13 episodes

A deep dive into Nick Bostrom's ideas, including: existential risk, wise philanthropy, the ethics of AI, transhumanism, and the case for speeding up some investments in technology while slowing down others.

An Introduction to Nick Bostrom Team Radio Bostrom

    • Technology

A deep dive into Nick Bostrom's ideas, including: existential risk, wise philanthropy, the ethics of AI, transhumanism, and the case for speeding up some investments in technology while slowing down others.

    13. Letter from Utopia (2020)

    13. Letter from Utopia (2020)

    By Nick Bostrom.

    Abstract:
    The good life: just how good could it be? A vision of the future from the future.

    Read the full paper:
    https://nickbostrom.com/utopia

    More episodes at:
    https://radiobostrom.com/



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    • 19 min
    12. Base Camp for Mount Ethics (2022)

    12. Base Camp for Mount Ethics (2022)

    By Nick Bostrom.

    Draft version 0.9

    Abstract:
    New theoretical ideas for a big expedition in metaethics.

    Read the full paper:
    https://nickbostrom.com/papers/mountethics.pdf

    More episodes at:
    https://radiobostrom.com/

    • 58 min
    11. Crucial Considerations and Wise Philanthropy (2014)

    11. Crucial Considerations and Wise Philanthropy (2014)

    By Nick Bostrom.

    Abstract:
    Within a utilitarian context, one can perhaps try to explicate [crucial considerations] as follows: a crucial consideration is a consideration that radically changes the expected value of pursuing some high-level subgoal. The idea here is that you have some evaluation standard that is fixed, and you form some overall plan to achieve some high-level subgoal. This is your idea of how to maximize this evaluation standard. A crucial consideration, then, would be a consideration that radically changes the expected value of achieving this subgoal, and we will see some examples of this. Now if you stop limiting your view to some utilitarian context, then you might want to retreat to these earlier more informal formulations, because one of the things that could be questioned is utilitarianism itself. But for most of this talk we will be thinking about that component.

    Read the full paper:
    https://www.effectivealtruism.org/articles/crucial-considerations-and-wise-philanthropy-nick-bostrom

    More episodes at:
    https://radiobostrom.com/

    • 35 min
    10. Are You Living In A Computer Simulation? (2003)

    10. Are You Living In A Computer Simulation? (2003)

    By Nick Bostrom.

    Abstract:
    This paper argues that at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor‐simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation. A number of other consequences of this result are also discussed.

    Read the full paper:
    https://www.simulation-argument.com/simulation.pdf

    More episodes at:
    https://radiobostrom.com/

    • 37 min
    9. The Evolutionary Optimality Challenge (2021)

    9. The Evolutionary Optimality Challenge (2021)

    By Nick Bostrom, Anders Sandberg, and Matthew van der Merwe.

    This is an updated version of The Wisdom of Nature, first published in the book Human Enhancement (Oxford University Press, 2009).

    Abstract:
    Human beings are a marvel of evolved complexity. When we try to enhance poorly-understood complex evolved systems, our interventions often fail or backfire. It can appear as if there is a “wisdom of nature” which we ignore at our peril. A recognition of this reality can manifest as a vaguely normative intuition, to the effect that it is “hubristic” to try to improve on nature, or that biomedical therapy is ok while enhancement is morally suspect. We suggest that one root of these moral intuitions may be fundamentally prudential rather than ethical. More importantly, we develop a practical heuristic, the “evolutionary optimality challenge”, for evaluating the plausibility that specific candidate biomedical interventions would be safe and effective. This heuristic recognizes the grain of truth contained in “nature knows best” attitudes while providing criteria for identifying the special cases where it may be feasible, with present or near-future technology, to enhance human nature.

    Read the full paper:
    https://www.nickbostrom.com/evolutionary-optimality.pdf

    More episodes at:
    https://radiobostrom.com/

    • 1 hr 10 min
    8. In Defense of Posthuman Dignity (2005)

    8. In Defense of Posthuman Dignity (2005)

    By Nick Bostrom.

    Abstract:
    Positions on the ethics of human enhancement technologies can be (crudely) characterized as ranging from transhumanism to bioconservatism. Transhumanists believe that human enhancement technologies should be made widely available, that individuals should have broad discretion over which of these technologies to apply to themselves, and that parents should normally have the right to choose enhancements for their children-to-be. Bioconservatives (whose ranks include such diverse writers as Leon Kass, Francis Fukuyama, George Annas, Wesley Smith, Jeremy Rifkin, and Bill McKibben) are generally opposed to the use of technology to modify human nature. A central idea in bioconservativism is that human enhancement technologies will undermine our human dignity. To forestall a slide down the slippery slope towards an ultimately debased ‘posthuman’ state, bioconservatives often argue for broad bans on otherwise promising human enhancements. This paper distinguishes two common fears about the posthuman and argues for the importance of a concept of dignity that is inclusive enough to also apply to many possible posthuman beings. Recognizing the possibility of posthuman dignity undercuts an important objection against human enhancement and removes a distortive double standard from our field of moral vision.

    Read the full paper:
    https://nickbostrom.com/ethics/dignity

    More episodes at:
    https://radiobostrom.com/

    • 35 min

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