Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies


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




whats new at ieet

Algocracy and Transhumanism Podcast: Deborah Lupton on the Quantified Self

The Ethics of Algorithmic Outsourcing: An Analysis

Algocracy and Transhuamnism Podcast: Hannah Maslen on the Ethics of Neurointerventions

The World’s First Child-Sized Exoskeleton Will Melt Your Heart

How better tech could protect us from distraction

Worst case scenario – 2035 and no basic income.


ieet books

Philosophical Ethics: Theory and Practice
Author
John G Messerly

TECHNOPROG, le transhumanisme au service du progrès social
Marc Roux and Didier Coeurnelle

eHuman Deception
Nicole Sallak Anderson

Keywords for Environmental Studies
eds. Joni Adamson, William A. Gleason, David N. Pellow


comments

rms on 'Imagining the Anthropocene' (Jul 1, 2016)

Pastor_Alex on 'On tragedy, ethics and the human condition.' (Jun 28, 2016)

instamatic on 'On tragedy, ethics and the human condition.' (Jun 28, 2016)

Pastor_Alex on 'On tragedy, ethics and the human condition.' (Jun 28, 2016)

instamatic on 'On tragedy, ethics and the human condition.' (Jun 28, 2016)

RJP8915 on 'How VR Gaming will Wake Us Up to our Fake Worlds' (Jun 28, 2016)

almostvoid on 'How VR Gaming will Wake Us Up to our Fake Worlds' (Jun 28, 2016)







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

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Algocracy and Transhumanism Podcast: Deborah Lupton on the Quantified Self

Algocracy and Transhumanism Podcast

This is the sixth episode in the Algocracy and Transhumanism podcast. In this episode, IEET Affiliate Scholar John Danaher talks to Deborah Lupton about her book The Quantified Self (Polity Press 2016). Deborah is a Centenary Research Professor at the University of Canberra in Australia. She is a widely-published scholar. Her current research focuses on a variety of topics having to do with digital sociology and the impact of technology on human life. Their conversation is divided into three main topics: (i) what is the quantified self? (ii) how is the ‘self’ affected by self-tracking technologies? and (iii) what are the political and social consequences of self-tracking?

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John Danaher

The Ethics of Algorithmic Outsourcing: An Analysis

by John Danaher

Our smart phones, smart watches, and smart bands promise a lot. They promise to make our lives better, to increase our productivity, to improve our efficiency, to enhance our safety, to make us fitter, faster, stronger and more intelligent. They do this through a combination of methods. One of the most important is outsourcing,* i.e. by taking away the cognitive and emotional burden associated with certain activities. Consider the way in which Google maps allows us to outsource the cognitive labour of remembering directions. This removes a cognitive burden and potential source of anxiety, and enables us to get to our destinations more effectively. We can focus on more important things. It’s clearly a win-win.

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Algocracy and Transhuamnism Podcast: Hannah Maslen on the Ethics of Neurointerventions

Algocracy and Transhumanism Podcast

This is the fifth episode in the Algocracy and Transhumanism Podcast. In this episode, IEET Affiliate Scholar John Danaher speaks to Hannah Maslen. Hannah is a research fellow at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics in Oxford and is affiliated with the Oxford Martin School. Her research focuses on ethical issues in general, but she has a particular interest in the ethics of neurointerventions and the philosophy of punishment. In this episode, they talk primarily about her work on neurointerventions.

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George Dvorsky

The World’s First Child-Sized Exoskeleton Will Melt Your Heart

by George Dvorsky

We’ve seen exoskeletons before, but nothing quite like this one. The new brace, developed by Spanish researchers, will help children with spinal muscular atrophy.

The 26-pound device consists of long support rods and are adjusted to fit around a child’s legs and torso. A series of motors mimic human muscles in the joints, endowing the patient the required strength to stand upright and walk. A series of sensors, along with a movement controller and a five-hour battery, complete the system. The aluminum and titanium device can also be expanded and modified to accommodate children between the age of 3 and 14.

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How better tech could protect us from distraction

TED Talks

How often does technology interrupt us from what we really mean to be doing? At work and at play, we spend a startling amount of time distracted by pings and pop-ups — instead of helping us spend our time well, it often feels like our tech is stealing it away from us. Design thinker Tristan Harris offers thoughtful new ideas for technology that creates more meaningful interaction. He asks: “What does the future of technology look like when you’re designing for the deepest human values?”

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Khannea Suntzu

Worst case scenario – 2035 and no basic income.

by Khannea Suntzu

There is now an almost constant stream of articles saying what was politically incorrect to state out loud just 5-8 years ago – Technological Unemployment is certain, it is imminent and ‘something like a basic income’ will be necessary. I have said so much on this societal issue in the last ten years that it quite often feels like an obligatory rehash of the arguments in favor of a basic income. The best and most authoritative arguments are still being voiced by Martin Ford and I suggest everyone to check his level-headed and well researched presentations on the topic. In my understanding Martin blows arguments against out of the water.

