Dr. Anders Sandberg is a well known transhumanist, futurist, computational neuroscientist and currently a research fellow at the Future of Humanity Institute in Oxford University. I have been thinking of inviting him on Singularity 1 on 1 for some time and when one of my readers actually asked me to do it I could not be happier to oblige. (Thanks Shahan!)
Dr. Sandberg is one of those rare individuals who clearly loves his work and is always very enthusiastic to discuss it. I really enjoyed talking to him and feel that we could have talked a lot more than we did. Thus I will try to bring him back on the show for little more focused discussion on one of his areas of expertise – transhumanism, mind uploading and the ethics thereof.
During our first discussion with Anders we cover a wide variety of topics such as: his childhood and early passion for science fiction; his intellectual journey from science fiction to science and – eventually – to ethics; the goals and benchmarks of his work; human enhancement, body modification and the risks of early adopters; the problem of finding the right priorities; the technological singularity and our chances of surviving it; other existential threats to humanity.
My second favorite quote that I will take away from Anders Sandberg is: The Singularity should not stop us from thinking! (The first one, of course, is the title.)
Who is Anders Sandberg?
Anders Sandberg’s research at the Future of Humanity Institute centres on societal and ethical issues surrounding human enhancement and new technology, as well as estimating the capabilities and underlying science of future technologies. Topics of particular interest include enhancement of cognition, cognitive biases, technology-enabled collective intelligence, neuroethics and public policy. He has worked on this within the EU project ENHANCE, where he also was responsible for public outreach and online presence. Besides scientific publications in neuroscience, ethics and future studies he has also participated in the public debate about human enhancement internationally. Anders also holds an AXA Research Fellowship.
He has a background in computer science, neuroscience and medical engineering. He obtained his Ph.D. in computational neuroscience from Stockholm University, Sweden, for work on neural network modeling of human memory. He has also been the scientific producer for the major neuroscience exhibition “Se Hjärnan!” (“Behold the Brain!”), organized by Swedish Travelling Exhibitions, the Swedish Research Council and the Knowledge Foundation that toured Sweden 2005-2007. He is co-founder and writer for the think tank Eudoxa.