“I don’t see Christ’s redemption limited to human beings.”
That was my quote in an article about artificial intelligence and religion, in Gizmodo, a popular global technology site. The UK’s Daily Mail followed that with a feature commentary piece that compared my positive comments on AI to the extremely cautionary remarks of Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk.
Jun 17, 2015
Will Artificial Intelligence be a Buddha? Is Fear of AI just a symptom of Human Self-Loathing?by Nicole Sallak Anderson
I’m interested in the intersection of consciousness and technology, so when I discovered the Consciousness Hacking MeetUp in Silicon Valley, (organized by IEET Affiliate Scholar Mikey Siegel) I signed up immediately.
Soon afterwards, I attended a MeetUp titled, “Enlightened AI”, at Sophia University in Palo Alto. The talk was led by Google researcher, Mohamad Tarifi, PhD. Not only is he a bright engineer working on the next level of artificial intelligence at one of the top companies in the Valley, he’s also very well versed in the philosophies of consciousness. From the Abrahamic traditions, to the Buddhists and Eastern teachings, Tarifi displayed a grasp of the whole of humanity unlike any other technologist I’ve met.
Jun 14, 2015
IEET Audience Divided on Role of Reason in Morality
We asked “Does moral action depend on reasoning?” and 205 of you responded. About 60% of you felt that both reason and pre-rational sentiments shaped morality, with one in eight holding out for morality based in reason, and one in eight believing that morality is all pre-rational.
Jun 2, 2015
Review of Sam Harris’ “Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion”by John G. Messerly
I recently finished Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion,￼ and found it a welcome addition to the literature on mindfulness. It also adds to the growing literature that tries to find alternatives to the antiquated religions which are slowly losing their appeal for millions of people. (Just this week a new Pew study chronicled the decline of religion in the USA.)
May 20, 2015
High-Tech Jainism: our ethical responsibility is to end suffering on a cosmological scaleby David Pearce
“May all that have life be delivered from suffering”, said Gautama Buddha.
The vision of a happy biosphere isn’t new. Jains, for instance, aim never to hurt another sentient being by word or deed. But all projects of secular and religious utopianism have foundered on the rock of human nature. Evolution didn’t design us to be happy.
May 18, 2015
The Ethics of Moral EnhancementSmartDrugsSmarts
Jesse has a freewheeling discussion with John Danaher about “moral enhancement” technologies – old and new. They talk about emerging technologies, ethics and the notion that the mind extends much beyond our body and brain. (All without sounding remotely woo-woo!)
By the way, here is the article that first turned Jesse on to John Danaher – heartily recommended if you like some philosophy along with your doomsday scenarios. – Jesse
- 1:09The future of moral enhancement and and control systems.
- 2:05This Week In Neuroscience: A gene mutation that enhances images making them more vivid.
- 4:08iTunes reviews and the Smart Drug Smarts Audience Census.
- 5:24An introduction to John Danaher.
- 6:56What is enhancement? A quick lowdown.
- 8:52Going deeper into moral enhancement.
- 10:00Feeling the pull of the moral compass with the “Trolley Problem.”
- 12:33If moral enhancement was possible, how would it work?
- 13:59The benefits of moral enhancement in the criminal justice system.
- 14:33The methods of enhancement - internal and external.
- 16:08Neuroplasticity and tampering with the brain.
- 17:00Introducing the Extended Mind Project.
- 20:28Modifying morality with classical conditioning and an interesting device called Pavlok.
- 21:31The arguments against Extended Mind hypothesis.
- 24:50John Danaher’s personal take on the Extended Mind hypothesis and the enhancement debate.
- 32:45Ruthless Listener Retention Gimmick: A great tip to reduce pain.
Apr 25, 2015
The Problem of Personal Identity in Two Pagesby John G. Messerly
The problem – Is a person the kind of thing that can die on earth and be alive somewhere else? To understand this consider a thought experiment. If we make a perfect copy of you—complete with your thoughts and memories—is that copy really you or just a duplicate? (If you think the copy is you, then the waking up in heaven scenario is not problematic; if you think it’s just a copy, then the thing that wakes up in heaven isn’t you.)
Apr 25, 2015
The Outsourcing Illusion: Why Tempting Technology Can Lead to Dangerous DelegationCritical Thinking in Life and Labor
IEET Fellow Evan Selinger spoke at the University of Florida on October 13, 2014.
To make wise decisions when confronted with outsourcing technologies that can fundamentally impact our sensibilities, we need a clear sense of what technological outsourcing is, why it often promises more than it can deliver, and how to judge when to avoid it. The task before us, therefore, is to grasp the phenomenological contours of what I call the outsourcing illusion.
Apr 11, 2015
The psychology of your future selfTED
Filmed March 2014. Dan Gilbert shares recent research on a phenomenon he calls the “end of history illusion,” where we somehow imagine that the person we are right now is the person we’ll be for the rest of time. Hint: that’s not the case. “Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished.”
Apr 4, 2015
Transformative Technology: An Evolution of Contemplative PracticeSmith College Buddhist Studies
Mindfulness is “the intentional, accepting and non-judgemental focus of one’s attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment”, which can be trained by meditational practices derived from Buddhist anapanasati.
The term “mindfulness” is derived from the Pali-term sati, “mindfulness”, which is an essential element of Buddhist practice, including vipassana, satipaṭṭhāna and anapanasati.
Mindfulness practice is being employed in psychology to alleviate a variety of mental and physical conditions, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and in the prevention of relapse in depression and drug addiction. It has gained worldwide popularity as a distinctive method to handle emotions.