Ted Chu is a professor of economics and former chief economist for General Motors. Most recently, Dr. Chu is the author of Human Purpose and Transhuman Potential: A Cosmic Vision of Our Future Evolution. In my opinion Ted’s book is absolutely profound in the way it draws upon a dazzling variety of philosophical and scientific resources in order to place humanity within a cosmic evolutionary perspective. In that sense I will go as far as claiming that it is a one-of-a-kind book within my transhumanist library and, while it is definitely not an easy or quick read, I enjoyed it very much.
I was very happy to get Ted Chu on my Singularity 1 on 1 podcast.
During our 70 min conversation with Dr. Chu we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: his honest and moving personal story starting in a poor family in China and becoming a chief economists for GM; the existential midlife crisis he had at 29 and his consequent search for the meaning of life; the impact of 9.11 – surviving the attacks but losing his book manuscript; why and how he got interested in transhumanism; the importance of philosophy for setting up a higher goal; defining human and transhuman; cosmic being (CoBe) and evolution; religion 2.0 and transcendental ethics; the technological singularity; capitalism, technological unemployment and bitcoin…
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Who is Ted Chu?
Born and raised in China, and spending much of his adult life in America, Ted Chu is currently a clinical professor of economics at New York University (Abu Dhabi, UAE), and also has a home in Michigan. His ongoing research is focused on globalization, frontiers of technology and institutions, and “posthuman economics,” inclusive of the philosophic and ethical dimensions of transhumanism. Chu graduated from Fudan University in Shanghai, and earned his PhD in economics at Georgetown University.
During his twenty-five years as a business economist, his work included corporate strategy, public policy research, multinational operations, and global financial markets—including roles as chief economist of General Motors and chief economist of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds. Dr. Chu also held positions as macroeconomist for the World Bank and Arthur D. Little.
For the last fifteen years, his second career has been conducting independent research on the ethical and philosophical question of humanity’s place in the universe, with special reference to advanced technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and nanotechnology. This focus was foreshadowed by his PhD thesis on the production efficiency frontier at Georgetown University. Chu has also read widely and deeply in evolutionary theory, history, politics, philosophy, and religious studies (East and West).
Dr. Chu is the founder of the nonprofit CoBe (Cosmic Being) Institute in Michigan, a senior scholar at ChangCe, a Beijing-based independent think tank, and a former president of Greater Washington Professional Forum. He has received a national award for dedicated community service and has served as a policy advisor for governments and many multinational institutions. Ted Chu’s extensive lines of interdisciplinary research have combined in-depth theoretical analysis and the fruits of practical, real-world experience.