In one of the most popular TED Talks, Oxford philosopher and transhumanist Nick Bostrom examines the future of humankind and asks whether we might alter the fundamental nature of humanity to solve our most intrinsic problems.
Bostrom asks big questions: What should we do, as individuals and as a species, to optimize our long-term prospects? Will humanity’s technological advancements ultimately destroy us?
He envisioned a future full of human enhancement, nanotechnology and machine intelligence long before they became mainstream concerns. From his famous simulation argument — which identified some striking implications of rejecting the Matrix-like idea that humans are living in a computer simulation — to his work on existential risk, Bostrom approaches both the inevitable and the speculative using the tools of philosophy, probability theory, and scientific analysis.
Since 2005, Bostrom has led the Future of Humanity Institute, a research group of mathematicians, philosophers and scientists at Oxford University tasked with investigating the big picture for the human condition and its future. He has been referred to as one of the most important thinkers of our age.
In his recent book, Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies, he advances the ominous idea that “the first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make.”
Here is a direct link to a video of Bostrom’s program.