ESA Fellow, Dr. Ina Bendis

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Ina Karen Bendis, PhD, MD, MS, JD, and Clinical Professor of Medicine (Emeritus) at Stanford University School of Medicine, is a Fellow of the ESA Society and the United Sigma Intelligence Association.

Dr. Bendis earned a B.S. in biochemistry and ecology/evolution at Cornell University; a Ph.D. in molecular biology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University; an MS at Stanford University Graduate School of Business, a J.D. at Concord Law School (now known as Concord Law School of Purdue University); and an M.D. at School of University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Medical School; she had post-doctoral research training in biochemistry at Yeshiva University and post-graduate medical training in Internal Medicine and Pulmonary Diseases at Stanford University Medical Center.

Dr. Bendis was twice elected to serve her community as a Schools Trustee on the governing board of the Santa Clara Unified School District from 2006 to 2014, and has served on the Governing Board (“ExCom or Executive Committee”) of the Triple Nine Society since 2011. Previously she served on the Advisory Board of The Anasazi Foundation and on the Scientific Advisory Board at The Gorilla Foundation.

ESA Fellow, Dr. Aubrey de Grey

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Dr. Aubrey de Grey is an Honorary and Advisory Biomedical Gerontologist, and ESA Fellow of the United Sigma Intelligence Association.

Dr. Aubrey de Grey is a biomedical gerontologist based in Cambridge, UK and Mountain View, California, USA, and is the Chief Science Officer of SENS Research Foundation, a California-based 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to combating the aging process. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Rejuvenation Research, the world highest-impact peer-reviewed journal focused on intervention in aging.

He received his BA and Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 1985 and 2000 respectively.

His original field was computer science, and he did research in the private sector for six years in the area of software verification before switching to biogerontology in the mid-1990s. His research interests encompass the characterization of all the accumulating and eventually pathogenic molecular and cellular side-effects of metabolism that constitute mammalian aging and the design of interventions to repair and/or obviate that damage. He has developed a possibly comprehensive plan for such repair, termed Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS), which breaks aging down into seven major classes of damage and identifies detailed approaches to addressing each one. A key aspect of SENS is that it can potentially extend healthy lifespan without limit, even though these repair processes will probably never be perfect, as the repair only needs to approach perfection rapidly enough to keep the overall level of damage below pathogenic levels. Dr. de Grey has termed this required rate of improvement of repair therapies longevity escape velocity.

Dr. de Grey is a Fellow of both the Gerontological Society of America and the American Aging Association, and sits on the editorial and scientific advisory boards of numerous journals and organizations.

“Our goals could be described in terms of science and also in terms of community. In terms of science, the goals are clearly to pursue the development of medicines that would turn back the clock of aging, to actually develop medicines that will genuinely rejuvenate the body by restoring the molecular and cellular structure and composition of the body to something like how it is in early adulthood. However, I never felt that this was something that SENS Research Foundation or any organization that I would be leading would do on its own. We are the pioneers; we are the engine room of all of this. The credibility of the overall goal has become increasingly clear, and more and more people are getting involved. And that might cause SRF to grow but it also causes other organizations and other individuals to come along into the mission and get involved in their own ways including in the private sector. Even at the start, I used to say that my basic goal was to become unnecessary.”

*Reference from SENS Research Foundation, and Singularity University.

USIA Senior Neuropsychologist & Senior Editor, Dr. Gina Langan

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Dr. Gina Langan is the Senior Neuropsychologist, Senior Editor, and ESA Fellow of the United Sigma Intelligence Association.

Dr. Langan earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology with a minor in Biopsychology at Wayne State University. She did her post-doctoral residency in Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology through Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Langan is the Executive Director of the Mega Foundation, a nonprofit organization for gifted adults. In addition to research, teaching, and consulting, Dr. Langan and her husband own a horse ranch in the Green Hills of Missouri.

To reach Dr. Langan or the Mega Foundation, please email info@megacenter.org

USIA Executive Vice-President, Mr. Christopher Langan

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Mr. Christopher Michael Langan is the Executive Vice-President and ESA Fellow of the United Sigma Intelligence Association.

