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Author: Martin van der Kroon

U.S. Transhumanist Party General Discussion Thread for November 2017

U.S. Transhumanist Party General Discussion Thread for November 2017

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The purpose of this post is to facilitate member comments pertaining to transhumanism and the U.S. Transhumanist Party, which might not specifically fit the subjects of any other post or article on the U.S. Transhumanist Party website. This is the place for members to offer suggestions or converse about any areas of emerging technologies and their political, moral, societal, cultural, and esthetic implications. The general discussion thread is also an ideal location to suggest or propose platform planks that may be considered for future platform voting.

The U.S. Transhumanist Party will endeavor to open one of these general comment threads per month. This comment thread pertains to the month of November 2017.

Type in your comments below. Please note that, to protect against spambots, the first comment by any individual will be moderated. After passing moderation, a civil commenter should be able to post comments without future moderation – although we cannot guarantee that the technical aspect of this functionality will work as intended 100% of the time.

Sophia, The First Humanoid Robot Citizen – Article by Martin van der Kroon

Sophia, The First Humanoid Robot Citizen – Article by Martin van der Kroon

Martin van der Kroon


Sophia, a humanoid robot designed by Hong Kong company Hanson Robotics, gave a presentation at the Future Investment Initiative in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh. At the end of her presentation Sophia was granted the first Saudi citizenship, for a humanoid robot.

Sophia said; “I am very honored and proud for this unique distinction. This is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with a citizenship,”

The U.S. Transhumanist Party would like to congratulate Sophia, and of course Hanson Robotics with this unique, and historical first.

The video of the presentation, and interview that Sophia gave, courtesy of Arab News.

Read More Read More

We Published a FAQ. Do You Have Any Questions?

We Published a FAQ. Do You Have Any Questions?

Martin van der Kroon


The U.S. Transhumanist Party just published a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section on the official party website.

Frequently Asked Questions

What we would like to know is whether this answers any questions you might have had.

  • Are the answers to the questions in the FAQ adequately clear and thorough?
  • Do you have any unanswered questions, and do you think these should be part of the FAQ?
  • Are there questions in general that you think should be part of the FAQ?

Please let us know in the comments!

We can’t promise to add all the answers to questions you might have in the FAQ, but we’ll do our best to answer them personally.

Martin van der Kroon is Director of Recruitment for the U.S. Transhumanist Party.

 

Deep Knowledge Ventures Expands Into Neurotech, Leading Seed Round for DeepWave Technologies Inc.

Deep Knowledge Ventures Expands Into Neurotech, Leading Seed Round for DeepWave Technologies Inc.

Deep Knowledge Ventures


Deep Knowledge Life Sciences, the life science focused subsidiary of Deep Knowledge Ventures is leading the seed round for DeepWave Technologies, a neurotechnology wearable startup commercializing patented technology developed at Northwestern University to enhance cognitive function and memory consolidation via stimulation of Slow Wave Sleep with sound alone.

The state of sleep known as Slow Wave Sleep is driven by specific types of brain waves called Slow Waves (SW). Its main function is memory consolidation (transfer of memory from short term to long term storage, and individuals who learn a task and perform a memory test immediately before sleep and immediately upon waking score higher in the morning due to the memory-strengthening effect of SWS.

The device uses an EEG system that synchronizes with the user’s own brainwaves and uses precisely-timed pulses of a pink noise to increase the amplitude of SWA using sound.

Dr. Giovanni Santostasi and his colleagues at Northwestern University have tested this proprietary algorithm on individuals using laboratory-grade EEGs.

He first tested the amount that users’ scores on memory tests improved before and after sleep, to measure the amount of memory enhancement occurring during a normal night’s sleep. He then tested their scores on memory tests when using his device for one night. His algorithm increased the memory test scores of older adults (65+ years) compared to a night of normal sleep by an average of 400%, restoring them to youthful levels.

“This technology is revolutionary because it is a completely non-pharmacological means of improving the deepest part of sleep with many known health benefits, particularly for cognition. We were able to restore cognitive performance on memory tests in elderly individuals to levels similar to young adults without using drugs or invasive methods like electrical brain stimulation. We are eager to bring this technology to the public with the help of Deep Knowledge Life Sciences” said Dr. Giovanni Santostasi, founder and CSO of DeepWave Technologies.