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The birth of virtual reality as an art form

TED Talks

Chris Milk uses innovative technologies to make personal, interactive, human stories. Accompanied by Joshua Roman on cello and McKenzie Stubbert on piano, Milk traces his relationship to music and art — from the first moment he remembers putting on headphones to his current work creating breakthrough virtual reality projects. VR is the last medium for storytelling, he says, because it closes the gap between audience and storyteller.

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Eliott Edge

How VR Gaming will Wake Us Up to our Fake Worlds

by Eliott Edge

“It has no relationship whatsoever to anything anchored in some kind of metaphysical superspace.  It’s just your cultural point of view […] Travel shows you the relativity of culture.”

— Terence McKenna

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Valerie Tarico

Mens Health Week: One Doctor Thinks We Should Be Talking about Better Birth Control for Guys

by Valerie Tarico

Dr. Stephanie Page at the University of Washington talks about why male birth control matters.

The Centers for Disease Control declared June 13 to 19 of 2016 as “National Men’s Health Week.” If it was Women’s Health Week, media experts would be talking a lot about sexual health and, especially, how women can safeguard against ill-timed or unwanted pregnancy. But for guys, pregnancy prevention is not even on the list, which instead emphasizes sleep, tobacco, food choices, and exercise.

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This scientist makes ears out of apples

TED Talks

Andrew Pelling is a biohacker, and nature is his hardware. His favorite materials are the simplest ones (and oftentimes he finds them in the garbage). Building on the cellulose structure that gives an apple its shape, he “grows” lifelike human ears, pioneering a process that might someday be used to repair body parts safely and cheaply. And he has some even wilder ideas to share ... “What I’m really curious about is if one day it will be possible to repair, rebuild and augment our own bodies with stuff we make in the kitchen,” he says.

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Gravitational Waves: The Universe’s Subtle Soundtrack

Big Think

Albert Einstein was the first to discuss the fabric of space, and according to his theorems, the curvature of it. We have been discussing the possibility of gravitational waves ever since.

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Rick Searle

Imagining the Anthropocene

by Rick Searle

Almost a year ago now, while reading an article by the historian Yuval Harari in the British newspaper The Guardian, I had a visceral experience of what it means to live in the Anthropocene. Harari’s piece was about the horrors of industrial meat production, and as evidence of the scale of the monstrosity, he listed a set of facts that I had either not known, or had never taken the time to fully contemplate.

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Color and Sound Perception Explained

Big Think

“What we perceive as color — what we perceive as light — corresponds to a very narrow band of frequencies, out of an infinite continuum,” says Nobel Laureate Frank Wilczek.

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Marc Roux

Transhumanisme : Comment sortir de la « Vallée de l’étrange » ? 2/2

by Marc Roux

Sous la plume de l’Association Française Transhumaniste questionnement autour de la vallée de l’étrange. Cette étrange vallée caractérise l’acceptable pour l’esprit humain.

Dans la première partie, Marc Roux, président de l’Association française Transhumaniste, expliquait le concept de “Vallée de l’étrange” avant de s’interroger : et si les modifications de l’humain menaient vers de nouvelles formes d’intolérance. Une réflexion qui le mène, aujourd’hui, à prendre position d’une façon très originale…

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Alex McGilvery

On tragedy, ethics and the human condition.

by Alex McGilvery

The shootings at the Pulse club in Orlando highlight once more just how far we humans need to go in the evolution of our ethics. People on all sides have already weighed in on how their particular way of seeing the world would have prevented the crime. Almost immediately they began talking past each other with little or no effort to hear the other side.

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Zoos Enrich Our Lives but Cost Animals Their Dignity

Big Think

Responding to the shooting of a gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo, Bill Nye says the treatment of animals in zoos is plainly unethical. Yet zoos do have a role in maintaining the health of ecosystems.

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Daniel Faggella

China May Be the Reason that Speech Recognition Takes Off

by Daniel Faggella

Google may have DeepMind, but Baidu, China’s homegrown Google, has Deep Speech.

Deep Speech, which debuted in December 2015, is a speech recognition system that uses an artificial neural network to translate audio input directly to transcribed output. By contrast, most speech recognition systems, including Siri, use multiple, engineer-crafted steps to make translations.

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The Psychology of Solitude: Being Alone Can Maximize Productivity

Big Think

Echoing the English psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, Scott Barry Kaufman explains that solitude is considered one of the greatest markers of psychological health because it means you are comfortable with you are when you are alone. The silence and easy concentration that accompanies solitude is a gateway to living a deeper, more meaningful life, says Kaufman

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How college loans exploit students for profit

TED Talks

“Once upon a time in America,” says professor Sajay Samuel, “going to college did not mean graduating with debt.” Today, higher education has become a consumer product — costs have skyrocketed, saddling students with a combined debt of over $1 trillion, while universities and loan companies make massive profits. Samuel proposes a radical solution: link tuition costs to a degree’s expected earnings, so that students can make informed decisions about their future, restore their love of learning and contribute to the world in a meaningful way.

