Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies



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



UPCOMING EVENTS:

InsurTech 2016
September 27-28
Suntec Convention & Exhibition Center Singapore


Eurosymposium on Healthy Aging
September 29-1
Brussels, Belgium


Anticipation 2017 Conference
November 8-10
London, England


Robotic Online Short Film Festival
November 20
Universidad Elche, Spain


Stefan Sorgner @ Meditation & Wirklichkeit Conference in Berlin
November 25-26
Berlin


Hughes @ Transhumanist Culture Festival
November 27
Stockholm, Sweden


Hughes @ Singularity Salon
November 28
Stockholm, Sweden




MULTIMEDIA: Topics

A.I. Ethics: Should We Grant Them Moral and Legal Personhood?

How Parasites Commandeer and Change Our Neurocircuits

Genetic Engineering Will Change Everything Forever – CRISPR

A new way to heal hearts without surgery

How fear of nuclear power is hurting the environment

Want to Be a Physicist? Develop an Affinity for the Weird

“Parenting” Looks Nothing Like Evolutionary Caregiving

Neo - Official Teaser Trailer

Born Poor, Stay Poor: The Silent Caste System of America

Build Mental Models to Enhance Your Focus

Take This Perception Test to See How Visually Intelligent You Are

Genome Mapping Will Expand Our Life Expectancies

Has Apple Lost Steve Jobs’ Vision of Simplicity?

Cybercrime: Hacking Goes Way Beyond Simple Identity Theft

Cyberchondria: Do Online Health Searches Prompt Symptoms




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Topics




The Singularity: Overview and Framework Redux

by John Danaher

I want to begin with the problem. A couple of weeks back — the 24th of December to be precise — I published a post offering a general framework for understanding and participating in (philosophical) debates about the technological singularity. The rationale behind the post was simple: I wanted to organise the dialectical terrain surrounding the technological singularity into a number of core theses, each of which could be supported or rejected by a number of arguments. Analysing, developing and defending the premises of those arguments could then be viewed as the primary role of philosophical research about this topic. Obviously, I was aware that people are engaged in this kind of research anyway, but I had hoped that the framework might provide some utility for those who are new to the area, while also enabling existing researchers to see how their work connects with that of others.



Mobile technology – creating an enabling environment in Africa

by Lee-Roy Chetty

With an increasing use of retail agents and communications technology, bank-led and nonbank-led models are found to be converging not in branchless banking but a banking beyond- branch (BBB) arrangement.



The Flynn Effect: are we getting smarter?

by David Brin

I enjoy a habit of contrarian-poking at overused assumptions. Especially the hoary nostrum that humanity is not improving. Elsewhere I take on one aspect of this cynical calumny, where folks sadly shake their heads over how "our ethics haven't kept pace with technology." What malarkey. What stunning ability to ignore all we have done in the last 60 years.



Talking about positive future could help make it happen

by Dick Pelletier

Although the bold future discussed in many of my articles does not generate overwhelming support from the masses, the many scientists, writers, and interested people who do buy into much of this future believe that it has an excellent chance of becoming reality as we wind further into this century.



Hidden factors in the rush to immigration reform

by David Brin

Lest there be any misunderstanding, I favor immigration reform, under the general outlines that have been proposed both by President Obama and the recent bipartisan committee in the US Senate.  After a shellacking at the polls, Republicans now seem ready to join in resolving an array of issues.  Still, I'm less interested in discussing this consensus than factors that the public may not know about.



7 Best-Case Scenarios for the Future of Humanity

by George Dvorsky

Most science fictional and futurist visions of the future tend towards the negative — and for good reason. Our environment is a mess, we have a nasty tendency to misuse technologies, and we’re becoming increasingly capable of destroying ourselves. But civilizational demise is by no means guaranteed. Should we find a way to manage the risks and avoid dystopic outcomes, our far future looks astonishingly bright. Here are seven best-case scenarios for the future of humanity.



