Archive for the ‘transhumanism’ category: Page 102

Mar 21, 2016

Bionic Fingertip

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, transhumanism

This new bionic fingertip allows amputees to regain the sense of touch.

Read more

Mar 20, 2016

Jason Silva will inspire you with these thoughts on human advancement in the 21st century

Posted by in category: transhumanism


Truly wonderful stuff.

Read more

Mar 18, 2016

Breakthrough Knee Replacement

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, transhumanism

Forget bionic knees, this company will let you grow a new one.

Read more

Mar 18, 2016

Who’s Afraid of Existential Risk? Or, Why It’s Time to Bring the Cold War out of the Cold

Posted by in categories: defense, disruptive technology, economics, existential risks, governance, innovation, military, philosophy, policy, robotics/AI, strategy, theory, transhumanism

At least in public relations terms, transhumanism is a house divided against itself. On the one hand, there are the ingenious efforts of Zoltan Istvan – in the guise of an ongoing US presidential bid — to promote an upbeat image of the movement by focusing on human life extension and other tech-based forms of empowerment that might appeal to ordinary voters. On the other hand, there is transhumanism’s image in the ‘serious’ mainstream media, which is currently dominated by Nick Bostrom’s warnings of a superintelligence-based apocalypse. The smart machines will eat not only our jobs but eat us as well, if we don’t introduce enough security measures.

Of course, as a founder of contemporary transhumanism, Bostrom does not wish to stop artificial intelligence research, and he ultimately believes that we can prevent worst case scenarios if we act now. Thus, we see a growing trade in the management of ‘existential risks’, which focusses on how we might prevent if not predict any such tech-based species-annihilating prospects. Nevertheless, this turn of events has made some observers reasonably wonder whether indeed it might not be better simply to put a halt to artificial intelligence research altogether. As a result, the precautionary principle, previously invoked in the context of environmental and health policy, has been given a new lease on life as generalized world-view.

The idea of ‘existential risk’ capitalizes on the prospect of a very unlikely event that, were it to pass, would be extremely catastrophic for the human condition. Thus, the high value of the outcome psychologically counterbalances its low probability. It’s a bit like Pascal’s wager, whereby the potentially negative consequences of you not believing in God – to wit, eternal damnation — rationally compels you to believe in God, despite your instinctive doubts about the deity’s existence.

However, this line of reasoning underestimates both the weakness and the strength of human intelligence. On the one hand, we’re not so powerful as to create a ‘weapon of mass destruction’, however defined, that could annihilate all of humanity; on the other, we’re not so weak as to be unable to recover from whatever errors of design or judgement that might be committed in the normal advance of science and technology in the human life-world. I make this point not to counsel complacency but to question whether ‘existential risk’ is really the high concept that it is cracked up to be. I don’t believe it is.

Continue reading “Who's Afraid of Existential Risk? Or, Why It's Time to Bring the Cold War out of the Cold” »

Mar 15, 2016

‘Cyborg heart patch’ combines electronics and living tissue

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, cyborgs, electronics, neuroscience, transhumanism

One of the latest inventions out of Tel Aviv University can patch up broken hearts. We’re talking about the real organs here, especially those damaged by myocardial infarction or heart attack. A team from the Israeli university created a “cyborg heart patch” that combines both living tissue and electronic components to replace the damaged parts of the organ. “It’s very science fiction, but it’s already here,” says one of its creators, Prof. Tal Dvir. “[W]e expect it to move cardiac research forward in a big way.” The patch can contract and expand like real heart tissue can, but it can do much, much more than that.

The electronic components allow doctors to remotely monitor their patients’ condition from afar. A physician could log into a computer and see if the implant is working as intended. If he senses that something’s amiss, he could release drugs to, say, regulate inflammation or fix the lack of oxygen. That sounds dangerous to us, since computers can be hacked. But the researchers are aiming to develop the patch further so it can regulate itself with no human intervention.

Dvir warns that the “practical realization of the technology may take some time.” For now, those suffering from cardiovascular diseases will have to rely on current treatment methods. The team is still in the midst of refining their cyborg heart patch. Plus, they’re looking at how to create bionic brain and spinal cord tissues using what they’ve learned so far to treat neurological conditions.

Continue reading “‘Cyborg heart patch’ combines electronics and living tissue” »

Mar 12, 2016

How to build a body

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, transhumanism

It’s the holy grail in bionics—artificial limbs that function entirely intuitively.

Read more

Mar 12, 2016

Making the world’s first brain-controlled bionic leg

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, electronics, neuroscience, transhumanism

Bionics: surgically inserted sensors controlling a prosthetic limb. Meet the man who sometimes forgets that his bionic leg is not his own.

Read more

Mar 11, 2016

Why Won’t Sanders, Clinton, Trump and Cruz Discuss Transhumanist Science Issues?

Posted by in categories: geopolitics, life extension, science, transhumanism

My new Huff Post story asking why the major presidential candidates don’t discuss transhumanist science:

THE BLOG Why Won’t Sanders, Clinton, Trump and Cruz Discuss Transhumanist Science Issues? 03/11/2016 03:49 pm ET Zoltan Istvan US Presidential candidate of Transhumanist Party; Creator of Immortality Bus; Author of #1 bestselling Philosophy novel ‘The Transhumanist Wager’ Image by DonkeyHotey Have y…

Read more

Mar 11, 2016

Amputee feels texture with a ‘bionic’ fingertip

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, electronics, transhumanism

An amputee feels texture in real time: Signals from sensors in an artificial fingertip are converted to neural-like spikes and delivered to nerves in the upper arm. (credit: Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne)

Amputee Dennis Aabo Sørensen is the first person in the world to recognize texture (smoothness vs. roughness) using an artificial “bionic” fingertip surgically connected to nerves in his upper arm. The experimental system was developed by EPFL (Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne) and SSSA (Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna).

“The stimulation felt almost like what I would feel with my hand,” says Sørensen. “I felt the texture sensations at the tip of the index finger of my phantom hand.”

Read more

Mar 9, 2016

This bionic fingertip can restore the sense of touch for amputees

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, transhumanism

Read more