БЛОГ

Archive for the ‘ethics’ category

Jul 17, 2021

Voice clone of Anthony Bourdain prompts synthetic media ethics questions

Posted by in categories: education, ethics, robotics/AI

A New Yorker review of “Roadrunner,” a documentary about the deceased celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain by the Oscar-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville, reveals that a peculiar method was used to create a voice over of an email written by Bourdain. In addition to using clips of Bourdain’s voice from various media appearances, the filmmaker says he had an “A.I. model” of Bourdain’s voice created in order to complete the effect of Bourdain ‘reading’ from his own email in the film. “If you watch the film, other than that line you mentioned, you probably don’t know what the other lines are that were spoken by the A.I., and you’re not going to know,” Neville told the reviewer, Helen Rosner. “We can have a documentary-ethics panel about it later.”

On Twitter, some media observers decided to start the panel right away.

“This is unsettling,” tweeted Mark Berman, a reporter at the Washington Post, while ProPublica reporter and media manipulation expert Craig Silverman tweeted “this is not okay, especially if you don’t disclose to viewers when the AI is talking.” Indeed, “The ‘ethics panel’ is supposed to happen BEFORE they release the project,” tweeted David Friend, Entertainment reporter at The Canadian Press.

Continue reading “Voice clone of Anthony Bourdain prompts synthetic media ethics questions” »

Jul 16, 2021

We’ll soon know more about our bodies than ever before – but are we ready?

Posted by in categories: ethics, futurism

Tests could show the probability of illnesses occurring in future years, with huge moral and ethical implications, says immunology professor Daniel M Davis.

Jul 14, 2021

UK May Ban Boiling Lobsters Alive Under “Sentient Being” Law, So Can They Really Feel Pain?

Posted by in categories: ethics, government, law, space

Boiling lobsters alive may be banned under a new law in the UK designed to protect the welfare rights of animals considered sentient beings. So, are lobsters sentient, do they feel pain, and what does science have to say about the moral quagmire of crustacean agony and cooking pots?

Back in May 2021, the UK government introduced a bill to formally recognize animals as sentient beings. Among the many facets of the bill, it aimed to limit the import of products from trophy hunting, push for fairer space requirements for farm animals, and stop people from owning primates as pets.

However, the bill only covered animals with a backbone and didn’t include any protections for non-vertebrates, which includes octopuses, squid, insects, and crustaceans. The Times reports that ministers are now preparing to back an amendment to the House of Lords, the upper house of the UK Parliament, to extend the legislation to shellfish and cephalopod mollusks. As per the report, this is likely to involve an outright ban on boiling lobsters alive.

Continue reading “UK May Ban Boiling Lobsters Alive Under ‘Sentient Being’ Law, So Can They Really Feel Pain?” »

Jul 12, 2021

5 Sustainable Eating Tips for People Serious About Life Extension

Posted by in categories: climatology, ethics, life extension, sustainability

A serving of mushrooms is just 0.08 kg of CO2 emissions—only lentils have a lower per serving CO2 emission level.


One common question J.P. and I get over and over again is about the problem of overpopulation—if human life extension is a humanitarian goal worth pursuing, won’t there be an inevitable environmental crisis? One worse than what we’re already facing?

When we covered the ethics of life extension we partially answered this question based on what we know about population and consumption trends now (tl;dr: we’re more likely to face a crisis of under population than overpopulation). That said, it’s practically impossible to be able to fully forecast environmental trends 50200, and further years into the future. We noted, “Spanners actually need to address it because we will have to continue living through the consequences of climate change if we don’t.”

Continue reading “5 Sustainable Eating Tips for People Serious About Life Extension” »

Jun 25, 2021

Are we ready? Advances in CRISPR means the era of germline gene editing has arrived

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, ethics

Quick, accurate and easy-to-use, CRISPR-Cas9 has made genomic editing more efficient—but at the same time has made human germline editing much more feasible, erasing many of the ethical barriers erected to prevent scientists from editing the genes of heredity.

“The ethical debate about what is now called human gene editing has gone on for more than 50 years,” writes Dr. John H. Evans, co-director of the Institute for Practical Ethics at the University of California, San Diego. “For nearly that entire time, there has been consensus that a moral divide exists between somatic and human germline editing.”

In an essay published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Evans contends that many of the potent bioethical arguments that once made germline editing a verboten concept, have begun to dissolve in the era of CRISPR.

Jun 14, 2021

Scientists Grew Human Cells in Monkey Embryos, and Yes, Its an Ethical Minefield

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, chemistry, ethics, neuroscience

The way the team made the human–monkey embryo is similar to previous attempts at half-human chimeras.

Here’s how it goes. They used de-programmed, or “reverted,” human stem cells, called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). These cells often start from skin cells, and are chemically treated to revert to the stem cell stage, gaining back the superpower to grow into almost any type of cell: heart, lung, brain…you get the idea. The next step is preparing the monkey component, a fertilized and healthy monkey egg that develops for six days in a Petri dish. By this point, the embryo is ready for implantation into the uterus, which kicks off the whole development process.