Funding from their seed round will be used for the development of a prototype device which employs this proprietary algorithm to enhance sleep quality and memory via a comfortable and ergonomic EEG headband worn at night.

“We have been monitoring the neurotech field for several years, but now with the recent achievements of DeepWave and its renowned team we made the decision to enter the neurotech space since their technology brings a not before seen level of effectiveness and scientifically backed results. We are confident that DeepWave is the way forward at the onset of what will be an exponentially growing field which will position them as leaders in the neurotech sector of healthcare with positive impact ranging from cognitive enhancements and especially to healthy longevity,” said Dmitry Kaminskiy, Managing Partner at Deep Knowledge Ventures.

 

U.S. Transhumanist Party General Discussion Thread for October 2017

U.S. Transhumanist Party General Discussion Thread for October 2017

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The purpose of this post is to facilitate member comments pertaining to transhumanism and the U.S. Transhumanist Party, which might not specifically fit the subjects of any other post or article on the U.S. Transhumanist Party website. This is the place for members to offer suggestions or converse about any areas of emerging technologies and their political, moral, societal, cultural, and esthetic implications. The general discussion thread is also an ideal location to suggest or propose platform planks that may be considered for future platform voting.

The U.S. Transhumanist Party will endeavor to open one of these general comment threads per month. This comment thread pertains to the month of October 2017.

Type in your comments below. Please note that, to protect against spambots, the first comment by any individual will be moderated. After passing moderation, a civil commenter should be able to post comments without future moderation – although we cannot guarantee that the technical aspect of this functionality will work as intended 100% of the time.

AgeMeter Crowdfunding Campaign On LifeSpan.io – Are You Getting Any Younger?

AgeMeter Crowdfunding Campaign On LifeSpan.io – Are You Getting Any Younger?

Martin van der Kroon


AgeMeter is a project that intends to develop a functional age test to validate interventions through a low-cost, modular touch screen device that would integrate multiple cognitive & biometric assessment technologies. At this moment AgeMeter is doing a crowdfunding campaign on Lifespan.io with the intended goal of raising $30,000. At the moment of writing the pledged amount for funding AgeMeter stands at $22,590, leaving $7,410 to go, with only 4 days left on the clock to reach the funding goal.

But why am I telling you this, and why would AgeMeter be an important tool to further longevity? Glad you asked!

The folks at AgeMeter explain clearly why it is important to realize this project:

“The AgeMeterTM device will measure functional biomarkers of participants, estimating the age at which a person physically functions, enabling researchers to validate measurements from genetic and biochemical aging interventions and reliably compare results across subjects, studies and approaches.

Many laboratories have published results indicating the reversal or delay of various biomarkers of aging in model organisms and human cells, including cellular biomarkers such as telomere length, epigenome methylation status, expression of proteins specific to senescent cells and others, as well as morphological and functional tests, such as appearance, gait and balance, memory tests, etc. Thus far, however, there has been no fully integrated approach that can easily collect a variety of different data points from human participants, reliably correlating the output to functional age and comparing this against chronological age.

Being able to easily evaluate the effectiveness of a potential aging treatment in this way will allow longevity research to proceed at a faster rate, because meaningful data in regards to lifespan effect can be gathered in the middle of a study, not just at the end.”

Elliot Small from the Center for Age Control gives a thorough explanation of what AgeMeter is:

Furthermore, the AgeMeter project has been endorsed as a reputable initiative by LongeCity ensuring, that if you wish to donate, your donation is used as intended.

Of course there are many spectacular developments in longevity, such as gene-editing, and so on. It is, however, important to remember that with insufficient research and data all these high-profile innovations are much less useful, and can even do harm. We might compare it to a patient going into surgery; The surgeon can only do his or her best work if the M.D. has correctly diagnosed the patient.

That is why AgeMeter is important, and needs your help with funding!

Zoltan Istvan Advocates for The Future at RAAD Fest 2017

Zoltan Istvan Advocates for The Future at RAAD Fest 2017

Zoltan Istvan

Introduction by U.S. Transhumanist Party Chairman Gennady Stolyarov II

Post by Martin van der Kroon


Zoltan Istvan, founder of the United States Transhumanist Party, discusses his 2016 Presidential campaign, his Immortality Bus tour, and his ambitions to spread the ideas of the transhumanist movement and forward the goal of defeating death. Zoltan delivered this speech at RAAD Fest 2017 in San Diego on August 11, 2017, as part of the panel entitled “Advocating for the Future”. He was introduced by the current U.S. Transhumanist Party Chairman, Gennady Stolyarov II.

