Category: Ethics

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New Evidence That the World Really Is Getting Better

New Evidence That the World Really Is Getting Better If you allow your perception of humanity to be shaped by the news, it is easy to lose sight of the narrative of human progress. Struggling democracies, suicide epidemics, climate change, and acts of violence are among the daily headlines that continue to overwhelm us with…
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Is It Moral to Seek Immortality? A Discussion at the Vatican

Is It Moral to Seek Immortality? A Discussion at the Vatican Earlier this month, I participated in a discussion/debate at the Vatican on the topic of “The Morality of Immortality.” The discussion was moderated by CNN medical anchor Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and included Rabbi Dr. Edward Reichman, Elder Dale Renlund, Reverend Father Dr. Nicancor Austriaco…
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Google’s Duplex Raises the Question: Should Robots Sound Robotic?

Google’s Duplex Raises the Question: Should Robots Sound Robotic? By now, you’ve probably seen Google’s new Duplex software, which promises to call people on your behalf to book appointments for haircuts and the like. As yet, it only exists in demo form, but already it seems like Google has made a big stride towards capturing…
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Holograms Can Now Program Brain Activity—Are Fake Experiences Next?

Holograms Can Now Program Brain Activity—Are Fake Experiences Next? Optogenetics, neuroscience’s hottest mind-control tool, just got a major update. Projecting 3D-light holograms—yes, holograms!—directly onto a mouse’s cortex, engineers at UC Berkeley instantaneously gained control of dozens of neurons at once. That’s not the impressive part. What’s incredible is that those neurons belonged to different networks,…
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Will Europe’s Looming Tech Rules Prove to Be a Template for the World?

Will Europe’s Looming Tech Rules Prove to Be a Template for the World? There was a time when people bought most of the software on their computer, but this is, of course, now ancient history. Some software you still buy, but much of today’s most-used software is free. No one buys browsers or search engines…
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This New Startup Will Use CRISPR as a Search Engine to Hunt Down Diseases

This New Startup Will Use CRISPR as a Search Engine to Hunt Down Diseases By now, you’ve heard of CRISPR—the bacterial self-defense mechanism that can be used to modify the genome. From “biohackers” building the hype by injecting themselves with CRISPR—and later regretting it—to the more measured, successful approach taken by scientists and startups, people…
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New Malicious AI Report Outlines Biggest Threats of the Next 5 Years

New Malicious AI Report Outlines Biggest Threats of the Next 5 Years Everyone’s talking about deep fakes: audio-visual imitations of people, generated by increasingly powerful neural networks, that will soon be indistinguishable from the real thing. Politicians are regularly laid low by scandals that arise from audio-visual recordings. Try watching the footage that could be…
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Are ‘You’ Just Inside Your Skin or Is Your Smartphone Part of You?

Are ‘You’ Just Inside Your Skin or Is Your Smartphone Part of You? In November 2017, a gunman entered a church in Sutherland Springs in Texas, where he killed 26 people and wounded 20 others. He escaped in his car, with police and residents in hot pursuit, before losing control of the vehicle and flipping…
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How ‘Cultural Evolution’ Can Give Us the Tools to Build Global-Scale Resilience

How ‘Cultural Evolution’ Can Give Us the Tools to Build Global-Scale Resilience There’s an unsettling premise at the heart of Joe Brewer’s life’s work. Brewer is a change strategist dedicated to ensuring a thriving global civilization exists 100 years from now—and he believes this is becoming less likely every year. There’s rising instability in our…
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The Quest to Transform End-of-Life Medical Care Into a More Human Experience

The Quest to Transform End-of-Life Medical Care Into a More Human Experience In an interview at Singularity University’s Exponential Medicine in San Diego, Shoshana Ungerleider spoke about the taboo topic we all eventually confront—death. Ungerleider is an expert in the field of end-of-life care and is working to overhaul patient treatment at this life stage.…
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