent Smart Chargepoints and the Internet of Things

by Thijs Turèl

On the 25 of September Marcelo Rinesi published his article ‘The Price for the Internet of Things will be a vague dread of a malicious world’. With this response, I want to take on the implicit challenge he poses. How can we build an internet of things that will not fill us with dread? This article will present my ideas on a ‘transparent smart chargepoint’. Let me explain what I mean by this. ‘Chargepoint’ refers to the device that is designed for charging for electric cars. ‘Smart’ refers to the fact that the chargepoint optimizes the charging process on various variables – such as the price of electricity, the congestion on the electricity grid. ‘Transparent’ means that it is designed to be open as open as possible about the algorithms that run it.



Death and Transfiguration

by William Sims Bainbridge

In a remarkable 2012 IEET blog, “The Praxis,” Dirk Bruere introduced a quasi-religious conception of Transhumanism that not only foresaw the possibility of technological immortality for selfish individuals, but notably suggested that we have the obligation to help each other achieve eternal life, even using advanced technology as best we can to provide salvation to people who have already died:



Youths and the Imperative of Humanism in Africa

by Leo Igwe

Humanism has become a necessity for Africa and for Africans particularly for young people across the region who are struggling to make sense of life and existence.  Youths are critical to any human endeavor because they are the agents of hope, continuity, change and promise. Without young people, any society or initiative will go into extinction. Without young people, there is no future for humanity. So, it is with Africa and the humanist movement in the region.



Conceivable Collaboration: 4 Examples Combining People & AI

by Daniel Faggella

Google’s recent victory against top-ranked Go player Lee Sedol marks another milestone in artificial intelligence development, and though this might be considered “old” news by today’s standard, it’s still a fresh achievement for the AI world. 



Transhumanisme et écologie

by Marc Roux

Le mois de décembre 2015 a vu la signature d’un accord dit « universel », par 195 pays, et qui marquera peut-être un tournant dans la manière dont les humains envisagent collectivement leur rapport à la Terre. Les technoprogressistes pourront s’en réjouir à double titre. D’une part il doit permettre de mieux affronter les immenses défis que nous imposent les crises climatiques, mais d’autre part, loin d’un écologisme fondamentaliste, il reconnaît, dans son article 10, « l’importance qu’il y a à donner pleinement effet à la mise au point et au transfert de technologies de façon à accroître la résilience … ».

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Email: hank @ ieet.org