Human Enhancement & Nanotechnology Conference – Day 1

NOTE: These are essentially my notes taken live during the HEN conference. Note these contain numerous spelling errors and probably some minor errors due to richness of a lot of the presentations. This is far from an accurate transcript of any given presentation. Video and slides from presenters will be available shortly at the conference site.

  • 8:30 AM Brian Carnell - I’m liveblogging the Human Enhancement & Nanotechnology Conference from the Fetzer Center here in Kalamazoo
  • 8:52 AM Brian Carnell - Mark Grubar (sp?) — do people have a fundamental right to alert themselves using nano/similar technology? interesting — but do people have a fundamental right to alter themselves with *existing* technologies?
  • 8:53 AM Brian Carnell - Eric Drexler – Engines of Creation:
  • 8:55 AM Brian Carnell - Drexler — idea we could change *anything* about ourselves — race, gender, etc. … self-replicating machines .. radical or just an extension of existing applications …
  • 8:57 AM Brian Carnell - Kurzweil — become one with the machine … why continue to maintain idea of an individual person?
  • 8:58 AM Brian Carnell - Mark finds this view ‘profoundly disturbing’
  • 8:59 AM Brian Carnell - Mark — leads to human extinction which is disturbing . . . but isn’t human extinction inevitable? Shouldn’t we self-direct, to the extent it is possible, our collective future evolution?
  • 9:02 AM Brian Carnell - Small vs. radical gains in technology … is this really a useful distinction?
  • 9:04 AM Brian Carnell - Putting limits on technology … is this even possible?
  • 9:05 AM Brian Carnell - See, Bill Joy .. why the future doesn’t need us …
  • 9:08 AM Brian Carnell - Mark: Enhancement implies there is something better than us? Better question: is our current form the ultimate endpoint of humanity? Is this all we ever will be *and* all we ever *should* be?
  • 9:15 AM Brian Carnell - Mark: Transhumanist vision is pre-Copernican — looks for something outside of what we actually are. … Except, isn’t that very human nature itself one that is constantly striving to be something more than it is? Look at the lengths, for example, that people will go with existing technologies to avoid the inevitable outcome of a long human life. Is seeking to continually live one more day/month/year/decade using technology a denial of our very mortality? If not, why is trying to transcend our other limits a denial of that human nature?
  • 9:18 AM Brian Carnell - Mark: We are what we are, and we are here now. No essence of humanity or a person that can be transferred to some other object. If we view some other post-human species as better, we’ve given up.
  • 9:19 AM Brian Carnell - Mark: Why aren’t people satisfied with *existing* technology? . . . except, if we can drive across the desert in a Humvee, why is it suddenly a violation of human nature to want to be able to modify the body and run across the desert?
  • 9:22 AM Brian Carnell - Keeps referring to extropians who want to be Superman. But notice that not many people fantasize about being Clark Kent. And I’d argue this desire to be god-like is hardly a new one — it’s just that technological society has given us a path where this is possible.
  • 9:28 AM Brian Carnell - Mark: 6 billion people who are alive today are the definition of what is human, period. Radical life extension … if it required germ line therapy, that would be one thing. If we simply develop ability to stop aging … He sees distinction between therapy that would be okay, but changing the genome would be bad.
  • 9:28 AM Brian Carnell - Mark: re-engineering humanity to last a thousand years would make it an entirely different organism.
  • 9:29 AM Brian Carnell - Is vaccination enhancement? World Transhumanist guy hits one through the park.
  • 9:30 AM Brian Carnell - Mark: do I want to see it banned? I would like to see at least a federal moratorium on it. I’d like to have a debate on this subject. Ultimately, if we allowed people to be outcompeted by machines.
  • 9:30 AM Brian Carnell - But we are already outcompeted by machines!
  • 9:31 AM Brian Carnell - Nicole Hassoun – “Nanotechnology, Enhancement, and Human Nature”
  • 9:34 AM Brian Carnell - “We can no longer assume that there will be a single successor to what has been regarded as human nature.” Buchanan et al 2000, 95
  • 9:35 AM Brian Carnell - Exploring arguments from environmental ethics
  • 9:36 AM Brian Carnell - Treatment — aims to ameliorate a disease or the effects of a disease
  • 9:36 AM Brian Carnell - Enhancements – beneficial departures from normal species functioning.
  • 9:38 AM Brian Carnell - Nanotechnology-based human enhancement might eventually change or even eliminate our species.
  • 9:38 AM Brian Carnell - “Our species will almost certainly be altered or go out of existence at some point even without nanotechnology enhancement.”
  • 9:39 AM Brian Carnell - The Aesthetic argument — our species has (objective) aesthetic value. If true, nano-tech based human enhancements that alter our species should be prohibited. QED these enhancements should be prohibited.
  • 9:39 AM Brian Carnell - Different ways of defining a species.
  • 9:43 AM Brian Carnell - Counter-argument — aesthetic value is purely instrumental. Species do not have instrumental value. QED species do not have aesthetic value.
  • 9:45 AM Brian Carnell - Our aesthetic value might make it impermissible to use nanotech to alter our species, just likethe last man could not use pray paint to alter the last redwood stand.
  • 9:46 AM Brian Carnell - But not all enhancement is unacceptable, even if it creates something entirely new.
  • 9:46 AM Brian Carnell - New enhanced species might have more aesthetic value than existing species.
  • 9:47 AM Brian Carnell - But newly created species might have a different kind of aesthetic value.
  • 9:47 AM Brian Carnell - NH: Even if it is not acceptable to replace our species with another, it might be okay to create an enhanced species in addition to ours.
  • 9:48 AM Brian Carnell - NH: We don’t necessarily lose the human species by allowing some human enhancement.
