In the past year, I have written several posts about Chalmers and Clark’s famous extended mind thesis. This thesis takes seriously the functionalist explanation of mental events, and holds that the mind is not confined to skull. Instead, it can extend into artefacts and objects in the world around it.
Nov 22, 2015
Christians Should Support Scientists and Technologistsby Christopher J. Benek
It is often articulated in society that Christianity and science/technology are at odds. While most people of faith do not hold this belief, it is imperative that the church universal continue to dispute this negative stereotype. The most effective way that Christians can do so is by actively affirming their support for people called to work in the fields of science and technology.
Nov 19, 2015
Artificial Intelligence is Already Here—Artificial Consciousness is What Eludes Us - See moreby Nicole Sallak Anderson
“I’m trying to throttle back, because particularly the triplets are starting to gain consciousness.
They’re almost two.” Elon Musk in a “Wait, But Why” interview with Tim Urban
Nov 13, 2015
Post-Human is an indie proof of concept film short for David Simpson’s Post-Human novel, which is part of a best-selling eBook series (the Post-Human Series) about Transhumanism and future technology. Invasive nanobots, greater-than-human AI, terraforming, and more, the novels explore philosophical and ethical components of advanced technology and are fast-paced and full of suspense. The film was shot in Vancouver Canada by a crew of just three in only three hours.
Nov 12, 2015
Buddhism and Robot EthicsAgainst the Grain
IEET Executive Director James Hughes thinks Buddhist psychology and cosmology can and should inform the creation and design of AI beings. For one thing, Hughes doesn’t believe it’s ethical to create self-aware machine minds geared only toward the satisfaction of human needs.
Download program audio (mp3, 50.27 Mbytes)
A discussion of the essay “Compassionate AI and Selfless Robots: A Buddhist Approach” in Robot Ethics: The Ethical and Social Implications of Robotics Patrick Lin, Keith Abney, George A. Bekey eds. 2011. MIT Press.
Nov 11, 2015
Religious TranshumanismChristian Transhumanist Podcast
Micah Redding talks to IEET Executive Director James Hughes about cyber-Buddhism, religious transhumanism, and the longevity dividend. Subscribe or download additional episodes of the Christian Transhumanist Podcast here
- Projects from Dr Hughes: Citizen Cyborg, Cyborg Buddha and the IEET
- The experience of being an unusual transhumanist
- Pentecostalism and altered states of consciousness
- The longevity dividend
- Technological unemployment & Universal Basic Income
- The Christian theology of personal identity - and how it connects to transhumanism and Buddhism
- Why it's better to read a book than to do meth
- Ted Peters & the soul, or…Substance Dualism, and why robots might go to heaven
- Jesus, the imago dei, and the ultimate limits of human transformation
- The "rapture of the nerds", Christian millennialism, and the good apocalypse
- Nick Bostrom's contribution to theology
- "Smug atheists should read more science fiction" - Charlie Jane Anders
- What religious transhumanists can do for the world
- "Without a vision, the people perish" - Proverbs 29:18
Nov 10, 2015
Transhumanism’s Goal is to Increase Our Capacity for Love - interview with James Ledfordby Hank Pellissier
Transhumanists have multiple goals - to live longer, to be more intelligent, to enhance the physical body physically. But what about our feelings? Do we want to “upgrade” our emotional capacity? James McLean Ledford believes the primary goal of transhumanism is to “increase our capacity to love.” I interviewed him via email below:
Nov 6, 2015
Altered States of Consciousness through Technological InterventionAdam Ford
A mini-documentary on possible modes of being in the future – Ben Goertzel talks about the Singularity and exploring Altered States of Consciousness, Stelarc discusses Navigating Mixed Realities, Kent Kemmish muses on the paradox of strange futures, and Max More compares Transhumanism to Humanism
Oct 27, 2015
What will the advent of advanced AI and robotics mean for humanity?Cosmism Foundation
IEET Fellow Ben Goertzel spoke on cosmism and AI at teh Modern Cosmism meeting in NYC on October 10, 2015.
In recent years, as practical technological progress has made AI more palpable for the common person, public commentary on AI has tended to focus on the potential for AIs and robots to take over human jobs, and even the potential of artificial superintelligences to exterminate humanity.
But these worries, while understandable, understate the potential transformative impact of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) technology, and also distract attention from the positive potential AGI has for alleviating human suffering and increasing human joy.
From a Cosmist view, the engineering of systems with transhuman intelligence is the next natural step in the evolution of intelligence on the planet Earth. The relation between humans and AGIs is unlikely to be mainly one of “us versus them”; rather, humans will fuse with AGIs via brain-computer interfacing and other means.
The potential for humans to become new kinds of minds via means of AGI and other technologies, will bring amazing new possibilities for joy, growth and choice. The advent of AGI will bring us in contact with multiple aspects of the Cosmos that we cannot now effectively perceive due to the limitations of our current human minds. These are possibilities that should be embraced and welcomed rather than primarily feared.
In this talk I will connect these general philosophical issues regarding the Cosmist view of AGI, with current work on AI and robotics occurring in my own OpenCog AGI project and in other projects around the world. We are privileged to live at a time and place where we can take part in the unfolding of such dramatic positive transitions.
Oct 26, 2015
Cosmism, Moral Enhancement and the Religious Dialogue with TranshumanismCosmism Foundation
IEET Executive Director J. Hughes spoke on spirituality and moral enhancement at the Modern Cosmism conference in New York City on October 10, 2015.
Most people are neurologically incapable of living up to their own moral aspirations. In response to our moral inadequacies religious traditions have developed technologies such as fasting, meditation, special clothing and psychoactive drugs to improve moral cognition and behavior. Today psychopharmacological, social neuroscience and behavioral research are illuminating moral cognition, and generating new electronic, psychopharmaceutical, and genetic technologies for moral self-improvement.
As these technologies of moral enhancement become more common in therapy and criminal rehabilitation they will also be selectively adopted and rejected by religious traditions. Some religious will reject the new moral enhancement technologies on the grounds that, like the transhumanist aspirations for longevity, cognitive enhancement and uploading, they are a distraction from spiritual means and ends. Other technologies, such as treatments for addictions, will likely be widely embraced by the religious.
A dialogue between religious and transhumanists about these projects will help the religious parse which technologies are acceptable. But a religious-transhumanist moral enhancement dialogue will also help the transhumanist movement confront its dangerous lack of distinction between static forms of enhancement, such as hedonic “wireheading,” and forms of enhancement that enhance virtues, explore spiritual experience, and support flourishing lives.