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Archive for the ‘ethics’ category

Jul 25, 2017

Unleashing the true potential of AI

Posted by in categories: automation, disruptive technology, economics, ethics, robotics/AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) represents both the biggest opportunity and potentially the greatest threat to the legal profession in history.

This is part of a bigger global revolution – where society, business and government are likely to experience more change in the next 20–30 years than in the last 500.

This large-scale disruption is being driven by the combined effects of AI and other disruptive technologies whose speed, power and capability are growing exponentially – or faster.

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Jul 19, 2017

If you were a tree — By Xin Liu and Yedan Qian | MIT Media Lab

Posted by in categories: environmental, ethics, innovation, media & arts, virtual reality

“This work is based on our belief that VR offers new methods for storytelling and engagement.”

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Jul 9, 2017

Rabbis Get High for Study Testing Effect of Magic Mushrooms on Religious Thinking | Haartez

Posted by in categories: ethics, human trajectories

“Psychologist says participants ‘seem to get deeper appreciation’ of their religious heritage in study conducted by scientists at Johns Hopkins University”

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Jul 8, 2017

Could a Robot Be President?

Posted by in categories: ethics, geopolitics, robotics/AI, transhumanism

Great story in Politico Magazine on #transhumanism and a future AI President. My direct digital democracy ideas and others are mentioned: “Istvan, for one, envisions regular national elections, in which voters would decide on the robot’s priorities and how it should come out on moral issues like abortion; the voters would then have a chance in the next election to change those choices. The initial programming of the system would no doubt be controversial, and the programmers would probably need to be elected, too. All of this would require amending the Constitution, Istvan acknowledges.”


Yes, it sounds nuts. But some techno-optimists really believe a computer could make better decisions for the country—without the drama and shortsightedness we accept from our human leaders.

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Jul 3, 2017

Would human enhancement create Supermen or super tyrants?

Posted by in categories: computing, ethics, nanotechnology, neuroscience, transhumanism

The prospect of attaining superior intelligence or physical attributes may be tempting or appear liberating, but cybernetic enhancement could, theoretically, also be used as a means of control. Whoever manufactures the technologies that augment humans would be in a very powerful position and wield an immense degree of control over their human customers (or subjects). Moreover, cybernetically enhanced humans could see their microchips hacked, have their sensations detected by unwanted parties and stored in a database, or be at risk of receiving unsolicited or unpleasant impulses. Might we evolve from homo sapiens to homo servus?


The dream that we may one day transcend our physical and intellectual barriers through advancements in cybernetics and nanotechnology could became a reality during this century. But would this be a blessing or a curse?

As science expands its frontiers and technology continues to evolve, ideas once deemed fanciful or considered part of science fiction find themselves within the realm of possibility. New discoveries may give rise to unique potential and perils, as the field of ethics struggles to keep pace with the latest technological advancements. The dream that one day we humans may eclipse our physical and mental fetters through augmentation by cybernetics or nanotechnology could become a reality. Although transhumanism and posthumanism are considered modern concepts, the idea of improving or transcending the human condition has been explored in philosophy and literature since at least the mid-19th century.

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Jun 24, 2017

Artificial meat and the problems of ‘-isms’

Posted by in categories: ethics, food, sustainability, transhumanism

Artificial meat and food may be among our best tools to solve the problems of animal cruelty, feeding a growing population, and (in part) global warming. What do vegans and vegetarians think? In favour of cruelty-free lab-grown meat, or against it by principle?


I often say that I am not a fan of ‘-isms’. Not even those supporting the causes I care for, such as transhumanism. I sympathise with some ‘-isms’ (again, such as transhumanism), but I never consider myself a ‘something-ist’. The reason is that, generally, ‘-isms’ have two problems. The first problem is that they almost always support at least some ideas, or make certain claims, which I disagree with or find too fanciful (certain acceptations of ‘mind uploading’ come to mind, but that’s a story for another post). The second problem is that, if you say you’re a something-ist, people will almost surely assume that you endorse, or believe in, some ideas that are really not your thing, merely because such ideas are either an integral part of the relevant something-ism, or are what people think something-ism is about (which may or may not be true). Not to mention the fact that people often regard the dictionary as the ultimate authority on what ‘real’ something-ism is about, cheerfully ignoring all its variants and flavours (which often blur into mainstream something-ism and each other), whose proponents are usually well persuaded that their own something-ism is the real thing—others just got it wrong.

There’s actually a third problem too. Namely, that if they’re not careful, something-ists who are a bit too zealous might end up putting their ideology before the reasons they embraced it in the first place. Sometimes, this can undermine the very objective something-ists intended to achieve with their embracing the ideology and spreading it left and right.

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Jun 22, 2017

Are Artificial Wombs the Future of Birth?

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, ethics, evolution, futurism, health, science, sex, transhumanism

In April, Scientists based in Philadelphia unveiled an artificial womb undergoing testing on fetal lambs. With a prediction from one of the researchers that the technology could be ready for human testing in three to five years, artificial wombs suddenly became the most unexpected rage of 2017. But what sort of artificial wombs might realistically be a part of healthcare in the near future?

In this video series, the Galactic Public Archives takes bite-sized looks at a variety of terms, technologies, and ideas that are likely to be prominent in the future. Terms are regularly changing and being redefined with the passing of time. With constant breakthroughs and the development of new technology and other resources, we seek to define what these things are and how they will impact our future.

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Jun 8, 2017

Artificial General Intelligence (AGI): Future A to Z

Posted by in categories: business, computing, cyborgs, engineering, ethics, existential risks, machine learning, robotics/AI, singularity

What is the ultimate goal of Artificial General Intelligence?

In this video series, the Galactic Public Archives takes bite-sized looks at a variety of terms, technologies, and ideas that are likely to be prominent in the future. Terms are regularly changing and being redefined with the passing of time. With constant breakthroughs and the development of new technology and other resources, we seek to define what these things are and how they will impact our future.

Continue reading “Artificial General Intelligence (AGI): Future A to Z” »

Jun 7, 2017

Human/animal DNA ban lifted

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, ethics

A ban on human-animal hybrids was just lifted.


ICYMI: A ban on human/animal hybrids has been lifted.

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May 23, 2017

Sex Equality: I’m With Her

Posted by in categories: education, ethics, policy, rants, sex

Lifeboat Editorial

Lydia Begag is a high school junior at Advanced Math and Science Academy in Massachusetts. She got our attention when she published an editorial critical of the school’s uniform policy. With eloquence and articulation, she laid out a brilliant and persuasive argument that the policy was anything but uniform. It was ambiguous, arbitrary and discriminatory.


I’m with Her
Ideas Regarding Sex Equality
—Forget the Rest

Political and social turmoil are everywhere we turn, especially in the early months of 2017. Lunch conversations, small talk at work, and, of course, the media we consume have all become related to a singular topic: the United States government and its workings. Emotionally, I want to curl up in a ball and block out the political nonsense being spewed left and right until the day I die (pun very much intended)—but I feel intellectually obliged to confront the controversy.

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