Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

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Template:Cleanup Template:COI Template:Infobox institute The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET) was founded in 2004 by philosopher Nick Bostrom and bioethicist James Hughes.[1] Incorporated in the United States as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, the IEET is a self-described "technoprogressive think tank" that seeks to contribute to understanding of the likely impact of emerging technologies on individuals and societies by "promoting and publicizing the work of thinkers who examine the social implications of scientific and technological advance".[1] A number of such thinkers are offered honorary positions as IEET Fellows. The institute also aims to influence the development of public policies that distribute the benefits and reduce the risks of technological change.[2]

The IEET works with Humanity Plus (previously known as the World Transhumanist Association), an international non-governmental organization with a similar mission but with an activist rather than academic approach. Humanity Plus was also founded and chaired by Bostrom and Hughes.[3] Individuals who have accepted appointments as Fellows with the IEET support the institute's mission, but they have expressed a wide range of views about emerging technologies and not all identify themselves as transhumanists. The Institute, or its academic journal, has been mentioned by CNBC,[4] the New York Times,[5][6][7] BBC,[8] Vice,[9] CoinDesk,[10] the Christian Science Monitor,[11] and Huffington Post,[12] the Atlantic,[13] io9,[14] Forbes,[15] the Boston Globe,[16] Scientific American,[17] Discover magazine,[18]The Wall Street Journal,[19] and Slate magazine[20] In early Oct 2012, Kris Notaro became the Managing Director of the IEET.



The Institute publishes, the Journal of Evolution and Technology (JET), a peer-reviewed academic journal.[21] JET was established in 1998 as the Journal of Transhumanism and obtained its current title in 2004.[22] The editor-in-chief is Russell Blackford.[21] It covers futurological research into long-term developments in science, technology, and philosophy that "many mainstream journals shun as too speculative, radical, or interdisciplinary."[21] The Institute also maintains a technology and ethics blog that is supported by various writers.[23]


In 2006, the IEET launched the following activities:[24]

  1. Securing the Future: Identification and advocacy for global solutions to threats to the future of civilization.
  2. Rights of the Person: Campaign to deepen and broaden the concept of human rights.
  3. Longer, Better Lives: Case for longer healthier lives, addressing objections to life extension, challenge ageist and ableist attitudes that discourage the full utilization of health technology.
  4. Envisioning the Future: Collection of images of posthumanity and non-human intelligence, positive, negative and neutral, e.g., in science fiction and popular culture; engagement with cultural critics, artists, writers, and filmmakers in exploring the lessons to be derived from these.


In late May 2006, the IEET held the Human Enhancement Technologies and Human Rights conference at the Stanford University Law School in Stanford, California.[25] The IEET along with other progressive organizations hosted a conference in Dec 2013 at Yale University on giving various species "personhood" rights.[26][27][28][29][30] Fellows of the Institute represent the Institute at various conferences and events, including the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.[31]


The origins and activities of the Institute have elicited various reactions. Wesley J. Smith wrote that the Institute has one of the most active transhumanist websites, and the writers write on the "nonsense of uploading minds into computers and fashioning a post humanity."[32] Smith also criticized the results of the Institute's online poll that indicated the majority of Institute's readers are atheist or agnostic.[32] According to Smith, this was evidence that transhumanism is a religion and a desperate attempt to find purpose in a nihilistic and materialistic world.[32] The Institute's advocacy project to raise the status of animals to the legal status of personhood also drew criticism from Smith because he claimed human's are exceptional and raising the status of animals may lower the status of humans.[33]




  1. 1.0 1.1 About, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, (Retrieved Dec. 30, 2014).
  2. Template:Cite paper
  3. Daniel Faggella, Ethics and Policy Concerns in the Transhuman Transition, Humanity+, (July 29, 2014).
  4. Cadie Thompson, Why living off the grid will get a lot easier in 25 years, CNBC, (Nov. 27, 2014).
  5. Abby Ellin, The Golden Years, Polished With Surgery, New York Times, (Aug. 8, 2011).
  6. The Darwinian Ethics of a Facelift New York Times, (Aug. 4, 2009).
  7. Ashlee Vance, Merely Human? That’s So Yesterday, New York Times, (June 12, 2010).
  8. Tim Maughan, Should we engineer animals to be smart like humans? BBC Future (Oct. 1, 2014).
  9. Jordan Pearson, Superintelligent AI Could Wipe Out Humanity, If We're Not Ready for It, Vice magazine, (April 23, 2014).
  10. Nermin Hajdarbegovic,Think Tank: Blockchain Could be 'Economic Layer' for the Web, CoinDesk, (Nov. 11, 2014).
  11. Harry Bruinius, Facebook's secret experiment on users had a touch of 'Inception' (+video), Christian Science Monitor (June 30, 2014).
  12. Zoltan Istvan, I'm an Atheist, Therefore I'm a Transhumanist, Huffington Post, (Dec. 5, 2013).
  13. James Hamblin, Cheating Death and Being Okay With God, The Atlantic, (Aug. 6, 2013).
  14. George Dvorsky, Should we upgrade the intelligence of animals?, io9, (Sept. 17, 2012).
  15. Jon Entine, Frankenstein's Cat: New Book Shines Light on the 'Brave New World' of GMO Animals, Forbes, (March 21, 2013).
  16. Should we make animals smarter?, The Boston Globe, (March 31, 2013).
  17. Robin Marantz Henig and Samantha Henig, Does Continual Googling Really Make You Stupid? [Excerpt], (Jan 11, 2013).
  18. Kyle Munkittrick, Defending the World's Most Dangerous Idea, Discover, (Sept. 24, 2010).
  19. Jamais Cascio,It's Time to Cool the Planet, The Wall Street Journal, (June 15, 2009).
  20. Torie Bosch, Think Faster, Slate, (Aug. 4, 2014).
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Programs and Activities, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, (Retrieved Dec. 30, 2014).
  22. Blackford, Russel (September 18, 2014). "Transhumanism and The Journal of Evolution and Technology". Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. 
  23. Blog, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, (Retrieved Dec. 30, 2014).
  24. "Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies - Programs and Activities". 
  25. "Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies - Human Enhancement Technologies and Human Rights". 
  26. George, Dvorsky Experts Gather at Yale to Discuss Whether Animals Are People, Io9, (Dec. 10, 2013).
  27. Personhood Beyond the Human Conference, Kurzweil, (Retrieved Dec 30, 2014).
  28. Conference: Personhood Beyond the Human, Figure / Ground, (Retrieved Dec. 30, 2014).
  29. Personhood Beyond the Human, (Retrieved Dec. 30, 2014).
  30. Michael Mountain, Personhood Beyond the Human, Nonhuman Rights Project, (April 16, 2013).
  31. Events, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, (Retrieved Dec. 30, 2014).
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 Smith, Wesley (June 6, 2012). "Transhumanism is Religion for Atheists". National Review. 
  33. Smith, Wesley (February 13, 2011). "Transhumanist Launch Campaign for Animal Personhood". National Review. 

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