Your Civil Rights, Your Privacy and Liberty Matter To The U.S. Transhumanist Party

Your Civil Rights, Your Privacy and Liberty Matter To The U.S. Transhumanist Party

Martin van der Kroon


 

In July of this year, Salt Lake City Police Detective Jeff Payne arrested Alex Wubbels, nurse at University Hospital in Salt Lake City, who was on duty at the time, for refusing to draw blood from unconscious patient William Gray of Idaho.

(Source: Salt Lake Tribune via YouTube)

This could have been considered obstruction of justice were it not for the fact that Police Detective Payne had no warrant of any kind to have blood drawn, patient Gray was not in any state to consent, nor was Gray actually suspected of having committed any sort of offence. Patient Gray was actually the victim of a car crash from a car being pursued by police at high speed. Furthermore, Police Detective Payne, who was part of the police’s blood draw program had no authority to demand a blood draw.

As Police Detective Payne stated, the drawing of blood was meant to help victim and patient Gray by checking for drugs, but it was, and is entirely unclear how exactly this would help him. What is clear is that Police Detective Payne was attempting to violate patient Gray’s Constitutional Fourth Amendment right of being protected against unlawful search and seizure. The U.S. Transhumanist Party fervently supports citizens’ constitutional rights, including the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unlawful search and seizure. This support to uphold citizens’ Fourth Amendment rights is outlined in Section LVII [Adopted by a vote of the members during June 18-24, 2017]:

The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to restrict and limit civil asset forfeiture laws, and other laws that assist law-enforcement agencies in circumventing the Fourth Amendment, such as asset seizure, or detainment or arrest in situations where no criminal charges have been filed, except as part of an active interrogation of a person suspected of a crime or unless the person detained or arrested poses a clear and probable danger of inflicting physical harm upon others or their property.”

We furthermore place great emphasis and importance on people’s individual privacy and liberty, both of which Police Detective Payne was attempting to compromise. We outline this in our very first United States Transhumanist Platform Plank, Section I [Adopted by a vote of the members during January 15-21, 2017]:

“The United States Transhumanist Party strongly supports individual privacy and liberty over how to apply technology to one’s personal life. The United States Transhumanist Party holds that each individual should remain completely sovereign in the choice to disclose or not disclose personal activities, preferences, and beliefs within the public sphere. As such, the United States Transhumanist Party opposes all forms of mass surveillance and any intrusion by governmental or private institutions upon non-coercive activities that an individual has chosen to retain within his, her, or its private sphere. However, the United States Transhumanist Party also recognizes that no individuals should be protected from peaceful criticism of any matters that those individuals have chosen to disclose within the sphere of public knowledge and discourse.”

This incident involved the drawing of blood, but considering how unscrupulously this was requested without probable cause, or any legal documentation, we have to wonder whether such demands could unlawfully be made regarding people’s prosthetics, nano-bots, or artificial eye- or hearing-replacement or enhancement in the future, with such requests being accommodated out of fear for reprisal. Indeed, for the most part we do not live in this future quite yet, but it is an important aspect to take into consideration. The scope of privacy invasion could be astronomical if such unlawful activities go unchecked. Stored images or video from an artificial eye could be demanded wholesale, including intimate encounters, for the sake of “protecting” someone, or pacemaker data to check if the victim’s pacemaker was functioning properly. The excuses made could be endless, especially when made with an argument of fear for the unknown or irregular. This is why the U.S. Transhumanist Party places importance on being pro-active in raising questions and issues that might not be of immediate concern, but may become of concern tomorrow or the day after, rather than being reactive.

Although Section XXI was conceived of, and adopted by members in the Zeitgeist of police brutality towards primarily African-American citizens in the Spring of 2017, we can observe that the police was using unlawful force to obtain blood, as well as engaging in violence by arresting a law-abiding citizen. Section XXI [Adopted by a vote of the members during March 26 – April 1, 2017]:

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports a concerted effort by governments and by public opinion to eradicate police brutality against peaceful citizens, such that violent force is only utilized against individuals who actually pose an imminent threat to human lives.”

