Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies



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



UPCOMING EVENTS: Security

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


Wendell Wallach @ Connecticut Science Center
May 5
Connecticut Science Center




MULTIMEDIA: Security Topics

Network Society: the coming socio-economic phase transformation

All your devices can be hacked

Military robots and the future of war

The wonderful and terrifying implications of computers that can learn

Non-lethal weapons, a moral hazard?

Vigilante of Democracy

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

Manifesto for Cyborgs

Singularity 1 on 1: Compassion is the reason to reverse aging!

Episode 237 - The Sofalurity Is Near

Transhumanism: Are We Decommissioning Evolution?

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

We Need to Teach Kids Creative Thinking

Let’s design social media that drives real change

This is what happens when you reply to spam email




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Security 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.

Full Story...



The one percent discovers transhumanism: Davos 2016

by Rick Searle

The World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland just wrapped up its annual gathering. It isn’t hard to make fun of this yearly coming together of the global economic and cultural elites who rule the world, or at least think they do.

Full Story...



Is Cheap Oil a Bad Thing?

by David Brin

I cannot understand the markets’ panic over lower oil prices.  Sure, it hurts if you own Exxon or drilling-fracking services companies, or work for one, or if you are Saudi or Venezuela or Russia or Iran.  But for most of the world, it amounts to a spectacular tax cut and cost discount for all manufacturers, transportation and consumers of almost anything. See this article on much cheaper airline deals

Full Story...



Transhuman Debate in SF East Bay, co-sponsored by IEET

IEET is co-sponsoring a “Transhuman Debate” event in Oakland, California, on February 6, 2016, at Humanist Hall.

The debate will feature two “Oxford Style” Transhumanist Team Debates on these topics:

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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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Transhumanismus: Der neue Politiktrend?

by Roland Benedikter

Das humanistische Menschenbild prägte die Entwicklung westlicher Gesellschaften. Doch inzwischen ist der Transhumanismus auf dem Vormarsch. Vertreter dieser neuen ideologischen Strömung beraten westliche Regierungen, Firmen und Entscheidungsträger. Sie streben eine Cyborgisierung des Menschen an. Doch was sind die politischen Folgen?



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.

Full Story...



The Internet of Things and the Great Recalibration

by Anthony Miccoli

I’ve been playing catch-up since my tenure application and my class preps for the Spring semester, but I’ve finally been able to re-engage with my usual sites, and all of the fantastic content in my Google+ communities.  One thing that’s been coming up in various iterations is the concept of the “internet of things.” In a nutshell, the term loosely (and, I think perhaps a little misleadingly) refers to a technological interconnectivity of everyday objects: clothes, appliances, industrial equipment, jewelry, cars, etc, now made possible by advancements in creating smaller microprocessors.

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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.

Full Story...



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.

Full Story...



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.

Full Story...



Who Controls the Internet?

by David Brin

The End of the Internet Dream?

Ever since Congress passed Al Gore’s bill, around 1990, setting the Internet free to pervade the world and empower billions, repressive governments have complained, seeing their despotic methods undermined. And yes, democratic governments have often muttered: “Why’d we go and do that?” as their citizens became increasingly rambunctious, knowing and independent-minded!

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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” ?

Full Story...



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.”

Full Story...



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



Was Nazi Evil Unique?

by Rick Searle

‘The God of Israel said, to the Rock of Israel [David]; I rule man; who rules Me? It is the righteous: for I make a decree and he may annul it’.

Babylonian Talmud 16b

A few weeks back I was sitting in a laundromat watching my clothes spin round and reading a book on the Holocaust. Not quite sure why such a situation would lend itself to commentary from strangers, but I was approached by a 50ish or so middle class looking guy who felt it his duty to point out to me that Stalin and Mao had killed a lot more people than Hitler. 

Full Story...



Is there Trouble with Algorithmic Decision-making? Fairness and Efficiency-based Objections

by John Danaher

Tal Zarsky’s work has featured on this blog before. He is an expert in the legal aspects of big data and algorithmic decision-making. He recently published a paper entitled “The Trouble with Algorithmic Decision-Making” in which he tries to identify, categorise and respond to some of the leading objections to the use of algorithmic decision-making processes. This is a topic that interests me too, so I was eager to see what he had to say.



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.

Full Story...



#1: Seven Emerging Technologies That Will Change the World Forever

by Gray Scott

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 September 29, 2015,  and is the #1 most viewed of the year.

Full Story...



Private vs. Public Blockchains

by Ian Worrall

I am writing this piece in the hope of sparking some insight and viewpoints from fellow industry leaders and innovators because the concept (and increased appeal) of private blockchain networks makes absolutely no sense to me.

For the sake of non-technocrats my goal is to keep this as simple as possible so they can be a part of the debate as well without us going off on a tangent about less important factors.

Full Story...



#4: Does Work Undermine our Freedom?

by John Danaher

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 February 1, 2015,  and is the #4 most viewed of the year.

Full Story...



#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.

Full Story...



#8: If We Can Achieve Gay Marriage and Legal Pot, We Can Fix Climate Change Too

by Ramez Naam

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 18, 2015,  and is the #8 most viewed of the year.

Full Story...



#10: The Democratic Trilemma: Is Democracy Possible?

by John Danaher

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 February 5, 2015,  and is the #10 most viewed of the year.



Paranoia, Conspiracies and Surveillance

by David Brin

== Another summons to resigned despair ==

Conspiracy theories abound.  They erupt out of human nature, it seems, and your ethnicity or caste or political leanings only affect which direction you credit with devilish cleverness, secret power and satanic values. For sure, as a science fiction author I can concoct plausible schemes and plots with the best of them!  Indeed, let me add that some real life cabals are so blatant and proudly obvious that you just have to admit – sometimes “they” are completely real and up to awful mischief.

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