  • 9:49 AM Brian Carnell - NH: It might be impermissible to alter our species because we contribute to biodiversity or play (aesthetically?) valuable roles in different ecosystems.
  • 9:49 AM Brian Carnell - The Ecological Role Argument
  • 9:49 AM Brian Carnell - NH: Our species plays an important ecological role, so enhancing with nanotechnology would interfere with our ability to play these roles and are thus impermissible.”
  • 9:52 AM Brian Carnell - Rachel Carson on grouse and sage and the ecological roles they play.
  • 9:54 AM Brian Carnell - NH: It may be valuable for species to play their ecological roles for many reasons.
  • 9:54 AM Brian Carnell - NH: Some ecological roles lack value. For humans, malaria-carrying elephants.
  • 9:55 AM Brian Carnell - … of course the malaria virus might disagree.
  • 9:55 AM Brian Carnell - NH: Our species’ roles sometimes harm individuals, other species, and even ecosystems.”
  • 9:58 AM Brian Carnell - NH: One might argue that throughout history, humans’ arrival in different ecosystems has been incredibly destructive.
  • 9:58 AM Brian Carnell - NH: Perhaps it would be better if nanotech enhanced our species to stop this extinction, and/or eliminated the species.
  • 9:59 AM Brian Carnell - NH: Historical responsibility for extinction is unclear. Nor is it clear that anthropogenic extinction will continue in the future (we could start preserving species)
  • 9:59 AM Brian Carnell - NH: Some enviros argue that when elephants tear down forests, that’s good even if it threatens other species.
  • 10:00 AM Brian Carnell - NH: Most enviros want to protect beavers precisely because they create wetlands.
  • 10:00 AM Brian Carnell - NH: Human action as creative destruction. Enriching the earth by creating new ecosystems.
  • 10:01 AM Brian Carnell - NH: Even extinction might have an upside.
  • 10:01 AM Brian Carnell - NH: Would it be bad if we caused massive extinctions but benefited the biosphere overall?
  • 10:01 AM Brian Carnell - NH: Should we allow weeds like crab grass or kudzu to take over environments?
  • 10:02 AM Brian Carnell - NH: Environmentalists disagree on what we should do about these cases.
  • 10:02 AM Brian Carnell - NH: But we do not play many wild roles in the relevant sense.
  • 10:03 AM Brian Carnell - NH: One might appeal to a precautionary principle to justify the prohibition on nanotechnology.
  • 10:03 AM Brian Carnell - That, of course, would apply to almost every technology, not just nanotech
  • 10:04 AM Brian Carnell - NH: If nano-tech creates an additional species, the original species could go on playing our ecological role.
  • 10:05 AM Brian Carnell - She doesn’t think the ecological role argument goes through. Similar weaknesses to the aesthetic argument.
  • 10:05 AM Brian Carnell - NH: The arguments we have considered are only partiextincally successful, but the environmental ethics literature provides a rich resource for those interested in the ethics of nanotech-based human enhancement.
  • 10:07 AM Brian Carnell - Question: So we have ecosystems and they’re complexing and adjusting. Leopold makes point about technological change — tech change is on a scale and with a rapidity that is not seen in nature. Argument doesn’t address issue of enhancing other animals…that is to say, we can’t just enhance us. We already see . . . for example, when we crap out antibiotics, but what happens when we start crapping out nanotech?
  • 10:09 AM Brian Carnell - NH: If ecological role argument works, there’s an analog that would say not doing anything about other changes. Maybe the kinds of changes we’re making are so big that these would never happen…for example, global climate change …there have been other radical changes in nature that have happened without human beings.
  • 10:09 AM Brian Carnell - Does it make sense to ask these questions as if humans are outside of nature?
  • 10:09 AM Brian Carnell - Question: Assumes our role is only as part of a system. Could you say role of a species is to live and propagate itself under certain conditions?
  • 10:10 AM Brian Carnell - NH: answer..a bit tautological..why do we preserve a species? so it can continue. A different reason could be that it preserves other species.
  • 10:12 AM Brian Carnell - Comment: term ‘nanotech’ being used liberally and inappropriately. In chemistry we can make new molecules, but not nanotechnology. Nanotech really has to do issue with controlling on a nanotech scale. Use molecular recognition to manipulate.
  • 10:16 AM Brian Carnell - Mark: do I need arguments to explain why I value species?
  • 10:17 AM Brian Carnell - NH: If we engage in policy debates, etc. then we do need arguments.
  • 10:19 AM Brian Carnell - Idil Boran “Foundational Questions about Justice and the Idea of Human Enhancement”
  • 10:20 AM Brian Carnell - IB: how should we think about justice in competitive environments?
  • 10:21 AM Brian Carnell - IB: What is an appropriate framework of inquiry for justice and the idea of human enhancement?
  • 10:21 AM Brian Carnell - IB: More interested in how we should frame the question of justice in the first place.
  • 10:22 AM Brian Carnell - IB: Primarily a methodological question
  • 10:23 AM Brian Carnell - IB: Kantian constructivism – a specific approach whereby normative principles are identified by examining first the concrete circumstances that give rise to problems of justice and fairness.
  • 10:24 AM Brian Carnell - IB: Types of human enhancement
  • 10:25 AM Brian Carnell - IB: Nano-robots performing surgery in human bodies. It’s not necessarily clear that this technology will be generating idea of human enhancement. Could be used in remedial treatment rather than trying to create super-humans. But sometimes the same tech can have both remedial and enhancing roles.
  • 10:27 AM Brian Carnell - IB: Use of nanotechnology equipments, such as intelligent textiles that adapt to changing conditions. Although this is not an instance of changing the human body from within, it is still developing a technology that will give people a radical enhancement of performance. Is human enhancement limited from improving body within or using enhanced equipment?
  • 10:27 AM Brian Carnell - IB: Nanotechnology R&D in beauty industry and enhancing the ‘looks’ of a person.