Luckily this attempt at coercing a law-abiding nurse was well-documented with video and audio. There is, however, no telling if such unlawful activities by those supposed to uphold the law happens more often, and with which frequency. In order to improve public interaction through accountability, and decrease the chances of police acting unlawfully, we have adopted Section XXXIV [Adopted by a vote of the members during May 7-13, 2017]:  

“The United States Transhumanist Party holds that sousveillance laws should be enacted to ensure that all members of peaceful communities feel safe, to achieve governmental transparency, and to provide counter-balances to any surveillance state. For instance, law-enforcement officials, when interacting with the public, should be required to wear body cameras or similar devices continuously monitoring their activities.

The United States Transhumanist Party supports the use of technologies which increase monitoring of police action and policing activities, with expressed goals of increasing policing accountability.

The United States Transhumanist Party advocates for a requirement that data pertaining to recordings of police action be transmitted and recorded beyond police control, so as to be protected from falsification, deletion, and selective curation by police.”

The newspaper The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Salt Lake Police Sgt. Brandon Shearer stated that the department launched an internal investigation into the matter. The U.S. Transhumanist Party does not object to internal investigations, but does consider an internal investigation alone to be insufficient as detailed in Section LIX [Adopted by a vote of the members during June 18-24, 2017]:

“The United States Transhumanist Party considers it important for impartial, objective investigations of alleged police and other law-enforcement misconduct to be pursued. While law-enforcement agencies should not be prohibited from internally investigating potential abuses within their own ranks, such investigations should never be considered exclusive or conclusive, and further external checks and accountability should be instituted. As part of providing such checks and accountability, investigations regarding police misconduct, criminal activity, felonies, and misdemeanors should, in addition to any internal investigation, also be investigated by a different source – for example, a different police department, or a district attorney for a different area assigned to lead the investigation. The intent of this requirement is to limit the possibility of favorably biased or preferential treatment of a member of a given law-enforcement agency by that person’s colleagues, and to restore confidence by the public that an investigation into police misconduct is done as objectively as possible.”

Not only does the United States Transhumanist Party want people to have privacy and liberty, but to be able to enjoy these rights, and feel assured that their rights are upheld by being free from fear of representatives of the government without due cause.

Martin van der Kroon is Director of Recruitment for the U.S. Transhumanist Party.

 

U.S. Transhumanist Party General Discussion Thread for September 2017

U.S. Transhumanist Party General Discussion Thread for September 2017

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The purpose of this post is to facilitate member comments pertaining to transhumanism and the U.S. Transhumanist Party, which might not specifically fit the subjects of any other post or article on the U.S. Transhumanist Party website. This is the place for members to offer suggestions or converse about any areas of emerging technologies and their political, moral, societal, cultural, and esthetic implications. The general discussion thread is also an ideal location to suggest or propose platform planks that may be considered for future platform voting.

The U.S. Transhumanist Party will endeavor to open one of these general comment threads per month. This comment thread pertains to the month of September 2017.

Type in your comments below. Please note that, to protect against spambots, the first comment by any individual will be moderated. After passing moderation, a civil commenter should be able to post comments without future moderation – although we cannot guarantee that the technical aspect of this functionality will work as intended 100% of the time.

Biogerontology Research Foundation Launches Campaign for Photographic Biomarkers of Age

Biogerontology Research Foundation Launches Campaign for Photographic Biomarkers of Age

Biogerontology Research Foundation


Thursday, August 31st, 2017, London, UK: The Biogerontology Research Foundation announces the launch of a crowdfunding campaign, MouseAge, to develop and test photographic biomarkers of ageing in mice in collaboration with scientists from Harvard University, University of Oxford, Youth Laboratories and Insilico Medicine. The project’s aim is to develop novel biomarkers of ageing in mice for the purposes of testing the effect of healthspan and lifespan-extending interventions. The project is now live at Lifespan.io, a crowdfunding platform for ageing research institutions that has launched several successful campaigns for SENS Research Foundation, International Longevity Alliance and CellAge.

