PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES|
The IEET has seven major programs:
Preparing for Technological Unemployment - The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET) believes that this time is different; the technological innovations of the 21st century will be dramatically reducing the demand for human labor of all kinds. We need to prepare now for the wrenching political and economic reforms that will be necessary to ensure that technological unemployment is a boon for all, and not just an economic elite.
Envisioning the Future - Through our Envisioning the Future program we engage with culture critics, artists, writers, filmmakers and consumers to explore the biopolitics implicit in depictions of technology in literature, film and television.
Cyborg Buddha Project - IEET Executive Director James Hughes and IEET Board members Mike LaTorra and George Dvorsky are collaborating on the IEET Cyborg Buddha Project, to promote discussion of the impact that neuroscience and emerging neurotechnologies will have on happiness, spirituality, cognitive liberty, moral behavior and the exploration of meditational and ecstatic states of mind. Hughes is a former Buddhist monk and is writing a book tentatively titled Cyborg Buddha: Using Neurotechnology to Become Better People. LaTorra, a Zen priest and author of A Warrior Blends with Life: A Modern Tao, runs the Trans-Spirit list promoting discussion of neurotheology, neuroethics, techno-spirituality and altered states of consciousness.
Rights of the Person - Through the Rights of the Person program we engage the human rights community, legal scholars, reproductive rights activists, the transgendered community, and advocates of public health approaches to illicit drugs in a campaign to deepen and broaden the concept of human rights.
Rights of Non-Human Persons - The IEET is committed to the idea that some non-human animals meet the criteria of legal personhood and thus are deserving of specific rights and protections. Owing to advances in several fields, including the neurosciences, it is becoming obvious that the human species no longer can ignore the rights of non-human persons. A number of non-human animals, including the great apes, cetaceans, elephants, and parrots, exhibit self-awareness, intentionality, creativity, and symbolic communication. It is a moral and legal imperative that we now extend the protection of 'human rights' from our species to all beings with those characteristics.
Longer, Better Lives - With the Longer, Better Lives program we seek to make the case for longer healthier lives, addressing objections to life extension, from the alleged problem of overpopulation to the threat of ennui. We are coordinating and developing consultation with senior citizens groups and organizations of the disabled to help them challenge ageist and ableist attitudes that discourage the full utilization of health technology.
Securing the Future - Under our Securing the Future research program we aim to assemble interdisciplinary teams of natural scientists, social scientists, humanists, historians, engineers, and futurists to work in goal-oriented projects aimed at proactively mitigating existential risks to humanity and to the biosphere.
African Futures Project -The IEET’s African Futures Project was started in 2012 as a multifaceted program to develop our understanding of how emerging technologies, combined with human rights and democratic empowerment, are transforming Africa, the poorest region of the world. The project started a program to empower ordinary Africans by putting communication devices in their hands. It has now expanded to support the work of Dustin Eirdosh in Madagascar.
The IEET has built a network of the most visionary thinkers and activists working on the policy implications of human enhancement and other emerging technologies.
Research Grants - Grants and donors support the research of IEET Fellows and interns on the ethical and policy issues of human enhancement and other emerging technologies.
Fellows, Affiliate Scholars and Interns - Since 2004 IEET Fellows and Affiliate Scholars have written thousandsof op-eds, journal articles and book chapters, and the IEET has promoted their work through the IEET website and publications.
Media outreach and Speakers Bureau - Through targeted press releases and the provision of qualified spokespersons, the Institute disseminates key policy ideas that address emerging technologies. The Institute sponsors the weekly syndicated Changesurfer Radio, and will develop other educational materials for radio, television and the web.
Networking Scholars and Organizations - In each of our programmatic areas we are building a database of scholars and networking with organizations working on similar topics from similar points of view.
Conferences - The IEET often organizes and co-sponsors conferences and one day seminars North America to promote discussion of techoprogressive ideas.
- Artificial Intelligence & The Singularity (Piedmont, CA, USA, Sept 20, 2014) co-sponsored with Brighter Brains Institute
- The Future of Emotional Health and Intelligence (Berkeley, CA, USA, July 26, 2014) co-sponsored with Brighter Brains Institute
- Global Existential Risks and Radical Futures (Piedmont, CA, USA, June 14, 2014)
- Religion and Transhumanism: The future of faith, ethics, and philosophy (Piedmont, CA, USA, May 10, 2014) co-sponsored with Brighter Brains Institute
- Eros Evolving: The Future of Love, Sex, Marriage and Beauty (Piedmont, CA, USA, April 5, 2014) co-sponsored with Brighter Brains Institute, Center for Sex and Culture, and Good Vibrations
- Personhood Beyond the Human (Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA, Dec 6-8, 2013) co-sponsored with the Yale Center for Bioethics, Yale Animal Ethics Group and the Nonhuman Rights Project
- The Moral Brain (New York University, New York, NY, USA, March 30-April 1, 2012) co-sponsored with the NYU Center for Bioethics, Duke Kenan Institute for Ethics, and the Yale Center for Bioethics
- Biopolitics of Popular Culture (Irvine, California, USA, Dec 4-5, 2009)
- Global Catastrophic Risks: Building a Resilient Civilization (Computer History Museum, Mountain View, California, USA, Nov 14, 2008) co-sponsored with the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
- 21st Century Rights (United Nations Plaza, NYC, NY USA, May 11-13, 2007) co-sponsored with the IHEU- Appignani Humanist Center for Bioethics
- Human Enhancement Technologies and Human Rights (Stanford University Law School, California USA, May 26-28, 2006), co-sponsored with the Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics, and the Stanford Center for Law and Biosciences.
- the 2005 and 2006 Transvision conferences (Caracas Venezuela, July 22-24, 2005; Helsinki Finland - August 17-20, 2006) focusing on human enhancement technologies, were co-sponsored with the Humanity+
The IEET solicits articles from recognized experts and thinkers for publication in the IEET's Journal of Evolution and Technology, at the IEET website, in booklets, and in newspapers and magazines that reach a broad and informed audience.
White Papers In each program area we have outlined a set of position papers that need to be written that address the benefits and risks of emerging technologies.
Books Collectively IEET Fellows, Affiliate Scholars and staff have authored dozens of books on technoprogressive themes, and many are working on book projects currently.
The Journal of Technology and Evolution is a scholarly peer-reviewed journal, publishing academic-quality research since 1998. JET welcomes submissions on subject matters that many mainstream journals shun as too speculative, radical, or interdisciplinary on all issues relating to the future prospects of the human species and its descendants. Since its inception, JET has had five editors-in-chief: Dr. Nick Bostrom, Dr. Robin Hanson, Dr. Mark Walker, Dr. James Hughes and currently Dr. Russell Blackford.