  • 10:28 AM Brian Carnell - IB: It is customary to frame the inquiry by postulating and idea of justice / e.g. equality of opportunity, Rawlsian principles of justice / What’s the problem with this approach?
  • 10:37 AM Brian Carnell - IB: Kantian Constructivism in Moral Theory – no moral claim prior to the process of construction
  • 10:38 AM Brian Carnell - IB: Instead of thing of moral claims as abstract ideas, assume there is no moral claim prior to the process of construction that comes from specific circumstances.
  • 10:39 AM Brian Carnell - IB: Rawls — examine circumstances first, and the circumstances try to see what principles of justice can be constructed from those, rather than assuming principles and then analyzing circumstances in that context.
  • 10:40 AM Brian Carnell - IB: Rawls – the process of construction starts from empirical circumstances that make justice relevant – the idea of “circumstances of justice.”
  • 10:44 AM Brian Carnell - IB: Why Kantian constructivism – on the separation between moral considerations and empirical circumstances / Developing principles of justice from the ground up
  • 10:45 AM Brian Carnell - IB: Tries to develop moral principles from the empirical circumstances. Empirical circumstances themselves might contain the moral principles we want to deal with.
  • 10:46 AM Brian Carnell - IB: Implications for human enhancement – analyzing the structure of competitive environments / New findings on the correlation between physical attractiveness and professional success
  • 10:49 AM Brian Carnell - IB: Conceptions of beauty/attractiveness may not necessarily be relevant in genuinely competitive environments. According to some of the research the past couple of decades, it looks like the way somebody looks may have an influence on their rate of success. If that is true … also a correlation between the way a person looks and the proportionality — [universal standards of beauty]] — also correlated with rates of IQ. If this is true, that means if we have the tools of really enhancing somebody by actually changing their constitution, that means that person will be able to get competitive advantage in the particular competitive environment they are in.
  • 10:51 AM Brian Carnell - IB: Question is whether this strategy would be just or unjust. In order to understand this, we would need to look at the practice actually going on in professional environments. We cannot determine that just because it gives comeptitive advantage that it will be bad. Have to look at structure. Other competitive advantages that people get that we don’t object to.
  • 10:52 AM Brian Carnell - IB: Not the competitive advantage itself that is unjust … but rather it might be that there are acceptable and unacceptable competitive strategies. World of Sports — should we consider competitive advantage in terms of sportsmanship. Some work in business ethics looking at sportsmanship.
  • 10:52 AM Brian Carnell - Joseph Heath – An adversarial ethic for business. Journal of Business Ethics 72:359-374.
  • 10:53 AM Brian Carnell - On the Correlation between Beauty and Success: Daniel Hamermash and Jeff Biddle (1994). “Beauty and the Labor Market.” American Economic Review, 84/5: 1174-1195.
  • 10:54 AM Brian Carnell - Question: 1. Rawlsian part – seemed she was advocating contextualized Rawlsian…constructivism for health care as opposed to economic policy? 2. Rawls doesn’t start by asking ‘what is justice’ but does start from moral commitments. Method by which we evaluate has moral commitments involved — how different is that really from that prior concept of justice?
  • 10:55 AM Brian Carnell - IB: That is there, but not sure Rawls himself says it. Says he wants to make no prior moral claim. I think he’s more committed to the idea of construction than most people admit.
  • 10:56 AM Brian Carnell - IB: FIrst question, not suggesting we should get decentralized on construction. But if there’s a new technology, we should look at circumstances first.
  • 10:57 AM Brian Carnell - IB: Sports -training more than others gives competitive advantage, but is considered acceptable. [Brian - also considered laudable in most cases]. Steroids considered unacceptable. Both give competitive advantage. A lot of the answer might be from the structure of the game, rather than what we see as abstract moral principles.
  • 10:58 AM Brian Carnell - Question: issue of whether or not enhancements would be voluntary or not.
  • 10:59 AM Brian Carnell - But wouldn’t that be part of looking at the circumstances in constructing moral principles?
  • 11:00 AM Brian Carnell - Question: say there is a future in which beauty enhancement will be had to the nth degree…but then becomes an issue of justice because beauty is no longer scarce. Everyone can become as beautiful as they want to be.
  • 11:01 AM Brian Carnell - IB: Something really gives a competitive advantage is a positional good. I have it, you don’t.
  • 12:04 PM Brian Carnell - Ron Sandler – “Enhancing Justice?”
  • 12:05 PM Brian Carnell - RS:| Robust human enhancement technologies improve or augment some core human capcity beyond the range of capability otherwise attainable by human beings.
  • 12:05 PM Brian Carnell - RS: Internal human enhancement technologies augment existing or enable novel human capacities by altering an aspect of some core biological, psychological or cognitive system, or by introducing a novel system.
  • 12:06 PM Brian Carnell - RS: Concerned mostly with robust internal enhancements.
  • 12:07 PM Brian Carnell - RS: A (hopefully) Non-controversial principle of distributive justice – “Justice increases when the benefits and burdens of social cooperation are born more equally except when moral considerations or other values justify greater inequality.”
  • 12:08 PM Brian Carnell - RS: This principle should be acceptable on any justification of equality.
  • 12:08 PM Brian Carnell - RS: Presumption of equality in social cooperation.
  • 12:09 PM Brian Carnell - RS: Benefits of social cooperation are just the good things produced by social cooperation. Burdens are the costs associated with the production of those goods.
  • 12:09 PM Brian Carnell - RS: Are robust, internal human enhancement technologies likely to increase or decrease unjustified unequal distribution of the benefits and burdens of social cooperation?
  • 12:10 PM Brian Carnell - RS: Core view that human enhancement will be justice impairing.