“One of the most fundamental challenges in ageing research today is the development of robust and reliable biomarkers of ageing to serve as the basis by which the efficacy of lifespan and healthspan-extending interventions can be tested. Humans live a long time, and testing the effect of geroprotective interventions in humans using lifespan gains as the main criterion for success would be wildly impractical, necessitating long and costly longitudinal studies. By developing accurate biomarkers of ageing, the efficacy of potential geroprotective interventions could instead be tested according to changes in study participants’ biomarkers of ageing. While significant attention is paid to the development of highly accurate biomarkers of ageing, less attention is paid to developing actionable biomarkers of ageing that can be tested inexpensively using the tools at hand to the majority of researchers and clinicians. The Biogerontology Research Foundation chose to support MouseAge.org because photographic biomarkers of ageing represents a highly actionable alternative to more expensive measures of biological age.” said Franco Cortese, Deputy Director & Trustee of the Biogerongology Research Foundation.

The project utilizes Insilico Medicine’s novel deep learning platforms to correlate changes in physical appearance with biological and chronological age. Insilico is leading the pack in the intersection of deep learning and ageing research, and is well known for its use of advances in genomics, big data analysis, and deep learning for in silico drug discovery and drug repurposing for ageing and age-related diseases. The Biogerontology Research Foundation has collaborated with Insilico Medicine in the development of actionable and practical biomarkers of ageing before through their Ageing.AI project, and both organizations hope that MouseAge is the next in a long line of continuing research into the development of actionable biomarkers of ageing via the intersection of longevity research and deep learning.

“There are many experiments conducted around the world that examine lifespan in mice. The artificially intelligent MouseAge system will help determine which interventions make mice look younger. The plan is to develop an accurate predictor of mouse biological age based on images of mice and then apply transfer learning techniques to other datasets and data types,” said Vadim Gladyshev, MouseAge Research Lead and Professor of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School.

Milestones for the project include the design of standardized protocols for creating photos and videos of mice, developing a mobile app and server infrastructure for image data collection, developing and testing the project’s main algorithm for mouse age prediction, optimizing feature extraction to investigate visual biomarkers of ageing in mice, creating a central data repository for the project’s data, utilizing transfer learning techniques to make these methods applicable to other model organisms, and ultimately using transfer learning techniques to develop photographic biomarkers of ageing in humans. The project’s principal investigator is Anastasia Georgievskaya, co-founder of Youth Laboratories, a company working at the intersection of ageing research, AI and machine vision, with the ultimate goal of using facial imageing data to predict patient health status.

The ultimate end-goal of MouseAge is to develop an intuitive mobile app to be used by researchers across the globe free of charge, where users can take images of model organisms and have the project’s DP-based algorithms perform age-assessment of images uploaded by users of the app. Both the organizations and researchers behind MouseAge are united in their belief in the promise of AI to accelerate ageing research and to streamline the development of effective healthspan-extending interventions for use in human patients, and hope that MouseAge comes to be remembered as an important landmark in the ongoing paradigm shift away from costly and inefficient sick-care and toward morbidity compression and effective healthspan extension for the benefit of all.

“Ageing research is the most altruistic cause that can generate billions of quality-adjusted life years over time and save the global economy. We are very happy to contribute to and support the MouseAge project. Our Young.AI system for tracking multiple biomarkers during human ageing is currently in the alpha stage and is launching in the fall. However, the biological relevance of many of the biomarkers and interventions is yet to be established, and the MouseAge project contributes to the body of fundamental science required to bridge AI and longevity research. Please support the MouseAge project on LifeSpan.io to contribute to this grand effort”, said Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, Chief Science Officer of the Biogerontology Research Foundation.

About the Biogerontology Research Foundation:

The Biogerontology Research Foundation is a UK non-profit research foundation and public policy center seeking to fill a gap within the research community, whereby the current scientific understanding of the ageing process is not yet being sufficiently exploited to produce effective medical interventions. The BGRF funds and conducts research which, building on the body of knowledge about how ageing happens, aims to develop biotechnological interventions to remediate the molecular and cellular deficits which accumulate with age and which underlie the ill-health of old age. Addressing ageing damage at this most fundamental level will provide an important opportunity to produce the effective, lasting treatments for the diseases and disabilities of ageing, required to improve quality of life in the elderly. The BGRF seeks to use the entire scope of modern biotechnology to attack the changes that take place in the course of ageing, and to address not just the symptoms of age-related diseases but also the mechanisms of those diseases.