This is where the chimera jab comes in. Using a tiny needle, the team injected each embryo with 25 human cells, and babied them for another day. “Until recently the experiment would have ended there,” wrote Drs. Hank Greely and Nita Farahany, two prominent bioethicists who wrote an accompanying expert take, but were not involved in the study.

Continue reading “Scientists Grew Human Cells in Monkey Embryos, and Yes, Its an Ethical Minefield” »

Jun 5, 2021

The difficult birth of stem cell therapy

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, ethics

Scientists have been aware of the existence of stem cells since the 1900’s, but it wasn’t until the turn of the millennium that the medical community (and in turn the public) sat up and took notice of their potential. Unfortunately, the first public debut of stem cell therapy in the eyes of the public was through the political and moral minefield of deriving stem cell lines from human embryos. It was long before religious and secular objections lead to President Bush Banning any Federal funding for studies utilising newly created stem cell lines. The public opinion of stem cells was extremely polarised, with the public split heavily down the middle, between support and condemnation. What happened next was unfortunately as predictable as the tide coming in.

To compensate for the pushback against stem cell research, more and more extravagant claims were made in support of stem cells. Although most of these claims were based upon perfectly reasonable extrapolation from what was known of the potential for stem cells, the time frame in which these advances could be made was wildly underestimated. Confounding that problem was the fact that it would be many years until a method through which stem cells could be reverse engineered from a patient’s tissue, which meant that medical treatments had to based around stem cell lines derived from embryonic stem cell lines, which as discusses previously was an ethical nightmare, as well as being logically untenable for the majority of people (as most people don’t have embryonic tissue samples stored away for future use). Great promises were made to the public, without a full understanding of what was needed in order to get stem cell therapy to a functional level.

May 30, 2021

U.S. Transhumanist Party Virtual Enlightenment Salon with Ryan O’Shea — May 30, 2021

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

Today, Sunday, May 30, 2021, at 1 p.m. Pacific Time, join us for a U.S. Transhumanist Party Virtual Enlightenment Salon with Ryan O’Shea, as we discuss the state of the transhumanist movement, life-extension advocacy, biohacking, Ryan’s Future Grind podcast, and more!

Watch on YouTube here:. You will be able to post questions and comments in the live YouTube chat.

Continue reading “U.S. Transhumanist Party Virtual Enlightenment Salon with Ryan O’Shea — May 30, 2021” »

May 21, 2021

Is nature continuous or discrete? How the atomist error was born

Posted by in categories: ethics, particle physics

The modern idea that nature is discrete originated in Ancient Greek atomism. Leucippus, Democritus and Epicurus all argued that nature was composed of what they called ἄτομος (átomos) or ‘indivisible individuals’. Nature was, for them, the totality of discrete atoms in motion. There was no creator god, no immortality of the soul, and nothing static (except for the immutable internal nature of the atoms themselves). Nature was atomic matter in motion and complex composition – no more, no less.

Despite its historical influence, however, atomism was eventually all but wiped out by Platonism, Aristotelianism and the Christian tradition that followed throughout the Middle Ages. Plato told his followers to destroy Democritus’ books whenever they found them, and later the Christian tradition made good on this demand. Today, nothing but a few short letters from Epicurus remain.

Atomism was not finished, however. It reemerged in 1417, when an Italian book-hunter named Poggio Bracciolini discovered a copy of an ancient poem in a remote monastery: De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things), written by Lucretius (c99–55 BCE), a Roman poet heavily influenced by Epicurus. This book-length philosophical poem in epic verse puts forward the most detailed and systematic account of ancient materialism that we’ve been fortunate enough to inherit. In it, Lucretius advances a breathtakingly bold theory on foundational issues in everything from physics to ethics, aesthetics, history, meteorology and religion. Against the wishes and best efforts of the Christian church, Bracciolini managed to get it into print, and it soon circulated across Europe.

Apr 26, 2021

The Space Renaissance Medici Fund Announces Three Student Sponsored Programmes

Posted by in categories: economics, education, engineering, ethics, government, law, policy, space travel

**Space Renaissance International (SRI) Medici Fund** is happy to announce that, due to the generosity of our Education Sponsors, we are able to award a few **prizes and grants for students** of any age, interested to space settlement, exploration and civilian development. Three programmes are now open to applicants, in the frame of the **2021 Space Renaissance Congress “The Civilian Space Development”**.

The 3° SRI World Congress (SRIC3) will take place in a virtual format and will provide attendees with cutting-edge developments in Space Settlement & Exploration, Human Rights, Ethics, Policies, Engineering, Entrepreneurship, Energy, Economics and Education from leaders in their respective fields. Experts in research and industry will present the emerging technologies and future directions in their field. Students at all ages, who are interested in Space Science, Technology, Philosophy, Economy, Policy, Law, Art, are warmly encouraged to participate to the 2021 Space Renaissance Congress. Please visit this link to apply to any of the Student Sponsored Programmes: https://2021.spacerenaissance.space/index.php/students-sponsored-programs/

Page 1 of 5212345678Last