  • 12:10 PM Brian Carnell - RS: The Basic Justice Impairing Argument – (1) when a human enhancement technology becomes publicly available, initial access to it will be limited due to its scarcity and/or high costs.
  • 12:11 PM Brian Carnell - RS: (2) Those who have initial access to it will be those who are comparatively socially advantaged.
  • 12:12 PM Brian Carnell - RS: (3) Enhancement technologies will provide those who use them an advantage (with respect to positional and competitive goods) over those who do not.
  • 12:12 PM Brian Carnell - RS: (4) Therefore, enhancement technologies will further advantage those who are already comparatively socially disadvantaged.
  • 12:13 PM Brian Carnell - RS: (5) Obtaining social inequalities relevant to access to human enhancement technologies are not adequately justified.
  • 12:14 PM Brian Carnell - RS: (6) Therefore, human enhancement technologies are likely to perpetuate and exacerbate injustice.
  • 12:15 PM Brian Carnell - RS: Possible types of responses — (1) Argue that obtaining social and economic inequalities are not unjust. (2) Argue that obtaining social and economic inequalities, even if unjust, are not likely to result in significant disparities in access to human enhanc ement technologies; (3) Aruge that even if obtaining social and economic inequalities are unjustand likely to result in significant disparities in access to human enhnacment technoloiges
  • 12:17 PM Brian Carnell - RS: Response from the Law of Accelerating Returns – Kurzweil – The rate of technological advancement accelrates exponentially over time.
  • 12:17 PM Brian Carnell - RS: Kurzweil .. rich may gain certain advantages and opportunities … because of the ongoing exponential growth of price-performance, all of these technologies quickly becomes inexpensive as to become almost free.
  • 12:19 PM Brian Carnell - RS: Difficulties with the Response from Accelerating Turns – Time Lag vs. Technology Lag. What generates technological inequality is not hte absoolute duration of the time lag between initial and widespread availability, but hte absolute duration relative to the pace of technological change.
  • 12:20 PM Brian Carnell - RS: Response from Marginal Enhancements – enhancement effect of new technology will be much smaller than enhancement from the basic technology. Minor refinements.
  • 12:21 PM Brian Carnell - RS: “Consider automobiles. In most places in the United States, a few thousand dollars will purchase a fairly safe, comfortable vehicle for getting from point A to point B. … only incremental advantages [between cheap and expensive car].”
  • 12:22 PM Brian Carnell - RS: Difficulties with the response from marginal enhancement. Are relatively minor differnetials in capabilities resulting from unequal access to enhancment technologies likely to exacerbate inequalities?
  • 12:22 PM Brian Carnell - RS: Minor differences in attributes — even when they are functionally irrelevant — often are factors in the distribution of competitive and positional goods.
  • 12:23 PM Brian Carnell - RS: Many human enhancement technologies will be target at traits relevant to securing competitive and positional goods.
  • 12:24 PM Brian Carnell - RS: Enhanced traits will have a positive evaluative valence.
  • 12:25 PM Brian Carnell - RS: Response(s) from Cognitive Enhancement – 1. Those who are cognitively enhanced will be better able to identify, develop, and execute effective responses to causes of unjust inequalities than those who are not enhanced. Therefore, cognitive enhancement technologies are likely to decrease unjust inequalities.
  • 12:26 PM Brian Carnell - RS: 2. The benefits that woudl accrue to those who are socially and economically worst off as a result of advances in, fo rexample, agriculture, energy, communication, and environmental remediation that woudl be made by cognitively enhanced …
  • 12:27 PM Brian Carnell - RS: PRoblems — 1. There is no evidence that suggest that those with greater cognitive capacities will, in virtue of those capacities, have increaesd concern for commitment to social justice.
  • 12:27 PM Brian Carnell - RS: 2. The primary barriers to addressing social injustices are not cognitive.
  • 12:27 PM Brian Carnell - RS: Barriers are institutional, political, salient.
  • 12:28 PM Brian Carnell - RS: 3. That those who lack access to the cognitive enhancement technologies would be benefitted from other’s access to them is not a sufficient response to the social justice challenge.
  • 12:28 PM Brian Carnell - RS: Response from Virtue (and Cognitive) Enhancement – enhancements that increase people’s attention to social justice.
  • 12:29 PM Brian Carnell - RS: Thinks it is a better response in this sense — if people were to be successfully enhanced in this way, it would probably reduce social injustice.
  • 12:30 PM Brian Carnell - RS: Limitations of the Response from Virtue Enhancement
  • 12:30 PM Brian Carnell - (1) It is unlikely that virtue enhancement will be at the forefront of human enhancement.
  • 12:32 PM Brian Carnell - RS: (2) A virtue enhancement response to the injustice cahllenge is less desirable than addressing directly the social factors that give rise to the relevant inequalities, prior to dissemination of HETs.
  • 12:33 PM Brian Carnell - RS: (1) Given the obtaining features of the social contexts into which human enhancement technologies would emrrege, they arel ikely to be justice impairing.
  • 12:33 PM Brian Carnell - RS: (2) Human enhancement technologies may not be inherently unjust.
  • 12:33 PM Brian Carnell - RS: (3) The social justice challenge does not apply equally to all human enhancement technologies.
  • 12:34 PM Brian Carnell - RS: (4) The social justice issue is only one consideration relevant to ethical evaluation of human enhancement technologies.
  • 12:34 PM Brian Carnell - RS: (5) The social justice challenge associated with human enhancement technologies cannot be effectively addressed through technology development and design alone.
  • 12:39 PM Brian Carnell - RS: Military is pushing enhancement technologies. What rights do soldiers have to resist or not resist?
  • 12:44 PM Brian Carnell - Hughes: Literacy, Laptops, Anti-retroviral medications… literacy … argument could have made, only the wealthy kids will be readers.