Christopher Michael Langan is a noted independent researcher and reality theorist whose extraordinary intellect has not prevented him from living a rough, unsheltered, and exciting life. He is best known for his groundbreaking theory of reality, the Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe (CTMU). The CTMU is a reflexive, tautological, and profoundly self-contained intrinsic language through which reality exists and evolves by “talking to itself about itself”, thus serving as its own theory, universe, and model. Combining physics, metaphysics, and biology in a tight, elegant, and unique logico-semiotic structure called the Metaformal System, the CTMU provides a long-sought bridge between mind and matter, science and spirituality, and the internal and external aspects of human and cosmic existence.

Challenged from early childhood by extreme poverty and inadequate schooling, Chris learned young to value brawn as highly as brains. After working as a cowboy, firefighter, construction worker, and bar bouncer in various nightclubs throughout the New York metropolitan area, he came to the attention of the media in 1999 for combining one of the world’s highest IQs with limited formal education and a bare-knuckle lifestyle. Having conducted original investigations infields including logic, mathematics, physics, cosmology, biology, philosophy, language theory, theology, economics, and the cognitive sciences, he has contributed articles on such topics to a number of scholarly journals and alternative intellectual periodicals. Some of these have been collected into books, starting with The Art of Knowing in 2002. In 2017, he began publishing a series of papers that have changed the landscape of science and philosophy. The most recent, Introduction to Quantum Metamechanics, is currently in press.

Chris is the co-founder and president of a non-profit organization, the Mega Foundation, which was established to offer aid, support and camaraderie to the “severely gifted,” a small and neglected population with whose plight he is intimately acquainted. He has carried on his work in the high IQ community through various organizations including the Mega Foundation, Mega International, and the Ultranet, which place emphasis on not just measured intelligence, but moral integrity and creative achievement.

CTMU Website: www.ctmu.org
CTMU Patreon: www.patreon.com/CTMU

ESA Fellow, Prof. Duncan Pritchard FRSE

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Professor Duncan Pritchard FRSE is an Honorary and Advisory Philosopher, and ESA Fellow of United Sigma Intelligence Association.

Professor Pritchard is a Chair in Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh, UK, and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Irvine, US. Professor Pritchard’s research is mainly in the area of Epistemology; Skepticism; Wittgenstein; Philosophy of Cognitive Science; Philosophy of Religion; Philosophy of Education; Philosophy of Law. In 2007 he was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize, and In 2011 he was elected to a Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, UK.

Publications

MONOGRAPHS

• Scepticism (with A. Coliva), (Routledge, under contract).
• Scepticism: A Very Short Introduction, (Oxford UP, 2019).
• Epistemic Angst: Radical Skepticism and the Groundlessness of Our Believing, (Princeton UP, 2015).
• Epistemological Disjunctivism, (Oxford UP, h/bk 2012; p/bk 2014).
• The Nature and Value of Knowledge: Three Investigations, (with A. Haddock & A. Millar), (Oxford UP, h/bk 2010; p/bk 2012).
• Epistemic Luck, (Oxford UP, h/bk 2005; p/bk 2007).

TEXTBOOKS

• What is This Thing Called Knowledge?, (Routledge, 1st ed. 2006; 2nd ed. 2009; 3rd ed. 2013; 4th ed. 2018). [Translated into Arabic & Japanese].
• Philosophy, Science and Religion for Everyone (with M. Harris), (Routledge, 2017).
• Epistemology, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).
• What is This Thing Called Philosophy?, (Routledge, 2015).
• Philosophy for Everyone (with M. Chrisman), (Routledge, 2013; 2nd ed. 2016). [Translated into Chinese, Turkish, Portuguese & Spanish].
• Knowledge, (Palgrave Macmillan, 1st ed. 2009; 2nd ed. 2016).
• Epistemology A-Z (with M. Blaauw), (Edinburgh UP/Palgrave Macmillan, 2005).

SERIES EDITORSHIPS

• Brill Studies on Skepticism (with D. Machuca), (Brill, from 2013).
• Palgrave Innovations in Philosophy (with V. F. Hendricks), (Palgrave Macmillan, from 2012).
• New Waves in Philosophy (with V. F. Hendricks), (Palgrave Macmillan, from 2007).

