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Kim Solez Mainstreaming Transhumanism in the Universities and Beyond


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Dr. Kim Solez presents "Mainstreaming Transhumanism in the Universities and Beyond" at International Space Development Conference, May 17, 2014 in Los Angeles.

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Kim Solez Mainstreaming Transhumanism in the Universities and Beyond

  1. 1. Kim Solez, MD
  2. 2. The last decade has brought a profound change in the way we humans interact. Our imagined future of merger between human and electronic interface has crept into our lives; social networks, adept at instantaneous byte-sized communications, now permeate the younger generations. There is still a chasm between hard-Transhumanism, and this soft- Transhumanism, defined by our interactions with personal electronics, but there is no sign of these interactions abating. Fully embracing this technological revolution, within the University classroom and beyond, is beneficial to the learning experience and to our cultural growth as human beings.– Ross Lockwood HI-SEAS sMars mission May 4, 2014!
  3. 3. The technological singularity occurs as artificial intelligences surpass human beings as the smartest and most capable life forms on the Earth. Technological development is taken over by the machines, who can think, act and communicate so quickly that normal humans cannot even comprehend what is going on. The machines enter into a "runaway reaction" of self-improvement cycles, with each new generation of A.I.s appearing faster and faster. From this point onwards, technological advancement is explosive, under the control of the machines, and thus cannot be accurately predicted (hence the term "Singularity"). – Ray Kurzweil
  4. 4. Course conceptualized in March 2011, tested with focus groups in May for its suitability as a course for both undergraduate and graduate students.
  5. 5.  Ten minute introduction  Fifty minute lecture  Twenty minute discussion  In the course we talk about machines replacing many of the functions of human beings. This picture was taken by a machine without human intervention, as were many of the best still images from the course. The video camera is constantly comparing the scene to algorithms and takes still pictures when the requirements of the interesting picture algorithm are satisfied.
  6. 6. First teaching session 2011 Recent teaching session 2014 Hot-linked tables of contents in YouTube video descriptions at allow one to jump right to content of interest.
  7. 7.  Director of Social Media at Kandu Inc.
  8. 8. Heather Graves, from Department of English and Film Studies, in Faculty of Arts. Diversity of views and backgrounds is an important feature of the course. Tech skeptics represented.
  9. 9.  We shoot broadcast quality video of each lecture & discussion.  Previous lectures at . Students critique one past lecture, and suggest improvements in presentation and hot-linked table of contents (20% of grade).  Students write one 3,000 word paper (40%) and give 20 min. presentation on same subject (30%). Also graded on class participation (10%).  No required reading. Suggested reading list in course outline, readings suggested by Email.
  10. 10.  The technological Singularity. Existential risks, AI, genomics, and nanotech.  Ways to optimize a positive outcome for humanity in the co-evolution of humans and machines . The influence of these considerations on medicine of the future.  Dean of Science speaking, prominent people internationally. Most lectures not very “medical”. Easily understood.  Balanced view provided by incorporating both tech skeptics and tech advocates.
  11. 11. Philippe van Nedervelde (7/12/13) ”H+ers are a *particularly* fractious lot. Building an *effective* alliance of highly opinionated hyper-individualists many of which lack critical elementary social skills — hey there Aspie brothers! — is actually far more challenging than herding cats. In comparison, cats still seem positively herd-able. So, let's all support each other morally and nominally, sure. But we probably should abandon the naive delusions that transhumanists are capable of working together effectively. Certainly not in groups over a significant size. ”
  12. 12. The young people from my course are little by little infiltrating the discussion groups with normal human interactions and we are already in 2014 seeing an improvement in productivity. It is something that only the young people among us can fix!
  13. 13.  “ThinkerNet Blog” had essays written criticizing Ray Kurzweil by people who had never read any of his books.  And people criticizing Peter Diamandis’ Abundance by people who had never read the book.  Frustrating. What is the worst you can imagine happening in this circumstance?
  14. 14.  Medical student elective participation in course.  International peer review of YouTube videos, modifications made. Two Quantum Biology lectures.  Young person old person point counterpoint lecture January 30th, Abdullah Saleh/Earle Waugh Medical Ethics in a World of Robots(What will we allow when everything is possible).  Collaboration with Disruptive Technologies in Medicine course in Budapest, Hungary, the only other course somewhat like this one.  We are constantly seeking ways to enhance the intellectual ferment/exchange of ideas and improve the course. Your input is welcome!
  15. 15.  Nova program on PBS Television (7 million viewers)  Big Bang Theory (the TV show; 20 million viewers)  Singularity Summit/Singularity 1on1 (9,000 views per video)  Kim Solez – Technology and Future of Medicine Course LABMP 590 (2,550 views per video)
  16. 16.  All natural disease may be eliminated, leaving only man-made diseases. But that may leave as much for physicians to do as there is today!  Challenging responses to bioterrorism and stem cell technologies.  Focus of medicine no longer disease but enhancement, elevating the human condition, which will extend beyond the physical to the moral and spiritual.  Social responsibility an important aspect of medicine and one of the focuses of the course.
  17. 17.  “It is the curse of humanity that it learns to tolerate even the most horrible situations by habituation. Physicians are the natural attorneys of the poor, and the social problems should largely be solved by them.” -Rudolf Virchow
  18. 18.  We need the mainstream public to regard the Transhumanism as fact, not fiction.  We need to promote organized thinking about the future in Universities and beyond.  We need to make increasing efforts to make Transhumanism accessible and inclusive, with low barrier to entry, incorporating young people, and balanced views/diversity. “Transhumanism for Dummies!”