  • 12:45 PM Brian Carnell - RS: Consistent with his views. It might increase social inequality in the short term, but if you look at more long term affects, it might still be justified. Social justice is one concern, but it is not the only concern.
  • 12:45 PM Brian Carnell - RS: Second, to address the social problem, it wasn’t just a matter of technology. Had to address social problem directly.
  • 12:46 PM Brian Carnell - Linda MacDonald-Glenn / Jeanann Boyce – “Not just a pretty face: legal and ethical issues in regenerative nanomedicine.”
  • 12:50 PM Brian Carnell - LM: definition – “tissue engineering /regenerative medicine is an emerging multicisciplinary field involving biology, meedicine that is likely to revolutionie the ways we improve the health and qualty … by restoring, maintaining, or enhancing tissue.”
  • 12:50 PM Brian Carnell - LM: ability to exploit living cells in variety of ways
  • 12:50 PM Brian Carnell - LM 1. biomaterials / 2. cells / 3. biomolecules
  • 12:51 PM Brian Carnell - LM: 4. Engineering design aspects – 3d tissue growth / 5. Biomechanical Aspects of Design / 6. Informatics to support tissue engineering: gene and protein sequencing, gene expression analysis.
  • 12:52 PM Brian Carnell - LM: stem cells research – includes research that involves stem cells whether from embryonic, fetal, or adult sources, human and non-human.
  • 12:52 PM Brian Carnell - LM: It should not include transgenic research.
  • 12:53 PM Brian Carnell - LM: Tissue Engineering – cartilage molded around a biodegradable polymer, impregnated with patient’s own cells. Scaffold surgical coral.
  • 12:53 PM Brian Carnell - LM: Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative
  • 12:54 PM Brian Carnell - www.tissue-engineering.net
  • 12:55 PM Brian Carnell - LM: Nanofluidic chips. $100 genome analyzer is the goal. Currently can read entire human genome in less than 8 hours.
  • 12:56 PM Brian Carnell - LM: Nanopiezotronics. Nanowires which can power medical devices and serve as tiny sensors.
  • 12:57 PM Brian Carnell - LM: Can be used in implants, such as the knee to monitor stress as a sensor.
  • 12:58 PM Brian Carnell - Laser sutiring — uses commonly used liquid, rose bengal. With the light, but not the heat of the laser. Forces the collagen in cells to knit together.
  • 12:59 PM Brian Carnell - LM: Cellular fusion. Microfluidic chips paired with stem cells to create hybrids of fused membranes. Can be used to reprogram cells. Potentially creating embryonic stem cells from adult ones.
  • 12:59 PM Brian Carnell - LM: Using electron beam melting to create patient specific craniofacial titanium implants.
  • 1:00 PM Brian Carnell - LM: Biomems for surgery – micro electro mechanical systems. Can combine sensors with surgical tools. Sensor catheters. Perform heart surgery on a beating heart with small incision.
  • 1:01 PM Brian Carnell - LM: The law of accelerating reutnrs — the price-performance, capacity & bandwidth of information technologies.
  • 1:01 PM Brian Carnell - LM: AI research/ reverse engineering of the brain.
  • 1:02 PM Brian Carnell - LM: 2015 the incredible shrinking computer – images written directly to our retingas. Ubiquitous high bandwidth connection to the Internet at all times.
  • 1:03 PM Brian Carnell - LM: Augmented reality
  • 1:03 PM Brian Carnell - LM: Effective language technologies
  • 1:04 PM Brian Carnell - LM: Advances in nanoelectronics coupled with our growing understanding of human brain function has enabled neuroscientists to conceive of brain implantable computational systems to repair damaged portions of the brain and enhance neural capabilities beyond our natural capabilities.
  • 1:04 PM Brian Carnell - LM: sense the onset of seizures and suppress them via implanted deep brain stimulators / augment brain memory function by replacing damaged hippocampal structures.
  • 1:06 PM Brian Carnell - LM: What is it that makes human’s unique?
  • 1:06 PM Brian Carnell - LM: 2029 – an initmate merger – $1,000 of computation = 1,000 times the human brain
  • 1:06 PM Brian Carnell - LM: Reverse engineering of the human brain
  • 1:07 PM Brian Carnell - LM: nonbiological intellegence combines the sbutlety and pattern recognition strenth of human intelligence with the speed, memory and knowledge sharing of machine intelligence.
  • 1:08 PM Brian Carnell - LM: Average life expectancy – cro magnon 18, ancient egyp 25, 1400 Europe 30, 1800 Europe & U.S. 37, 1900 US 48, 2002 US 78
  • 1:10 PM Brian Carnell - LM: Promise versus peril – GNR enables our creativity; Ethical guidelines do work to protect against inadvertent problems.
  • 1:12 PM Brian Carnell - LM: what about the advertent problems – asymmetric warfrare. Maybe we should relinquish these technologies. Don’t do that with plastic surgery.
  • 1:12 PM Brian Carnell - LM: Between banning and embracing altogether, there is a middle path.
  • 1:13 PM Brian Carnell - LM: Going beyond “normal” is not a new story. Most of hte audience wouldn’t be here if life expectancy hadn’t increased
  • 1:13 PM Brian Carnell - LM: We are the species that goes beyond our limitations.
  • 1:13 PM Brian Carnell - LM: we are the only species that creates knowledge.
  • 1:13 PM Brian Carnell - LM: Change will ultimately be transformative, but very gradual.
  • 1:14 PM Brian Carnell - LM: reccommendations… common lexicon, creation of recommendations / guidelines, more rigorous informed consent because of potential irreversibility
  • 1:16 PM Brian Carnell - LM: www.unithertechnologyconference.com / Transcendent Man / Alisomar Conference on Recombinant DNA
  • 1:22 PM Brian Carnell - Daniel Moore: “Human Enhancement & Military”
  • 1:23 PM Brian Carnell - DM: Be all you can be: the meaning of the naon-enhanced army
  • 1:25 PM Brian Carnell - DM: All technologies are human enhancement.
