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Article
Publication date: 30 October 2018

Anders Sandberg

The speed of computing and other automated processes plays an important role in how the world functions by causing “time compression”. This paper aims to review reasons to…

Abstract

Purpose

The speed of computing and other automated processes plays an important role in how the world functions by causing “time compression”. This paper aims to review reasons to believe computation will continue to become faster in the future, the economic consequences of speedups and how these affect risk, ethics and governance.

Design/methodology/approach

A brief review of science and trends followed by an analysis of consequences.

Findings

Current computation is far from the physical limits in terms of processing speed. Algorithmic improvements may be equally powerful but cannot easily be predicted or bounded. Communication and sensing is already at the physical speed limits, although improvements in bandwidth will likely be significant. The value in these speedups lies in productivity gains, timeliness, early arrival of results and cybernetic feedback shifts. However, time compression can lead to loss of control owing to inability to track fast change, emergent or systemic risk and asynchrony. Speedups can also exacerbate inequalities between different agents and reduce safety if there are competitive pressures. Fast decisions are potentially not better decisions, as they may be made on little data.

Social implications

The impact on society and the challenge to governance are likely to be profound, requiring adapting new methods for managing fast-moving and technological risks.

Originality/value

The speed with which events happen is an important aspect of foresight, not just as a subject of prediction or analysis, but also as a driver of the kinds of dynamics that are possible.

Details

foresight, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 11 February 2019

Seth D. Baum, Stuart Armstrong, Timoteus Ekenstedt, Olle Häggström, Robin Hanson, Karin Kuhlemann, Matthijs M. Maas, James D. Miller, Markus Salmela, Anders Sandberg, Kaj Sotala, Phil Torres, Alexey Turchin and Roman V. Yampolskiy

This paper aims to formalize long-term trajectories of human civilization as a scientific and ethical field of study. The long-term trajectory of human civilization can be…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to formalize long-term trajectories of human civilization as a scientific and ethical field of study. The long-term trajectory of human civilization can be defined as the path that human civilization takes during the entire future time period in which human civilization could continue to exist.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper focuses on four types of trajectories: status quo trajectories, in which human civilization persists in a state broadly similar to its current state into the distant future; catastrophe trajectories, in which one or more events cause significant harm to human civilization; technological transformation trajectories, in which radical technological breakthroughs put human civilization on a fundamentally different course; and astronomical trajectories, in which human civilization expands beyond its home planet and into the accessible portions of the cosmos.

Findings

Status quo trajectories appear unlikely to persist into the distant future, especially in light of long-term astronomical processes. Several catastrophe, technological transformation and astronomical trajectories appear possible.

Originality/value

Some current actions may be able to affect the long-term trajectory. Whether these actions should be pursued depends on a mix of empirical and ethical factors. For some ethical frameworks, these actions may be especially important to pursue.

Details

foresight, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Book part
Publication date: 16 September 2019

Moa Petersén

Abstract

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The Swedish Microchipping Phenomenon
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-357-0

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Article
Publication date: 9 April 2019

Olle Häggström and Catherine Rhodes

Abstract

Details

foresight, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Abstract

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The Philosophy of Transhumanism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-625-2

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Book part
Publication date: 11 May 2020

Benjamin Ross

Abstract

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The Philosophy of Transhumanism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-625-2

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Book part
Publication date: 28 November 2017

Abstract

Details

Global Currents in Gender and Feminisms
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-484-2

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Book part
Publication date: 21 December 2010

Michael Jensen

This study focuses on how the creation of a new market identity, defined here by the social categories that specify what to expect of products and organizations, helps…

Abstract

This study focuses on how the creation of a new market identity, defined here by the social categories that specify what to expect of products and organizations, helps legitimize normatively illegitimate products and thereby facilitate the formation of markets for these products. A product is given a legitimate market identity by recombining existing product and status categories in a way that is both isomorphic with and differentiated from these preexisting categories. I argue that the creation of a new market identity helped create a market for feature films that combined legitimate comedy and illegitimate pornography following the legalization of pornography in Denmark in 1969. Topological analyses of the cultural content of all the film posters used to promote Danish films between 1970 and 1978, and regression analyses of the status of the actors appearing in these films document the importance of market identity in legitimizing illegitimacy.

Details

Categories in Markets: Origins and Evolution
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-594-6

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Article
Publication date: 11 October 2018

James Daniel Miller

The great filter and an unfriendly artificial general intelligence might pose existential risks to humanity, but these two risks are anti-correlated. The purpose of this…

Abstract

Purpose

The great filter and an unfriendly artificial general intelligence might pose existential risks to humanity, but these two risks are anti-correlated. The purpose of this paper is to consider the implications of having evidence that mankind is at significant peril from both these risks.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper creates Bayesian models under which one might get evidence for being at risk for two perils when we know that we are at risk for at most one of these perils.

Findings

Humanity should possibly be more optimistic about its long-term survival if we have convincing evidence for believing that both these risks are real than if we have such evidence for thinking that only one of these perils would likely strike us.

Originality/value

Deriving implications of being greatly concerned about both an unfriendly artificial general intelligence and the great filter.

Details

foresight, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Book part
Publication date: 7 October 2019

As more and more people decide to commit their lives to print, autobiographies constitute a significant resource to explore stories of harm, violence and crime. Published…

Abstract

As more and more people decide to commit their lives to print, autobiographies constitute a significant resource to explore stories of harm, violence and crime. Published autobiography, however, presents a unique form of storytelling, unavoidably entailing the accumulation and (re)telling of a mass of stories; about oneself, others, contexts and cultures. Relatedly, paratexts – or the elements that surround the central text, such as covers, introductions and prologues – demonstrate how these texts are both individually and collectively shaped. Taking the co-constructed nature of all narratives, including self-narratives, as its starting point, this chapter seeks to demonstrate how terrorists who have authored autobiographies understand the world and their actions within it. In doing so, this chapter provides a practical demonstration of how insight derived from literary criticism can profitably be brought to bear in systematically breaking down and analysing an autobiography – that of a notable American jihadist, Omar Hammami – including its paratextual elements. In particular, I argue that considerations of genre, the inclusion of different types of events and stories collected from others all provide valuable strategies for the ‘doing’ of narrative criminology using autobiographies.

Details

The Emerald Handbook of Narrative Criminology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-006-6

Keywords

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