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Without a doubt, artificial intelligence (AI) will have a profound impact on the footprint of enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions in the foreseeable future. AI will enable organizations to further optimize their operating model made up of business processes, software applications, governance structures and technology infrastructure.

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For the past two years, Zoltan Istvan has been campaigning for the US presidency on the Transhumanist Party, a largely one-man show which nevertheless remains faithful to the basic tenets of transhumanism. Now suppose he won. Top of his policy agenda had been to ensure the immortality of all Americans. But even Zoltan realized that this would entail quite big changes in how the state and society function. So, shortly after being elected president, he decides to hold a national referendum on the matter.

The question on the ballot is one that makes the stakes crystal clear: ‘The government shall endeavour to release all Americans from the constraints of mortality’. Zoltan liked this way of putting things because were he to lose to the referendum, which he half-presumed, the opportunity to air publicly the relevant issues would continue to shift naysayers in Congress to increase funding for broadly anti-death research and treatments — a step in the right direction, as far as he’s concerned.

Zoltan also liked the idea that the referendum effectively ‘rotated the political axis’, from left-right to up-down, a turn of phrase he picked up from some philosopher whose name he couldn’t remember. But this also meant that the ensuing campaign, which was fierce, attracted a motley crew of supporters on both sides.

The ‘Remainers’ (as the anti-immortalists call themselves) were composed of a mix of traditional religious believers, environmental activists and hard-headed sceptics who distrust all transcendental hype, whether it comes from religion or science. In other words, those who wanted us to remain in our normal bodies held that our fate either is confined to our current circumstances or requires that we remain in those circumstances in order for something better to happen post mortem. The stakes were so high that even the Pope was called out to argue the case, which of course he was more than happy to do, Obama-style.

On the other hand, the ‘Leavers’ who espouse immortality were an even more mixed bag. Some on the ‘soft’ side of the argument wanted us to remain in our biological bodies, but in a fortified form that makes us forever resistant to foreign agents. Thus, the prospect of reversing the ageing process got sold as an indefinite productivity booster, allowing us to do what we already do but without the constraints imposed by age and death. In contrast, the ‘hard’ side wanted us to leave our biological bodies altogether and enter into the relatively unregulated realm of ‘digital immortality’, which was sold as enabling us to interact with a broader range of agents than we could otherwise do, both on Earth and maybe even in the cosmos. Indeed, various interfaces were being developed that would enable us to exchange data easily with all sorts of non-human beings to mutual benefit. And matters could go much further – even towards a ‘Singularity’, a universal free trade data zone! However, none of this could be brought to fruition unless we first release ourselves from various codes and norms that inhibit their development and use.

It turns out that the Leavers managed to suppress their differences during the campaign and surprisingly eked out a narrow win. But what was President Zoltan to do? Understandably he wanted to keep his options open with regard to how immortality is implemented. So the first thing he did was to appoint a cabinet with a broad church of Leavers on board, and so both Aubrey de Grey and Ray Kurzweil figured prominently. But these guys pulled the implementation of Leave in opposing directions. De Grey wanted to focus on a radical extension of conventional medical research. Indeed, when de Grey first heard that President Zoltan was holding a referendum, he was concerned that ‘immortality’ might mean only the digital immortality favoured by Kurzweil, which de Grey regards as a complete fantasy.

By the time the referendum campaign began, Zoltan had managed to get Congressional approval to increase funding and loosen regulation in ways that enabled various pro-immortality research projects to move forward at an unprecedented pace. However, as the campaign progressed, it became clear that the soft immortalist side was lagging: There appeared to be much greater cellular complexity to the reversal of ageing than de Grey and his colleagues had imagined.