JOURNAL EDITORSHIPS

• Oxford Bibliographies: Philosophy, (Oxford UP, from 2010).
• International Journal for the Study of Skepticism (with D. Machuca), (Brill, from 2011).

EDITED VOLUMES

• New Issues in Epistemological Disjunctivism, (with C. Doyle & J. Milburn), (Routledge, 2019).
• Extended Epistemology, (with A. Clark, J. A. Carter, J. Kallestrup & O. Palermos), (Oxford UP, 2018).
• Socially Extended Epistemology, (with A. Clark, J. A. Carter, J. Kallestrup & O. Palermos), (Oxford UP, 2018).
• The Philosophy of Luck (with L. Whittington), (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015).
• Social Epistemology: Five Questions, (with V. F. Hendricks), (Automatic Press, 2015).
• The Routledge Companion to Epistemology (with S. Bernecker), (Routledge, 2010).
• Social Epistemology (with A. Haddock & A. Millar), (Oxford UP, 2010).
• Epistemic Value (with A. Haddock & A. Millar), (Oxford UP, 2009).
• Williamson on Knowledge (with P. Greenough), (Oxford UP, 2009).
• Arguing About Knowledge (with R. Neta), (Routledge, 2008).
• Epistemology: Five Questions (with V. F. Hendricks), (Automatic Press, 2008).
• New Waves in Epistemology (with V. F. Hendricks), (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).
• Moral and Epistemic Virtue (with M. S. Brady), (Blackwell, 2003).

*Reference from Faculty Information of University of Edinburgh(UK), and University of California, Irvine(US).

ESA Fellow, Prof. Graham Priest

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Professor Graham Priest is an Honorary and Advisory Philosopher, and ESA Fellow of the United Sigma Intelligence Association. He is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, and Boyce Gibson Professor Emeritus at the University of Melbourne.

Prof. Priest is known for his work on non-classical logic(dialetheism), metaphysics, the history of philosophy, and Buddhist philosophy.  He has published over 300 articles—in nearly every major philosophy and logic journal—and seven books—mostly with Oxford University Press.

Graham Priest grew up as a working class kid in South London. He read mathematics and (and a little bit of of logic) at St. John’s College, University of Cambridge. He obtained his doctorate in mathematics at the London School of Economics.

By that time, he had come to the conclusion that philosophy was more fun than mathematics. So, luckily, he got his first job (in 1974) in a philosophy department, as a temporary lecturer in the Department of Logic and Metaphysics  at the University of St Andrews.

The first permanent job he was offered was at the University of Western Australia. He moved to Australia when he took up the position, and has spent most of his working life there.

After 12 years at the University of Western Australia, he moved to take up the chair of philosophy at the University of Queensland, and after 12 years there, he moved again to take up the Boyce Gibson Chair of Philosophy at Melbourne University, where he is now emeritus. While he was there, he was a Fellow of Ormond College.

During the Melbourne years, he was also an Arché Professorial Fellow at the University of St Andrews. He is a past president of the Australasian Association for Logic, and the Australasian Association of Philosophy, of which he was Chair of Council for 13 years.

He was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities in 1995, and awarded a Doctor of Letters by the University of Melbourne in 2002.

In 2009 he took up the position of Distinguished Professor at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, where he now lives and works.

Graham has published in nearly every leading logic and philosophy journal. At the last count, he had published about 240 papers. He has also published six monographs(mostly with Oxford University Press), as well as a number of edited collections.

Much of his work has been in logic, especially non-classical logic, and related areas. He is perhaps best known for his work on dialetheism, the view that  some contradictions are true. However, he has also published widely in many other areas, such as metaphysics, Buddhist philosophy, and the history of philosophy, both East and West.

Graham has travelled widely, lecturing and addressing conferences in every continent except Antarctica. For many years, he practiced karatedo. He is a third dan in Shobukai, and a fourth dan in Shitoryu (awarded by the head of style, Sensei Mabuni Kenei in Osaka, when he was training there). Before he left Australia he was an Australian National kumite referee and kata judge. Nowadays, he swims and practices taichi. He loves (good) opera, jazz, and 60s rock, and East Asian art.

*Reference from City University of New York and Prof. Priest’s website.

TSA Special Member, Bridget Ma

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Bridget Ma is Special Member of Three Sigma Associate Society, United Sigma Intelligence Association.

