Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

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CyBuddha News


Debunking the 5 Most Common Meditation Myths

Meditation Changes Your Brain for the Better, Even if You’re Not a Monk

All Christians Believe in Artificial Intelligence

Will Artificial Intelligence be a Buddha? Is Fear of AI just a symptom of Human Self-Loathing?

IEET Audience Divided on Role of Reason in Morality

Review of Sam Harris’ “Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion”

High-Tech Jainism: our ethical responsibility is to end suffering on a cosmological scale


CyBuddha Events


Siegel @ Transformative Technology Conference

2015-10-02 - 04
Sofia University, Palo Alto CA





Cyborg Buddha Resources


Altered States of Consciousness and Transcendence

  • Trans-Spirit list a transhumanist research program into religion and spirituality. It seeks to understand religion and spirituality in terms of cognitive science and evolutionary psychology, and to project the future of religion and spirituality in the dawning transhuman era.
  • "Trans-Spirit: Religion, Spirituality and Transhumanism," Michael LaTorra, Journal of Evolution and Technology 14(1) August 2005: 39-53.
  • Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies Promoting clinical research on psychedelics
  • Council on Spiritual Practices

  • Scientific Study of Consciousness and Neurotechnology

  • Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness
  • NeuroInsights a neurotechnology consulting firm directed by Zack Lynch
  • Mind and Life Institute Works on establishing research partnerships between modern science and Buddhism, especially the Dalai Lama.
  • Wisebrain.org The "neurodharma" project of psychologist Rick Hanson and neurologist Rick Mendius, both of whom are Buddhist meditators. They teach a "Train the Brain Course" and have a many talks, slides, and articles at the site.

  • Neuroethics and Cognitive Liberty

  • Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics
  • Wikipedia on Cognitive Liberty
  • Neuroethics Society scholars, scientists and clinicians who share an interest in the social, legal, ethical and policy implications of advances in neuroscience.
  • Neuroethics at UPenn a source of information on neuroethics, provided by Martha Farah of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience

  • Happiness, Positive Psychology and The Virtues

  • Positive Psychology Center at UPenn, directed by Martin Seligman
  • Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification by Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman.
  • Wikipedia on Positive Psychology
  • Ethics of Mood Enhancement NY Academy of Sciences
  • The Hedonistic Imperative Advocates the development of neurotechnology to permit the elimination of all suffering
  • Abolitionist SocietyPromotes eliminating involuntary suffering and increasing lifelong individual happiness through science


  • Cyborg Buddha Project

    IEET Executive Director James Hughes - a former Buddhist monk and attenuated Buddho-Unitarian - is writing a book tentatively titled Cyborg Buddha: Using Neurotechnology to Become Better People.

    IEET Board member Mike 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.

    IEET Board member George Dvorsky - a practicing Buddhist - writes and podcasts frequently from a rationalist, transhumanist, and Buddhist point of view, winning him an award this year as one of the best Buddhist blogs.

    The three of us are launching the IEET Cyborg Buddha Project to combine our efforts and 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.


    Jul 3, 2015

    Debunking the 5 Most Common Meditation Myths

    TEDxTalks

    There is a certain mythology that seems to have attached itself to the practice of mediation. There are also a few myths that keep people from enjoying this ancient and life-enhancing daily ritual. Watkins will debunk the 5 most common myths and show you how you can benefit from very simple mediation in just 10 minutes a day.

    Light Watkins is one of the world’s leading experts in meditation and creator of The Inner Gym book series. He has taught meditation in several countries, festivals, corporations, community centers and schools. His diverse list of clients include everyone from Oscar-nominated actors to stand-up comedians, dentists and lawyers.

    This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

     

     

     

    DOWNLOAD/LISTEN/VIEW


    Jul 2, 2015

    Meditation Changes Your Brain for the Better, Even if You’re Not a Monk

    Big Think

    You don’t have to become a monk to learn from one, says Dr. Wendy Suzuki, professor of neural science and psychology at New York University. Research into how meditation affects the brain is conclusive: Meditating immediately changes the frequency of your brain waves and, after five years, increases the size of white matter bundles in the prefrontal cortex.

    But Suzuki’s best advice is to start small. In her book, Healthy Brain, Happy Life: A Personal Program to Activate Your Brain and Do Everything Better (http://goo.gl/udV8ST), she explains that 20 minutes of daily meditation was too large a commitment. So instead of reordering your life, she recommends practicing basic mindfulness exercises like concentrating on your breathing patterns. This technique will help you build your meditation muscle, and start you down a more peaceful and purposeful path.

     

     

     

    DOWNLOAD/LISTEN/VIEW


    Jun 18, 2015

    All Christians Believe in Artificial Intelligence

    by Christopher J. Benek

    “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.

    Full Story...


    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.

    Full Story...


    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.

    Full Story...


    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.)

    Full Story...


    May 20, 2015

    High-Tech Jainism: our ethical responsibility is to end suffering on a cosmological scale

    by 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.

    Full Story...


    May 18, 2015

    The Ethics of Moral Enhancement

    SmartDrugsSmarts

    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

      Episode Highlights

    • 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.
    • 34:19(For Axon users) Show notes online here.

      DOWNLOAD/LISTEN/VIEW


      Apr 25, 2015

      The Problem of Personal Identity in Two Pages

      by 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.)

      Full Story...


      Apr 25, 2015

      The Outsourcing Illusion: Why Tempting Technology Can Lead to Dangerous Delegation

      Critical 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.

      DOWNLOAD/LISTEN/VIEW


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