Cyborg Possibilities – The Head (Part One)

by John Niman

It has been a while since I last talked about prosthetic devices. For reference, see here, here, and here. This is part one in a several part series, but I intend to put out the whole series over the next week. What are the hottest new things to come out in the last year or so? Let’s start from the top, make our way down, and pretend this is Deus Ex.



The Difference Between Citizen and DIY Science

by Kelly Hills

As some folks know, I’m leading a discussion this afternoon on citizen/DIY science and research ethics, with my co-moderator, Dr. Judy Stone. One of the things that Judy and I have been talking about lately is whether or not there’s really a concern with ethical research in citizen science, or if the concern is with DIY science, a related yet independent concept.



A Survival Guide to Geoengineering

by Jamais Cascio

Despite its potential to trigger conflict, geoengineering will likely be part of the global response to climate change. Be prepared.





Witch Killing and Africans

by Leo Igwe

There is a growing incident of lynching and murder of suspected witches in different parts of Africa. This wave of witch hunting targets elderly people particularly women. In Nigeria, a court has rejected the bail application of three persons accused of killing a 70-year old woman, Mrs Rebecca Adewumi, for witchcraft.



Life is already eternal, sort of…

by Rick Searle

What often strikes me when I put the claims of some traditionally religious people regarding “eternal life” and the stated goals of the much more recent, I suppose you could label it with the oxymoronic phrase “materialist spirituality”, next to one another is just how much of the language and fundamental assumptions regarding human immortality these very different philosophies share.



Why getting physically stronger will help you live longer

by George Dvorsky

Fitness trends come and go, but weight training in particular never seems to come into style. Part of the problem is that most people associate it with bodybuilding culture, and women in particular are reluctant to join the guys at the back of the gym.



Drones Are a Local Issue

by David Swanson

In the absence of state or federal laws, localities around the United States are proceeding to put unmanned aerial vehicles in our skies as they see fit.  The federal government has authorized the flight of 30,000 drones, and the use of drones up to 400 feet by police departments, at least 300 of which already have surveillance drones in operation.



Lance Armstrong should be celebrated as a pioneer in human enhancement

by Andy Miah

Although Lance Armstrong has broken the rules, we shouldn’t be so quick to judge him. In many ways he’s a pioneer in human enhancement, and history books may forgive him, argues Professor Andy Miah, Director of the Creative Futures Institute at the University of the West of Scotland.



Mind-Boggling Future

by Dick Pelletier

Five possibilities in what promises to be a mind-boggling future!





The Resilient Brain (great example of Positive Biology)

by Colin Farrelly

In general, I’m not a betting man. Intellectual humility cautions against sticking one’s neck out too far into terrain that is too complex to understand, let alone reasonably predict with any confidence.



The Personhood of the Technologically/Differently Sentient

by Jønathan Lyons

Around the world, a handful of projects are in the process, specifically, of attempting to duplicate, simulate, or in some way technologically reproduce the human brain. And we, as a species, do not appear to be even remotely prepared for the implications that success from those projects could bring.



Technology getting under your skin and the ethical scratches therein

by V.R. Manoj

An Overview of Bioethical Issues stemming from Implantable RFID microchips.



The New Fourth Estate: Anonymous, Wikileaks, and –archy

by Sebastian A.B.

As government and industry collude, the interests of the powerful trample the rights of the multitude. Technology has granted invasive new eyes and ears to government agencies, spurning the right to privacy. Felicitously, the individual has also been empowered with two new tools to check the corporate state: hacktivism and leaks. The press has been captured by a handful of news corporations that are generally uncritical of government and fail to expose corporate injustice. The techno-libertarian culture has birthed the do-it-yourself fourth estate—usurping the illegitimate media and furnishing a viable alternative to the cartelized press. Two entities, Wikileaks and Anonymous, have emerged under this banner. This inquiry seeks to understand their history, methods, and to ascertain whether use of the discrete figurehead is efficacious.