Bridget Ma is currently a 3rd year student at Dartmouth College majoring in Biological Sciences and minoring in Asian Societies, Culture, and Languages. At her college, she is active in molecular biology research studying high-risk genes for Autism Spectrum Disorder, in addition to being an aspiring User Interface/User Experience (UI/UX) designer.

© 2007-2019 USIA: United Sigma Intelligence Association

ESA Fellow, Prof. Henrik Lagerlund

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Professor Henrik Lagerlund is an honorary and advisory philosopher of the United Sigma Intelligence Association.

Prof. Lagerlund is Professor of Philosophy at Stockholm University, Sweden. He was previously Professor of Philosophy and Head of the Philosophy Department at the University of Western Ontario in Canada. He works on the history of philosophy; primarily on Medieval and Renaissance philosophy, but he has also written on Aristotle and Leibniz. Another interest is the philosophy of food. He is at the moment writing a history of skepticism for Routledge. His recent publications include:

Books:

(ed.) Causal Powers in Science: Blending Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, with Benjamin Hill and Stathis Psillos (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2018).

(ed.) The Philosophy of Knowledge: A History: Volume II: Knowledge in Medieval Philosophy (London: Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2018).

(ed.) The Routledge Companion to Sixteenth Century Philosophy, with Benjamin Hill (Routledge: New York, 2017)

Articles:

Food Ethics in the Middle Ages”, in Anne Barnhill, Tyler Doggett, and Mark Budolfson (eds.) Oxford Handbook to Food Ethics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018).

Divine Deception”, in Diego Machuca and Baron Reed (eds.) Skepticism: From Antiquity to the Present (London: Bloomsbury, 2018).

Trends in Logic and Logical Theory”, in Benjamin Hill and Henrik Lagerlund (eds.) The Routledge Companion to 16th Century Philosophy (New York: Routledge, 2017).

Buridan and Others on the Common Sense”, in Gyula Klima (ed.) Questions on the Soul by John Buridan and Others: A Companion to John Buridan’s Philosophy of Mind (Dordrecht: Springer, 2017).

Logic in the Latin Thirteenth Century”, in Caterina Duthil-Novaes and Stephen Read (eds.) The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Logic (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016).

*Reference from Faculty information, Stockholm University, Sweden

 

© 2007-2019 USIA: United Sigma Intelligence Association

ESA Fellow, Prof. Nick Bostrom

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Professor Nick Bostrom is Honorary and Advisory Philosopher of USIA: United Sigma Intelligence Association.

Prof. Nick Bostrom is Swedish-born philosopher and polymath with a background in theoretical physics, computational neuroscience, logic, and artificial intelligence, as well as philosophy. He is Professor at Oxford University, where he leads the Future of Humanity Institute as its founding director. (The FHI is a multidisciplinary university research center; it is also home to the Center for the Governance of Artificial Intelligence and to teams working on AI safety, biosecurity, macrostrategy, and various other technology or foundational questions.)

He is the author of some 200 publications, including Anthropic Bias (2002), Global Catastrophic Risks (2008), Human Enhancement (2009), and Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies (2014), a New York Times bestseller which helped spark a global conversation about artificial intelligence. Bostrom’s widely influential work, which traverses philosophy, science, ethics, and technology, has illuminated the links between our present actions and long-term global outcomes, thereby casting a new light on the human condition.

He is recipient of a Eugene R. Gannon Award, and has been listed on Foreign Policy’s Top 100 Global Thinkers list twice. He was included on Prospect’s World Thinkers list, the youngest person in the top 15. His writings have been translated into 28 languages, and there have been more than 100 translations and reprints of his works. He is a repeat TED speaker and has done more than 2,000 interviews with television, radio, and print media.

“My interests cut across many disciplines and may therefore at the surface appear somewhat scattered, but they all reflect a desire to figure out how to orient ourselves with respect to important values. I refer to this as “macrostrategy”: the study of how long-term outcomes for humanity may be connected to present-day actions. My research seeks to contribute to this by answering particular sub-questions or by developing conceptual tools that help us think about such questions more clearly.

