Nick Bostrom, director of Oxford's Future of Humanity Institute, specializes in the big questions: What does it mean to be human? If we could live forever, would we choose to? Can we improve our human nature with technological enhancements?
Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom began thinking of a future full of human enhancement, nanotechnology and cloning long before they became mainstream concerns. From his famous simulation argument -- which presents evidence for the Matrix-like idea that humans are living in a computer simulation -- to the impact of uploading our brains on human consciousness, Bostrom approaches both the inevitable and the speculative using the tools of philosophy, bioethics and probability.
He's the co-founder and chair of both the World Transhumanist Association, which advocates the use of technology to extend human capabilities and lifespans, and the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. In his prolific writing, Bostrom tackles the future of the human condition head-on, laying out both the promises of accelerating technology and its potential for catastrophe.
“Death might be both too familiar and too big for most people to see it as a problem.”
“You can engineer a prairie vole to become monogamous when it’s naturally polygamous. It’s just a single gene. Might be more complicated in humans, but perhaps not that much.”