  • 1:25 PM Brian Carnell - DM: Technology is who we are and it changes who we are.
  • 1:29 PM Brian Carnell - DM: Same basic set of technologies — armor, missile weapon
  • 1:30 PM Brian Carnell - DM: Incredible hulk – 20th century human enhanced
  • 1:35 PM Brian Carnell - DM: technology is a solution to a problem
  • 2:30 PM Brian Carnell - Tihamer Toth-Fejel – “Nanotechnology and Productive Nanosystems for the U.S.Military: Progress and Implications”
  • 2:34 PM Brian Carnell - TTF: Mitre – nanoelectronics / nano-enabled power systems, etc. / been doing nano since 1992
  • 2:35 PM Brian Carnell - TTF: Lockheed $10m/year IRAD — carbon nanotubes, high-efficnecy pv conversion, smart grid, energy
  • 2:40 PM Brian Carnell - TTF: Productive Nanosystems – size matters, atomic precision matters more. Automated nanoscale tools are most important. “A closed loop of nanoscale systems that produce nanoscale components, machines and systems.”
  • 2:41 PM Brian Carnell - TFF: Approaches to nano-system engineering -
  • 2:41 PM Brian Carnell - TTF: 1. protein engineering — difficult, sensitive to small changes and low performance properties; b)
  • 2:42 PM Brian Carnell - TTF: 2. Bis-amino acid sold-phase self-assembly
  • 2:42 PM Brian Carnell - TTF: 3. Structural DNA – 50 billion smiley faces in two hours — but ‘floppy’ and not stable.|
  • 2:43 PM Brian Carnell - TTF: 4. Pixelated DNA and positioning – identify RNA strands to do medical diagnosis.
  • 2:44 PM Brian Carnell - TTF: Diamondoid Mechanosynthesis – build diamond one atom at a time. Size matters, atomic precision matters more. Automated nanoscale tools are most important.
  • 2:46 PM Brian Carnell - TTF: Tip-Based Nanofabrication
  • 2:47 PM Brian Carnell - TTF: Tip-Based Nanofabrication: Atomically Precise Manufacturing. 3d structures with top-down control and atomic precision.
  • 2:49 PM Brian Carnell - TTF: Patterned Si Ale
  • 2:51 PM Brian Carnell - TTF: TBN with Lasers – problem — won’t get to atomic level
  • 2:51 PM Brian Carnell - TTF: can’t get leveraging — using tools to build other tools.
  • 2:51 PM Brian Carnell - TTF: TBN with Dip Pen nanolithography; Scanning probe epitaxy
  • 2:52 PM Brian Carnell - TTF: Tip Arrays … multiple needles to create more ‘bandwidth’. Limited to 15nm resolution|
  • 2:53 PM Brian Carnell - TTF: Applictionas — military system: logistics, intelligence and networking.
  • 2:54 PM Brian Carnell - TTF: Robotics – more powerful, smarter UAVs, groundp-based mules, rats and locust
  • 2:54 PM Brian Carnell - TTF: Individual warfighters – stronger, smarter; more deadly; less vulnerable
  • 2:55 PM Brian Carnell - TTF: Temporary enhancements — start with temporary and external ones like clothes. Having stain-resistant camoflauge doesn’t seem a big idea, but improves morale and effectiveness of soldiers.
  • 2:55 PM Brian Carnell - TTF: Dynamic camoflauge – metamaterials
  • 2:57 PM Brian Carnell - TFF: Accessories – earbud cellphone; smart bullets. Picture of exoskeleton equipped soldier. Doesn’t look like an exoskeleton – can swim and play volleyball with it.
  • 2:57 PM Brian Carnell - TTF: will likely be commercial applications of these, so dichotomoy between enhanced soldiers and non-enhanced civilians will not be so great.
  • 2:58 PM Brian Carnell - TTF: treating post-traumatic syndrome
  • 2:58 PM Brian Carnell - TTF:Example — scary/effective research on using beta blockers to reduce trauma response / eliminate psychological stressors.
  • 3:00 PM Brian Carnell - TTF: Freitas Respirocytes – atomic layer epivacy (sp?) hold breath for four hours. Ameliorate bleeding, heart attack, stroke. Once we get first one built (est. in 5 years), and then the speed of building of the second one and so on increases dramatically.
  • 3:01 PM Brian Carnell - TTF: Permanent Enhancements – diagnostic implants / respirocytes / systemic upgrades / tipping point to unkown.
  • 3:01 PM Brian Carnell - TTF: What if you replace your entire cardiovascular system with something more effective — CVS relies on diffiusion.
  • 3:02 PM Brian Carnell - TTF: Question #1 — does it enhance our humanity? Or does it degrade it? Or is war degrading in itself? How do we know?
  • 3:03 PM Brian Carnell - TTF: Personhood Issues — what is a person anyway? What is the teleology of a person? What is the teleology of a body part? Are we our atoms? Are we our patterns? Can patterns be insantiated without atoms?
  • 3:04 PM Brian Carnell - TTF: Personhood choices – imago dei; natural law; positivism; quasi-collection of atoms.
  • 3:07 PM Brian Carnell - TTF: Nanotech and Just War — how does nanotech change anything? Just cause; legitimate authority; last resort; proportionate good; waged justly.
  • 3:07 PM Brian Carnell - TTF: By 2025, countries will be sharing power with non-state actors.
  • 3:09 PM Brian Carnell - TTF: What is evil, anyway? Not an illusion; not just ignorance; not the opposite of good; a privation of good; evil pretends to be good; manipulate atoms –> power
  • 3:24 PM Brian Carnell - Report on autonomous robots (PDF) –
  • 3:24 PM Brian Carnell - Colin Allen – “Googles vs. Implants: Why Cognitive Nanoethics Just Ain’t in the Head”
  • 3:28 PM Brian Carnell - CA: effect of technology on human beings. First trans-hominidism group.
