Transhumanist philosopher, writer, and politician Zoltan Istvan will give a talk at the 2015 edition of the Terasem Annual Colloquium on the Law of Futuristic Persons, themed “Moral and Legal Imperatives for Sentient AI.” The Colloquium will take place in Second Life – Terasem sim – on Thursday, December 10 (time and access coordinates below).
The 2015 Colloquium will be held on Thursday, December 10, 2015, 10AM – 1PM PST / 1PM – 4PM EST / 6PM – 9PM GMT. [SLURL – click here to teleport to Terasem].
I wrote one of the first reviews of Zoltan’s book “The Transhumanist Wager,” and the first review to appear on a top website. “It’s a story that Istvan has painted in strong saturated colors, and with little room for intermediate shades and character development,” I wrote. “After reading it from cover to cover, and then reading it more carefully, I have mixed love/hate feelings about this novel.”
A few months ago Zoltan presented his candidacy for the 2016 US Presidency. Since then he has been all over the mainstream press, and his publicity stunt has been unprecedentedly effective in promoting transhumanism. Recently, a group of transhumanists issued a petition to “Disavow Zoltan Istvan Candidacy for US Presidency,” which caused heated debates in the transhumanist community.
Zoltan’s talk at the Colloquium will be titled “An Exploration of Rights and Perspectives of Transhumanist Persons in Virtual Reality.”
“In the near future, virtual worlds will challenge the very notion of being a human being,” says Zoltan. “Ideas like uploaded consciousness, virtual marriage, and whether we should seek to procreate in the virtual world are important but thorny ideas that need addressing. In my speech, I will explore some of the most pressing issues of futurist transhuman persons and ask how current social institutions in the physical world will serve us in the virtual world. I will also address the moral landscape that might change from a limited physical world to a limiteless virtual world, and how that might benefit and also challenge the human psyche. I endorse the virtual world and all that humanity might become in it, but I also recognize we must strive to tread carefully, as the virtual place we are entering is unlike any place we have ever been before.”
“If you think about the 50-year future - we’ll probably have artificial intelligence by then, and there will probably be mind uploading occurring by then,” said Zoltan in an interview published in March. “They already demonstrated that telepathy was possible, just last year. There’s a possibility - and it’s a bit far-fetched, so we don’t really advocate it as a policy, but it’s worth discussing - that we’ll be living lives virtually in 50 years, or probably in ten or fifteen years. That’s why Facebook bought Oculus Rift.”