The Limits of Responsibility

I recently attended a small conference in Washington, DC, co-sponsored by the New America Foundation (NAF), a think tank that describes itself as “dedicated to the renewal of American politics, prosperity, and purpose in the digital age, through big ideas, technological innovation, next generation politics, and creative engagement with broad audiences.” The conference was entitled “The Future of Reproduction” and was troubling in all manner of ways, not least because it was unclear whether I was witnessing a naïve attempt to really speak about the renewal of American culture, or a cynical undertaking to destroy the whole enterprise from within. Continue Reading »

AI Machines: Things Not Persons

Transhumanists insist that we are quickly approaching [R1] the moment at which technology will become an unstoppable and self-directing power that will usher in the “post-human” era. To get us from here to there requires the invention of “artificial intelligence” (AI), computers and/or robots that become “conscious” and self-programming, independent of human control. Actually, these advocates would say “who” become conscious: Transhumanists believe that AI contraptions would become self-aware and thus deserve human rights. Continue Reading »

Ubi Amor, Ibi Oculus

In Technopoly, Neil Postman says that overly technological cultures, “driven by the impulse to invent, have as their aim a grand reductionism in which human life must find its meaning in machinery and technique.”

City of Google

Cybertheology: Thinking Christianity in the Era of the Internet by antonio spadaro fordham, 160 pages, $24 The New Digital Age: Transforming Nations, Businesses, and Our Lives by eric schmidt and jared cohen random house, 368 pages, $15.95 To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological . . . . Continue Reading »

Toward Dystopia

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by nick bostrom oxford, 352 pages, $29.95 Since cofounding the World Transhumanist Association in 1998, the Swedish-born Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom has attempted to give a serious academic mien to the movement known as transhumanism. Transhumanists . . . . Continue Reading »