  • 3:29 PM Brian Carnell - CA: obsidian quartz tools — down to 1 – 3 molecule width edge.
  • 3:30 PM Brian Carnell - CA: Tools did change hominids. Hand axe. Hypothesis — symmetry of hand axe is not functional but is a sexy axe. This is attractive. Can think of a lot of applications for sharp edges.
  • 3:31 PM Brian Carnell - CA: Genetics tracks cultural change of removing hair. Complexities of these interactions.
  • 3:32 PM Brian Carnell - CA: Gadgets. Trend here is increasing miniaturization. Packed into gear is something that was inconceivable 50 years ago and 30 years ago.
  • 3:33 PM Brian Carnell - CA: DARPA fund to build wearable super-computer. Cigarette pack sized — power of 5 best desktop computers for $5K. Visor with camera built in. One of the applications is to use this for battlefield/urban combat style training…run aroudn in a real physical enviornment and shoot computer-generated targets. Soon — keyboard will be eliminated and virtual keyboard.
  • 3:34 PM Brian Carnell - CA: Getting smaller, lighter, better at overalying virtual over the year. So far, don’t require going inside.
  • 3:34 PM Brian Carnell - CA: eventually everything built into a contact lens.
  • 3:34 PM Brian Carnell - CA: Sexy heads-up display.
  • 3:36 PM Brian Carnell - CA: Therapeutic uses demand going inside. Photon detector in eye to replace defective retina.
  • 3:37 PM Brian Carnell - CA: Cochlear implants. Pale imitation of hearing we have. Has some advantages, such as greater range than normal human hearing. Cost of that is still pretty steep given the quality of what gets put in there.
  • 3:40 PM Brian Carnell - CA: Dystopian worry that electrodes can be implanted and control us.
  • 3:41 PM Brian Carnell - CA: Neurons grow — moving target.
  • 3:44 PM Brian Carnell - CA: Evolved hardware for auditory discrimination. Thompson.
  • 3:45 PM Brian Carnell - CA: Not implants, but using nanotechnology to build better and better interfaces for existing systems we have.
  • 3:46 PM Brian Carnell - CA: Virtual overlays over our reality.
  • 3:47 PM Brian Carnell - CA: Output
  • 3:49 PM Brian Carnell - CA: getting monkeys to control arm. Picture is fake. Using a whole bunch of motor activities to compensate for its crude control. Arm has 3 degrees of freedom. Human arm+hand=31 degrees of freedom.
  • 3:50 PM Brian Carnell - CA: Ethics in the age of wearables.
  • 3:50 PM Brian Carnell - CA: Human Dignity
  • 3:52 PM Brian Carnell - CA: Societal disruption – effect of HUD overlays — could be disruptive depending on the context — GPS direction systems.
  • 3:53 PM Brian Carnell - CA: Fairness and Equity – 1927 Packard – model T – Nano – Nano goes farther and is more reliable and costs less. When we have effective technologies they get cheaper and everyone gets access to them eventually.
  • 3:55 PM Brian Carnell - CA: Health and Safety – surgery. Implants have to go through the skull. Attendant risk — infection of the brain. A lot more convincing about the safety. A lot of problems with removal. Hard disk crash example. Manufacturers can always produce more reliable device, but each % increase in reliability costs disproportionately more in manufacturing costs.
  • 3:55 PM Brian Carnell - CA: Freedom and Autonomy – wearables give us the possibility of taking them off. Significantly more autonomy.
  • 3:56 PM Brian Carnell - Though devices can be tethered in interesting ways.
  • 3:57 PM Brian Carnell - CA: Can buy jamming devices.
  • 4:14 PM Brian Carnell - CA: Image of monk writing. It’s often seen as an unmitigated good. Huge literacy programs. And yet, there’s evidence that becoming literate removes certain cognitive abilities you might otherwise have, such as the ability to memorize large amounts of oral verse. Science vs. engineering issue.
  • 4:16 PM Brian Carnell - Wendell Wallach – “Public Policy and Human Enhancement: When Should New Technologies Be Embraced and When Should They Be Rejected or Regulated?”
  • 4:17 PM Brian Carnell - WW: Neuroscience, Genomics, AI, Nanotech, Information Science
  • 4:18 PM Brian Carnell - WW: Are we invetning the human species as we have known it out of existence?
  • 4:18 PM Brian Carnell - WW: The promise — we’ll all be Tiger Woods — neural links ot the web — neuroprosethetcis
  • 4:18 PM Brian Carnell - WW: The Perils
  • 4:19 PM Brian Carnell - WW: Embrace — Evolution — idea this is just a continual process of evolution. Cultural evolution. Co-evolution of human beings and their technology. Just meeting my relatives of just 200 years ago. By my standards they would have been prejudicial, uncouth, perhaps unsanitary. By their standards, there are probably some things that are not good about way I behave.
  • 4:20 PM Brian Carnell - WW: Gray Goo — at some point we will create some reproducing nanobots that all they do is self-reproduce and they eat up all available biological matter. Existential disaster.|
  • 4:22 PM Brian Carnell - WW: More immediate concerns. Nanobots that could be used in bloodstream to repair blood vessels, surgery, etc. If we have technology like this, will it be used for purposes like remote control of rats by box that tweaks whiskers. Could go searching through 9/11-style rubble.
  • 4:23 PM Brian Carnell - WW: Regulate: Jerry-rigged system where bureacracy replaces the underlying intent in ways we don’t find satisfying. Will regulation work in world where there are different underlying values.
