Institute for Futures Studies
  •  1461
    Existential Risks: Exploring a Robust Risk Reduction Strategy
    Science and Engineering Ethics 21 (3): 541-554. 2015.
    A small but growing number of studies have aimed to understand, assess and reduce existential risks, or risks that threaten the continued existence of mankind. However, most attention has been focused on known and tangible risks. This paper proposes a heuristic for reducing the risk of black swan extinction events. These events are, as the name suggests, stochastic and unforeseen when they happen. Decision theory based on a fixed model of possible outcomes cannot properly deal with this kind of …Read more
  •  126
    Brain machine interface (BMI) technology makes direct communication between the brain and a machine possible by means of electrodes. This paper reviews the existing and emerging technologies in this field and offers a systematic inquiry into the relevant ethical problems that are likely to emerge in the following decades
  •  70
    European Public Deliberation on Brain Machine Interface Technology: Five Convergence Seminars (review)
    Science and Engineering Ethics 19 (3): 1071-1086. 2013.
    We present a novel procedure to engage the public in ethical deliberations on the potential impacts of brain machine interface technology. We call this procedure a convergence seminar, a form of scenario-based group discussion that is founded on the idea of hypothetical retrospection. The theoretical background of this procedure and the results of five seminars are presented.
  •  62
    What to Enhance: Behaviour, Emotion or Disposition?
    Neuroethics 7 (3): 253-261. 2014.
    As we learn more about the human brain, novel biotechnological means to modulate human behaviour and emotional dispositions become possible. These technologies could be used to enhance our morality. Moral bioenhancement, an instance of human enhancement, alters a person’s dispositions, emotions or behaviour in order to make that person more moral. I will argue that moral bioenhancement could be carried out in three different ways. The first strategy, well known from science fiction, is behaviour…Read more
  •  46
    Should Extinction Be Forever?
    Philosophy and Technology 29 (3): 211-222. 2016.
    This article will explore a problem which is related to our moral obligations towards species. Although the re-creation of extinct animals has been discussed to some degree both in lay deliberations as well as by scientists, advocates tend to emphasize the technological and scientific value of such an endeavour, and the “coolness” factor, 32–33, 2013). This article will provide an argument in favour of re-creation based on normative considerations. The environmentalist community generally accept…Read more
  •  19
    An intelligent machine surpassing human intelligence across a wide set of skills has been proposed as a possible existential catastrophe. Among those concerned about existential risk related to artificial intelligence, it is common to assume that AI will not only be very intelligent, but also be a general agent. This article explores the characteristics of machine agency, and what it would mean for a machine to become a general agent. In particular, it does so by articulating some important diff…Read more
  •  14
    Disease prioritarianism: a flawed principle
    Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 19 (1): 95-101. 2016.
    Disease prioritarianism is a principle that is often implicitly or explicitly employed in the realm of healthcare prioritization. This principle states that the healthcare system ought to prioritize the treatment of disease before any other problem. This article argues that disease prioritarianism ought to be rejected. Instead, we should adopt ‘the problem-oriented heuristic’ when making prioritizations in the healthcare system. According to this idea, we ought to focus on specific problems and …Read more