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Taking Aliens Seriously

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Is there intelligent life beyond Earth? Is it possible that alien beings have already contacted us? What do we make of the thousands of testimonials of human-alien contact, including from scientists, diplomats and astronauts? Yet… where’s the proof? And if there is proof, why is alien contact not the biggest story of the millennia?

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Artificial Intelligence vs. Artificial Consciousness

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The hopes and fears surrounding the advent of artificial intelligence are fantastical, from Ray Kurzweil’s promise of spiritual machines to Elon Musk’s warnings of killer robots. And yes, some version of that future is barreling toward us at an ever-increasing speed, says philosophy of technology professor Michael Zimmerman, who is Jeff’s guest today.

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Move Fast and Break Things: Are Facebook, Amazon, and Google Hacking Our Democracy?

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A hot topic in the 2016 election was the business and targeting practices of the tech giants Facebook, Google, and Amazon and their possibly corrosive effects upon democracy. One of the excellent new books on this subject is Jonathan Taplin’s Move Fast and Break Things – How Facebook, Google and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy. Jonathan’s book does a really great job tracing the motivations of their founders as they morphed from startup tech innovators to dominant tech monopolies.

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Loving AIs: Bringing Unconditional Love to Artificial General Intelligence

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As part of our work on the Innovation Lab advisory board of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, I had the pleasure of sitting down with OpenCog founder and leading AGI researcher Ben Goertzel and IONS Innovation Lab director Julia Mossbridge to discuss LOVING AIs, a project aiming to design and develop an “unconditional loving” module for AGIs. In this interview, I dive into the rabbit hole of AGI with Ben and Julia to discuss the state of the field, what it would mean to program unconditional love into AGIs, and some thorny implications for the brave new world we’re entering.

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The Great Divide

Populism is on the rise. Too many people feel left out of the march of prosperity and more people than ever believe that the future will not see their kids better off than they are today. The rich get richer while the middle class remains stagnant. There is a growing and robust backlash to political correctness and immigration. And artificial intelligence threatens to make the coming jobs war even worse than previously anticipated…

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The Future of Artificial Intelligence

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When it comes to the future of artificial intelligence, we have more questions than answers. Are atoms, molecules, and mathematics alone enough to produce machines with genuine human-equivalent intelligence? Can that intelligence ever become truly conscious and possess the “inner light” of interior self-awareness? Will artificial intelligence be capable of determining its own morals, ethics, and values? Listen as Ken Wilber reflects on the future promise — and potential perils — of artificial intelligence.

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The Future of Consciousness, Culture, and Technology

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What future we are imagining for ourselves, for the integral movement, and for the impact of the integral vision on our shared future? With all the emphasis we see in spiritual communities about the importance of being in the NOW, it can be easy to forget how important it is to keep a careful eye on the future. After all, aren’t our thoughts about the future just another way to distract ourselves from connecting to our true selves in this present moment?

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Brave New Future? An Integral Look at Super Artificial Intelligence

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These days, discourse about intelligent robots—thinking machines—is as widespread as discourse about zombies. Both have been the subjects of recent bestsellers, which are the basis of two forthcoming films. Popular culture’s depiction of humankind under attack by either the undead or by the never alive (autonomous machines) suggests widespread anxiety about and fascination with technical developments that may generate a future out of human control (as if the future ever were under our control!)

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Yes, Virginia, Consciousness Goes All the Way Down. But Does It Go All the Way Up?

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Although the apparent confirmation of the Higgs Boson, the so-called God particle, has been attracting attention recently, the most vexing problem in science and philosophy remains the mind-body problem: What relation is there between material brain states and conscious, first-person experience? In the past few years, as we shall see in a moment, some neurosciences have now arrived at an answer that was anticipated by Ken Wilber’s version of integral theory.

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Taking the Long View: Immortality and the Technological Singularity

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Anti-aging and longevity research reports, in addition to predicting lifespans beyond 200 years within just a few decades, also report no theoretical reasons preventing extensions into the thousands of years a few decades after that. What if you lived for another few hundred or thousand years? Would you bear witness to the end of disease, the coming of an integral age, the creation trans-human cyborgs, the end of poverty, the enlightenment of the planet — or maybe even flying cars…?

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Bringing Legitimacy to UFO Research

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Leslie Kean talks with Stuart Davis about her book UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go On the Record, the result of a ten-year investigation into one of the world’s most mysterious (and most marginalized) phenomena. Whether you “want to believe” or you want to roll your eyes at the mere mention of UFOs, we invite you to open your mind, open your heart, and allow yourself to sit in the radical, unknowable Mystery for just a little while. The universe is so much bigger and darker than we can ever imagine. Good thing we’ve got a flashlight.

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Technology, Evolution, and God: Exploring the Technium

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Wired magazine’s own “Senior Maverick” talks with Ken Wilber about some of the ideas behind Kevin’s blog The Technium, which explores the various ways humanity defines and redefines itself through the interface of science, technology, culture, and consciousness. Kevin also shares some of his own thoughts about the role of spirituality in the 21st century, going into considerable depth around his own spiritual awakening several decades ago.