Meanwhile a clever tech entrepreneur, inspired by the economist Robin Hanson, had figured out a way to scan living brains for purposes of uploading them into machines capable of enhancing their computational power indefinitely. These brain emulations (or ‘ems’) are indeed at least in principle immortal, but at the cost of leaving the original human in a state of disorganized mush, which is to say, biologically ‘dead’. Because Zoltan had already de-regulated all transhumanist-related industries, the ‘ems’ end up dominating the market, with large public relations firms emerging to persuade people that they will live better lives by abandoning their biological bodies and uploading into what some liken to Star Trek’s Borg.

After a few generations, Earth had earned a reputation as the most rational death cult in the cosmos.

And they all ‘lived’ happily ever after…

According to the European Union e-government report 2016, other countries should follow the steps Estonia has taken in e-governance and the availability of online services to the public.

Even though the report ranks the small Mediterranean nation of Malta as first in Europe for e-government services, it notes that Estonia has been capable of increasing its internet penetration in 2014–1015 and the awareness of its e-government services, “which were of high quality already”.

“Malta, Cyprus and Lithuania should follow the steps of Estonia, as they are very similar countries,” the report asserts.

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Circa News, a millennial site, did a story on transhumanism and my campaign. There are 3 videos embedded into this article (a general one on transhumanism, one on using tech to help the environment, and one on a Universal Basic Income):

WATCH | Zoltan Istvan thinks all sentient beings — including, but not limited to humans, artificial intelligence and cyborgs — have the right to be immortal. And that right should be protected under law.

Which is why, naturally, he decided to run for president of the United States.

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“Nobody likes taxes. So it’s a brave move by Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, to announce that the entire country must pay if it continues to burn fossil fuels.”

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Nice POV read.

We know that emerging innovations within cutting-edge science and technology (S&T) areas carry the potential to revolutionize governmental structures, economies, and life as we know it. Yet, others have argued that such technologies could yield doomsday scenarios and that military applications of such technologies have even greater potential than nuclear weapons to radically change the balance of power. These S&T areas include robotics and autonomous unmanned system; artificial intelligence; biotechnology, including synthetic and systems biology; the cognitive neurosciences; nanotechnology, including stealth meta-materials; additive manufacturing (aka 3D printing); and the intersection of each with information and computing technologies, i.e., cyber-everything. These concepts and the underlying strategic importance were articulated at the multi-national level in NATO’s May 2010 New Strategic Concept paper: “Less predictable is the possibility that research breakthroughs will transform the technological battlefield … The most destructive periods of history tend to be those when the means of aggression have gained the upper hand in the art of waging war.”

As new and unpredicted technologies are emerging at a seemingly unprecedented pace globally, communication of those new discoveries is occurring faster than ever, meaning that the unique ownership of a new technology is no longer a sufficient position, if not impossible. They’re becoming cheaper and more readily available. In today’s world, recognition of the potential applications of a technology and a sense of purpose in exploiting it are far more important than simply having access to it.

While the suggestions like those that nanotechnology will enable a new class of weapons that will alter the geopolitical landscape remain unrealized, a number of unresolved security puzzles underlying emerging technologies have implications for international security, defense policy, deterrence, governance, and arms control regimes.

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The world’s largest technology companies hold the keys to some of the largest databases on our planet. Much like goods and coins before it, data is becoming an important currency for the modern world. The data’s value is rooted in its applications to artificial intelligence. Whichever company owns the data, effectively owns AI. Right now that means companies like Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet, IBM and Microsoft have a ton of power.

In an act of self-governance, these five companies came together today to announce the launch the new Partnership on AI. The group is tasked with conducting research and promoting best practices. Practically, this means that the group of tech companies will come together frequently to discuss advancements in artificial intelligence. The group also opens up a formal structure for communication across company lines. It’s important to remember that on a day-to-day basis, these teams are in constant competition with each other to develop the best products and services powered by machine intelligence.

Financial support will be coming from the initial tech companies that are members of the group, but in the future, membership and involvement is expected to increase. User activists, nonprofits, ethicists and other stakeholders will be joining the discussion in the coming weeks.

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