Saturday, March 31, 2012

Call for Presentations: Envisioning Transhumanity

Envisioning Transhumanity

TEDx Del Mar
A Transhuman Studies Conference on the Future of Minds, Bodies and Societies
April 29th, 2012 at the Price Center Theater, University of California, San Diego
All Welcome (parking free)

Call for Presentations:
Abstracts due April 8th, Confirmation of Acceptance before April 11th.
We will discuss the promise and consequences of technologies which will augment and radically transform our minds, bodies, and cultures. These technologies range from visor cellphones, through more intimate cyborg interfaces, across biotech, and to in-silico life. Many see these transformations as inevitable outcomes of accelerating technological development and global market conditions. This conference aims to go deeper than the shiny veneer of hype, to investigate the scientific states-of-art, ethical and existential ramifications, and socio-economic consequences of human enhancement technologies. We are interested in both local short-term effects and broad, longer term questions.

Confirmed speakers include:
David Brin, PhD--Award winning science fiction author &
David Pearce--Philosopher and co-founder of Humanity+

We have many submissions, but are seeking more, and are taking suggestions for a panel discussion. Editors welcome all relevant submissions. If in doubt, submit. We are, however, especially interested in presentations on the following topics:
--Economics of human-enhancement: E.g. How will increases in productivity, new artificial variation in intelligence, new management techniques, the widespread use of avatars, and the distribution of enhancement technologies affect current and future financial markets and the world socio-economic condition?
--Bio-conservative arguments: E.g. What are the strongest arguments against human augmentation? Are there practical programs to prevent it? Are there risks overlooked?
--Guidance and activism: E.g. To what degree do the market forces driving transhuman change diverge from the ends we ought to desire? What are transhuman goals? How can we guide these transformations to optimize well-being and freedom?
--The near and current cyborg world: E.g. How effective is life-logging? How good are the best happiness, intelligence and fitness improvement apps? What is the current state and what are the prospects for physical and mental health enhancement technologies? What are the short term prospects for developing human potential and improving quality of life in San Diego for all groups, especially the worst-off?
--New technologies: E.g. What's next? What will be the order of development of human enhancement technologies, for much depends on this? What are the technical limits of augmentation? What are the limits and prospects for cognitive, emotive, and empathetic augmentation?
--Ethics and safety of particular technologies: E.g. What kinds of privacy rules should govern cellphone visors, can there be limits preventing users from transforming the appearance of others, how are children to be safely hybridized with cyborg technologies, what risks or better forms of life arise if individuality blurs when populations of cyborgs interconnect?
--Aging as pathology: E.g. To what degree is it appropriate to treat aging as a single pathology? What are the prospects for life-extension, the costs, the availability, the state of the science of gene-therapy and pre-natal anti-aging interventions?
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Send abstracts for 20-25 minute talks and CV or bio-sketch to submissions@sandiegotranshumanists.org
John Jacobson, Chair, PhD Candidate in Philosophy at UCSD and Collaborator at Salk Institute
Jamie Dunbaugh, Organizer, Founder of San Diego Transhumanists