  • 4:23 PM Brian Carnell - WW: In a Democratic Society, the public should give at least tacit approval to the future it is creating.
  • 4:23 PM Brian Carnell - But wouldn’t this have lead to the rejection of a lot of technologies in the past?
  • 4:23 PM Brian Carnell - WW: Issues – roboticization of the military / enhancement technologies
  • 4:24 PM Brian Carnell - WW: Public Policy Challenge — piecemeal responses v. long-term cumulative effects / crisis management v. foresight and planning
  • 4:26 PM Brian Carnell - WW: Debate last 5-6 years about stem cell research. Learned that there seems to be strong public support for technologies where there is therapeutic use. Stem cell research came up in a global way. Bioethecists — what are the key ethical problems. Became apparent to us and everyone that this was another form of the abortion debate. If you had done research months before, would have found a greater propenderance of people who thought there were ethics issues, but fewer who knew what those were.
  • 4:28 PM Brian Carnell - WW: This democracy is very slow to move and oftentimes only when it is forced to do so [by crisis]. If we’re waiting for a crisis, it’s clear where the wait is going to go — it’s going to go toward reinforcing conservative positions. Probably good for people who take conservative positions, not so good for people who have made deep investments in the technology.
  • 4:29 PM Brian Carnell - WW: Constitutional Moments — Bruce Ackerman — 1930s – FDR – Regulatory bodies / 1946-1980 — courts / 1980 – 2008 — Deregulation — biotechnology, bioethicists / 2009
  • 4:31 PM Brian Carnell - WW: FDR – regulatory bodies – set policy in many different areas. But by time of second world War was over, there was a great deal of challenge to them [[regulatory capture]] … 1980s – a great deal of de-regulation. Contributed to flourishing of biotechnology. Some areas where Reagan and political interests were not supportive, in other areas they did put in place a regime where other areas of biotechnology were able to thrive.
  • 4:33 PM Brian Carnell - WW: Rise of the bioethicist. Ethics is politics by other means. Moving into an era of what are the ethicists doing and are ethicists the arbiters of the public good. Saying yes or no or just flagging array of ethical concerns. What is role of the bioethicist?
  • 4:34 PM Brian Carnell - WW: 2009 – new regulatory regimes. Thinks we’re at a constitutional moment again. There are things happening in science which at least appear on the surface that appear to be very great challenges as to whether a democratic society like ours can manage them.
  • 4:36 PM Brian Carnell - WW: Skeptical about laws such as the claim about accelerating change. Fascinating that evolution is still a theory, but accelerating change is a law.
  • 4:39 PM Brian Carnell - WW: Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises. Samuel Butler.
  • 4:39 PM Brian Carnell - WW: As a society we’re going to have to draw some conclusions and steer the ship based on those conclusions.
  • 4:40 PM Brian Carnell - WW: The robot military. Until a few months ago, had hardly been on the radar screen of the public.
  • 4:40 PM Brian Carnell - WW: According to gov’t reports, by 2010 1/3rd of attack vehicles will be roboticized, and by 2015 1/3rd of ground vehicles. Good idea or an invitation to disaster.
  • 4:42 PM Brian Carnell - WW: Responsibility: two weeks ago article in NYT about drones being the weapon of choice. Report said not only was it weapon of choice, but Secretary of Defense Gates had ordered weapons buyers to speed up delivery of these systems even if they weren’t tested or completed.
  • 4:42 PM Brian Carnell - WW: robotization — less loss of combatant life. One idea — it may lower the barriers to war because there will be less loss of soldier’s lives. That in turn may lead to an increase in deaths among non-combatants.
  • 4:44 PM Brian Carnell - WW: humans in the loop? a bit of an illusion. robots act much faster than humans can keep up, and goal to have one human managing multiple robots.
  • 4:45 PM Brian Carnell - WW: pre hoc and post hoc responsibility and liability. If Gates is going to have untested systems in Pakistan, then he bears some responsibility if it causes civilian casualties due to malfunction.
  • 4:45 PM Brian Carnell - WW: Arab militants look at the use of drones as evidence of the fear of Americans fear of losing lives. Taunt us with it and use it to build self-esteem of their fighters.
  • 4:47 PM Brian Carnell - WW: Lets say we roboticize half the cars in the United States, and the robots do such a good job that we only 33,000 will die rather than 44,000. Question — will we praise the lowering of deaths because we now have robot drivers, or will those companies be sued for every death that those robotic driven cars are involved.
  • 4:47 PM Brian Carnell - CF lawsuits over pharma products that meet FDA regulatory approval.
  • 4:48 PM Brian Carnell - WW: No-fault insurance for robotic cars — taking away responsibility from humans for the actions of machines.
  • 4:49 PM Brian Carnell - WW: public policy challenged posted by enhancement technologies? It’s all over the place. The closest thing to leveraging it is this therapy/enhancement distinction. Transhumanist view on that is it biases against the enhancement use.
  • 4:50 PM Brian Carnell - WW: Enhancement – exogenous vs. endogenous.. I think we’re going to move ahead on exogenous enhancements. Many ethical issues in exogenous devices — civil liberties, etc. Have basic apparatuses in place to deal with these as they come up.
  • 4:51 PM Brian Carnell - WW: is the world out of balance? Is there something flawed in human nature that our technologies will help perfect? Are we trying to manage a process that has a will of its own? Evolution? Technological Determinism? The desire to know? Improve?
  • 4:54 PM Brian Carnell - WW: What is to be done? The Pilots’ Guild – Dune – spice is very valued by pilots guild because it lets them see ramifications of their actions.We are the Pilots Guild — without cognitive enhancement we are looking at many different future pathways and trying to decide which are desirable and which aren’t desirable. Charge with responsibility of making the issue available for public reflection.
  • 8:09 AM Brian Carnell - Day 2 – www.scribblelive.com

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