Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

ieet news

Turchin et al Publish New Paper on the Simulation’s Termination Risk
(May 18, 2019)

The main idea is that If we are in a simulation, the most probable type of it either a “Fermi simulation, that is, a simulation which is created by aliens to solve Fermi paradox via simulating possible global risks, or in a “Singularity simulation”,  – a simulation where future AI models its own origin. It means that our simulation will be turned off soon, as at least one of three conditions will be reached:

- It will model a global catastrophe, which is subjectively equal to
the termination.
- it will reach unknown to us goal (but likely related to our AI
ethics) and finish.
- it will reach a nested simulation level, which drastically increases
computational demand and thus the simulation must be turned off.

A.Turchin, M.Batin, D.Denkenberger, R.Yampolskiy. “Simulation Typology
and Termination Risks”.

IEET’s Steven Umbrello and Stefan Sorgner Publish New Paper on AI Cognitive Suffering
(May 17, 2019)

IEET Managing Director Steven Umbrello and IEET Fellow, and ‘Bad Boy of Philosophy’, Stefan L. Sorgner have published a new paper on the potential cognitive suffering of future AI titled: “Nonconscious Cognitive Suffering: Considering Suffering Risks of Embodied Artificial Intelligence” in the journal Philosophies

Kevin LaGrandeur on Technological Unemploymen (May 14, 2019)

Kevin LaGrandeur on Ancient Technology (May 13, 2019)


ieet articles

Terence Ericson [TEDx] Un transhumanisme modéré, raisonnable, alternatif?
by Terence Ericson
May 1, 2019 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Par Terence Ericson, porte-parole de l’association

Marcelo Rinesi Smart cities are for refugees
by Marcelo Rinesi
Apr 27, 2019 • (0) CommentsPermalink

There’s very little difference between smart cities and modern occupied zones. Both postulate ubiquitous sensor coverage, continuous algorithmic vigilance, and the automated use of (ordnance) delivery drones. Neither, for different but obvious reasons, is what we need.

Ojochogwu Abdul Reflections on James Hughes’ Problems of Transhumanism (Part 5)
by Ojochogwu Abdul
Apr 25, 2019 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Part 5: Belief in Progress vs. Rational Uncertainty

The Enlightenment, with its confident efforts to fashion a science of man, was archetypal of the belief and quest that humankind will eventually achieve lasting peace and happiness. In what some interpret as a reformulation of Christianity’s teleological salvation history in which the People of God will be redeemed at the end of days and with the Kingdom of Heaven established on Earth, most Enlightenment thinkers believed in the inevitability of human political and technological progress, secularizing the Christian conception of history and eschatology into a conviction that humanity would, using a system of thought built on reason and science, be able to continually improve itself.

Alexandre Maurer Jacques Testart transhumaniste?
by Alexandre Maurer
Apr 19, 2019 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Petite tribune sur les récents propos “étonnamment transhumanistes” de Jacques Testart. Et sur la triste stratégie de l’”épouvantail transhumaniste”, largement pratiquée en France.

Ojochogwu Abdul Reflections on James Hughes’ Problems of Transhumanism (Part 4)
by Ojochogwu Abdul
Apr 18, 2019 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Part 4: Moral Universalism vs. Relativism

James Hughes’ essays on the problems of transhumanism continue with a discussion on conflicts, borrowed from the Enlightenment, between universalism and relativism within transhumanism. The Enlightenment event (European and global), in addition to its attack and severance of the roots of traditional European culture in the sacred, magic, kingship, and hierarchy, thereby secularizing all institutions and ideas, also (intellectually and to some extent in practice) effectively set on course the demolition of all legitimizing basis of monarchy, aristocracy, woman’s subordination to man, ecclesiastical authority, and slavery. These were replaced with the principles of universality, equality, and democracy. Included in this was also an argument for moral universalism, a position that ethics and law should apply equally to all humans.

Ojochogwu Abdul Reflections on James Hughes’ Problems of Transhumanism (Part 3)
by Ojochogwu Abdul
Apr 11, 2019 • (0) CommentsPermalink

“Transhumanists, like Enlightenment partisans in general, believe that human nature can be improved but are conflicted about whether liberal democracy is the best path to betterment. The liberal tradition within the Enlightenment has argued that individuals are best at finding their own interests and should be left to improve themselves in self-determined ways. But many people are mistaken about their own best interests, and more rational elites may have a better understanding of the general good. Enlightenment partisans have often made a case for modernizing monarchs and scientific dictatorships. Transhumanists need to confront this tendency to disparage liberal democracy in favor of the rule by dei ex machina and technocratic elites.” (James Hughes, 2010)

Julien Varlin Séquencer son ADN : comment fait-on ? que dit la loi ? quels sont les enjeux ?
by Julien Varlin
Apr 5, 2019 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Par Julien Varlin, membre de l’association.