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Giulio Prisco

Paradiso and Inferno in Robin Hanson’s ‘The Age of EM’

by Giulio Prisco

Robin Hanson’s future scenario in “The Age of Em: Work, Love and Life when Robots Rule the Earth” reminds me of Dante. On the one hand, many people will transcend (current concepts of) humanity and “transhumanize” – a word invented by Dante in Paradiso, Canto 1 – to become uploaded souls running on high performance computing circuitry. On the other hand, they will live in red-hot metal cities that create strong hot winds to disperse the excess heat generated by billions of uploads computing their way to continued existence. The infernal city of Dis, described by Dante in Inferno, Canto 8, comes to mind.

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A smarter, more precise way to think about public health

TED Talks

Sue Desmond-Hellmann is using precision public health — an approach that incorporates big data, consumer monitoring, gene sequencing and other innovative tools — to solve the world’s most difficult medical problems. It’s already helped cut HIV transmission from mothers to babies by nearly half in sub-Saharan Africa, and now it’s being used to address alarming infant mortality rates all over the world. The goal: to save lives by bringing the right interventions to the right populations at the right time.

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Alexandre Maurer

Evolution: Natural or Technical

by Alexandre Maurer

Transhumanism embodies the idea that humans have to assume their evolution. Given this approach, Transhumanism is often paralleled with Darwin’s theory of natural evolution. Is this parallel pertinent? Yes… and No? In this article, we will try to identify the limits. We will explain why technological evolution (in the context of Transhumanism) appears to be significantly preferable.

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Combatting Political Corruption Combats Climate Change

Big Think

Academy Award-winning documentarian Charles Ferguson says there is a good reason why authoritarian oligarchies are the worst nations at dealing with climate change.

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George Dvorsky

Dubai Is Building the World’s Largest Concentrated Solar Power Plant

by George Dvorsky

They like to do things big in Dubai, including a newly-approved concentrated solar power project that will generate 1,000 megawatts of power by 2020—and a whopping 5,000 megawatts by 2030.

he Dubai Water and Electricity Authority (DEWA) has announced the launch of the world’s largest concentrated solar power (CSP) project. Located on a single site within the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the plant will consist of five facilities. The first phase of the project is expected to be completed either in late 2020 or 2021, at which time it’s expected to generate 1,000 MW of power. By 2030, this plant could be churning out five times that amount—enough to raise the emirate’s total power output by 25 percent.

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Work/Life Balance Is a Non-Issue If You Find Your Purpose

Big Think

The problem with work-life balance is that it traps us in a career or job-oriented mindset, working for either a paycheck or purely to climb the latter. Find purpose instead, says Dan Pontefract.

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George Dvorsky

Some Antidepressants Might Actually Be Harmful to Children and Teens

by George Dvorsky

A discouraging new study concludes that most antidepressants are ineffective for children and adolescents, and may even be harmful in some cases. But the researchers caution that the low quantity and quality of clinical trials are obscuring the true effects of these drugs.

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Is Your To Do List Functioning As Mood Repair or Enhancing Your Productivity?

Big Think

Are to-do lists about feeling a sense of accomplishment or actually getting things done? The typical way of writing lists can result in feeling good about yourself at the expense of productivity.

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Marc Roux

Comment sortir de la “Vallée de l’étrange” ? 1/2

by Marc Roux

Sous la plume de l’Association Française Transhumaniste questionnement autour de la vallée de l’étrange. Cette étrange vallée caractérise l’acceptable pour l’esprit humain.

Le mercredi 19 octobre prochain aura lieu en Angleterre une bien étrange compétition. Pour la 22ème année consécutive, un groupe de 4 personnes sera mis en concurrence avec une série d’ordinateurs face à un jury de spécialistes du langage (anglo-saxon) et de l’informatique. Le but de chacun : prouver qu’il est humain !

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Einstein’s Theory of Relativity Can’t Explain Nonlocality

Big Think

The ability of particles to coordinate their behavior across distances may seem to violate the speed-of-light constant, but is a signal really being sent between them? Or does Einstein still reign?

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George Dvorsky

The World’s Oldest Computer May Have Been Used to Predict the Future

by George Dvorsky

Discovered in an ancient shipwreck near Crete in 1901, the freakishly advanced Antikythera Mechanism has been called the world’s first computer. A decades-long investigation into the 2,000 year-old-device is shedding new light onto this mysterious device, including the revelation that it may have been used for more than just astronomy.

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