Terminating the Terminator: What to do About Autonomous Weapons

by Wendell Wallach

“The Terminator” is clearly science fiction, but it speaks to a deep intuition that the robotization of warfare is a slippery slope—the endpoint of which can neither be predicted nor fully controlled. Two reports released soon after the November 2012 election have propelled the issue of autonomous killing machines onto the political radar.



A New Model Drone Resolution

by David Swanson

In the absence of state or federal laws, localities around the United States are proceeding to put unmanned aerial vehicles in our skies as they see fit. The federal government has authorized the flight of 30,000 drones, and the use of drones up to 400 feet by police departments, at least 300 of which already have surveillance drones in operation.



Doubling Down on the Posthuman

by Uppinder Mehan

In December of 2011 a podcast produced by Radiolab discussed a legal issue involving Marvel characters, including the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and Spider-Man (although the episode focuses on the X-Men). The "attorneys for a company that imported Marvel character action figures noticed that imported dolls were subject to a higher tax than toys, per the Harmonized Tariff Schedule. More importantly, dolls were distinguished from toys by “representing only human beings and parts and accessories thereof.”



‘Big Brother’ watching: creating a safer world; or goodbye privacy

by Dick Pelletier

In gambling casinos, cameras spot a card counter, thief, or blacklisted player, and a database instantly confirms identification. The suspect is quickly escorted from the facility, or arrested. Intelligent cameras that can observe people and react to events are advancing exponentially. At a White House briefing, counterterrorism adviser John Brennan said, thanks to the U.S. military's latest facial recognition technology, he was "99 percent" certain that the commando team had killed bin Laden.



The Problem of Other Motives – The Greatest Existential Risk to Humankind

by Ricardo Barretto

We’re toast.  Among hydrogen bombs, asteroid strikes, supervolcanoes, rogue artificial intelligence, nanotechnological war, grey goo, superviruses, biological weapons, runaway global warming, strangelets, mini-black holes, probabilities will eventually catch up to us and we’ll become extinct. It is an impossible obstacle course.



Forget 1984 and Conspiracy Stories, This is the Real Thing

by Federico Pistono

Imagine a world where a network of 147 'super-connected' companies control forty percent or more of the global financial network. Imagine a world where as much as 80% of the countries systematically censor and restrict communications and access to information.




Celebrating Longevity on the International “Future Day” March 1

by Ilia Stambler

Since 2012, there has been a global initiative to institute March 1 as an international “Future Day” dedicated to envisioning and working for a better future.



What’s Wrong With Borgdom?

by Rick Searle

Lately, I’ve had superorganisms on the brain. My initial plan for my post this week was to do a piece comparing earthly superorganisms like the Leaf Cutter Ant with the most well known of science-fiction superorganisms- the Borg. Two things happened that diverted me from this path. First,  the blogger and minimalist beekeeper, James Cross, shared with me an article he wrote that largely said what I wanted to say about the Borg and insects as well or better than I could have. Second, during the course of my research I ran into a recent article that stuck in my craw, which I felt compelled to address.



The Jefferson Rifle

by David Brin

I have been asked to post a few “David Brin Classics”.... some of my older riffs and rants… here online for a new generation to share and ponder. I’ve been mulling which ones. Then the topic of the Second Amendment and gun control recently came up. Along with the observation that some liberals are starting to nurse fantasies of needing to be armed, themselves, in the era that they see coming down the road.



Professor LaGrandeur appointed IEET Fellow

The IEET is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Kevin LaGrandeur as a Fellow. Kevin is author of the 2012 cultural history of the idea of artificial intelligence in premodern thought, Androids and Intelligent Networks in Early Modern Literature and Culture (Routledge, 2012).

Full Story...



Four Interns Join IEET’s Revamped Internship Program

We are pleased to introduce the four members of our revised IEET intern program: Jonathan Lin, Will Hiltman, George Bickers and Andrew Cvercko.

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