Ojochogwu Abdul Reflections on James Hughes’ Problems of Transhumanism (Part 2)
by Ojochogwu Abdul
Apr 4, 2019 • (0) CommentsPermalink

“The dominant trajectory of Enlightenment thought over the last three hundred years has been towards atheism. Most transhumanists are atheists. But some transhumanists, like many of the original Enlightenment thinkers, are attempting to reconcile naturalism and their religious traditions. Some transhumanists even believe that the transcendent potentials of intelligence argue for a new form of scientific theology.” (James Hughes, 2010)

Ojochogwu Abdul Reflections on James Hughes’ Problems of Transhumanism (Part 1)
by Ojochogwu Abdul
Apr 2, 2019 • (0) CommentsPermalink

In 2010, James Hughes, Executive Director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET), having then just stepped down from the Board of Directors of the World Transhumanist Association (presently known as Humanity+), took up an interesting challenge during the Spring of that year to reflect on the current state of transhumanist thought and determine what the questions were that the transhumanist movement needed to answer in order to move forward. Introducing a series of articles with which he hoped to navigate through a number of heady ideas and issues concerning transhumanism, Hughes opens by posing: “What are the current unresolved issues in transhumanist thought? Which of these issues are peculiar to transhumanist philosophy and the transhumanist movement, and which are more actually general problems of Enlightenment thought?” Further, he queried, “Which of these are simply inevitable differences of opinion among the more or less like-minded, and which need a decisive resolution to avoid tragic errors of the past?”

Marcelo Rinesi AIs are scapegoats and it’s us who end up bleeding
by Marcelo Rinesi
Mar 31, 2019 • (1) CommentsPermalink

No AI built today has anything remotely approaching consciousness or personhood; the unstable mess of a Windows operating system is structurally more life-like than any of them. So why the increasing focus on robot ethics?

Laurens Vaddeli Les promesses de la réalité virtuelle : ce qu’elle va changer
by Laurens Vaddeli
Mar 22, 2019 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Les promesses de la réalité virtuelle : ce qu’elle va changer

Alexandre Maurer Réponse au journal Le Monde : “La résistible ascension du transhumanisme”
by Alexandre Maurer
Mar 15, 2019 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Réponse au journal Le Monde, suite à son article : “La résistible ascension du transhumanisme”

Alexandre Maurer “Alita : Battle Angel” : qu’est-ce qu’être “humain”?
by Alexandre Maurer
Mar 8, 2019 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Réflexion sur le film “Alita : Battle Angel” (et petite critique à la fin).

Alexandre Maurer Jacques Testart transhumaniste?
by Alexandre Maurer
Mar 1, 2019 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Petite tribune sur les récents propos “étonnamment transhumanistes” de Jacques Testart. Et sur la triste stratégie de l’”épouvantail transhumaniste”, largement pratiquée en France.

Marc Roux The hedonic treadmill (4/4) : Améliorer notre accès au bonheur ?
by Marc Roux
Feb 28, 2019 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Les processus biologiques qui conduisent au plaisir et au bonheur sont très complexes et sensibles. Quelles conséquences pourraient découler d’une modulation transhumaniste de cette subtile alchimie ?

Alexandre Maurer [Vidéo] AI Superpowers : automatisation, chômage et utilité social
by Alexandre Maurer
Feb 26, 2019 • (0) CommentsPermalink

[Vidéo] AI Superpowers : automatisation, chômage et utilité sociale

Alexandre Maurer [Vidéo] Le transhumanisme sera-t-il réservé aux riches ?
by Alexandre Maurer
Feb 24, 2019 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Très brève vidéo sur une question qui revient très souvent…

EMG SMI²LE : les voyages de Timothy Leary
by EMG
Feb 21, 2019 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Timothy Leary (1920-1996) marqua de son empreinte l’évolution du mouvement progressiste et techno optimiste des années 70 à 90. Cet article fait partie de la série “Histoire du transhumanisme”.


Search the IEET

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

ieet books

Pourquoi le transhumanisme?
by Alexandre Technoprog

Still Think Robots Can’t Do Your Job?: Essays on Automation and Technological Unemployment
by Riccardo Campa

Longevity Promotion: Multidisciplinary Perspectives
by Illia Stambler

Philosophy’s Future: The Problem of Philosophical Progress
by Russell Blackford and Damien Broderick eds.

ieet events

The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States. Please give as you are able, and help support our work for a brighter future.

ieet multimedia

#57 - Sorgner on Nietzschean Transhumanism
Guest image
John Danaher

#56 - Turner on Rules for Robots
Guest image
John Danaher

#55 - Baum on the Long-Term Future of Human Civilisation
Guest image
John Danaher

Episode #54 - Sebo on the Moral Problem of Other Minds
Guest image
John Danaher

Episode #51 - Moen on the Unabomber’s Ethics
(Mar 28, 2019)

Episode #48 - Gunkel on Robot Rights
(Mar 21, 2019)

Episode #46 - Minerva on the Ethics of Cryonics
(Mar 14, 2019)


Enframing the Flesh: Heidegger, Transhumanism, and the Body as “Standing Reserve”

Moral Enhancement and Political Realism

Intelligent Technologies and Lost Life


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The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States.

Executive Director, Dr. James J. Hughes,
35 Harbor Point Blvd, #404, Boston, MA 02125-3242 USA
Email: director @