A key part of the challenge is often to notice that a problem even exists — to find it, formulate it, and then make enough initial progress in understanding it to let us break it into more tractable components and research tasks. Much of my work (and that of the Future of Humanity Institute) operates in such a pre-paradigm environment. We tend to work on problems that the rest of academia ignores either because the problems are not yet recognized as important or because it is unclear how one could conceivably go about doing research on them; and we try to advance understanding of them to the point where it becomes possible for a larger intellectual community to engage with them productively. For example, a few years ago, AI alignment fell into this category: hardly anybody thought it was important, and it seemed like the kind of thing a science fiction author might write novels about but that there was no way to study scientifically. By now, it has emerged as a bona fide research field, with people writing code and equations and making incremental progress. Significant cognitive work was required to get to this point.

I have also originated or contributed to the development of ideas such as the simulation argument, existential risk, transhumanism, information hazards, superintelligence strategy, astronomical waste, crucial considerations, observation selection effects in cosmology and other contexts of self-locating belief, anthropic shadow, the unilateralist’s curse, the parliamentary model of decision-making under normative uncertainty, the notion of a singleton, the vulnerable world hypothesis, along with a number of analyses of future technological capabilities and concomitant ethical issues, risks, and opportunities.

Technology is a theme in much of my work (and that of the FHI) because it is plausible that the long-term outcomes for our civilization depend sensitively on how we handle the introduction of certain transformative capabilities. Machine intelligence, in particular, is a big focus. We also work on biotechnology (both for its human enhancement applications and because of biosecurity concerns), nanotechnology, surveillance technology, and a bunch of other potential developments that could alter fundamental parameters of the human condition.

There is a “why” beyond mere curiosity behind my interest in these questions, namely the hope that insight here may produce good effects. In terms of directing our efforts as a civilization, it would seem useful to have some notion of which direction is “up” and which is “down”—what we should promote and what we should discourage. Yet regarding macrostrategy, the situation is far from obvious. We really have very little clue which of the actions available to present-day agents would increase or decrease the expected value of the long-term future, let alone which ones would do so the most effectively. In fact, I believe it is likely that we are overlooking one or more crucial considerations: ideas or arguments that might plausibly reveal the need for not just some minor course adjustment in our endeavours but a major change of direction or priority. If we have overlooked even just one such crucial consideration, then all our best efforts might be for naught—or they might even be making things worse. Those seeking to make the world better should therefore take it as important to get to the bottom of these matters, or else to find some way of dealing wisely with our cluelessness if it is inescapable.

The FHI works closely with the effective altruism community (e.g., we share office space with the Center for Effective Altruism) as well as with AI leaders, philanthropic foundations, and other policymakers, scientists, and organizations to ensure that our research has impact. These communication efforts are sometimes complicated by information hazard concerns. Although many in the academic world take it as axiomatic that discovering and publishing truths is good, this assumption may be incorrect; certainly it may admit of exceptions. For instance, if the world is vulnerable in some way, it may or may not be desirable to describe the precise way it is so. I often feel like I’m frozen in an ice block of inhibition because of reflections of this sort. How much easier things would be if one could have had a guarantee that all one’s outputs would be either positive or neutral, and one could go full blast!”

*Reference from Prof. Nick Bostrom’s official homepage.

 

ESA Fellow, Prof. Susan Schneider

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Professor Susan Schneider, PhD is an Honorary and Advisory Philosopher, and ESA Fellow of the United Sigma Intelligence Association.

Prof. Schneider is a Professor at the University of Connecticut, and the NASA-Baruch Blumberg Chair at the Library of Congress and NASA. She is also the Director of the AI, Mind and Society Group at the University of Connecticut.

Schneider writes about the nature of the self and mind, especially from the vantage point of issues in philosophy, AI, cognitive science and astrobiology. Within philosophy, she has explored the computational nature of the brain in her academic book, The Language of Thought: a New Direction. More recently, she defended an anti-materialist position about the fundamental nature of mind. In her new book, Artificial You: AI and the Future of the Mind, she brings these topics together in an accessible way, discussing the philosophical implications of AI, and, in particular, the enterprise of “mind design.” Her work in philosophy of AI has now taken her to the Hill (Washington, DC), where she will meet with members of Congress on AI policy and organize educational events for Congress and staffers in conjunction with the Library of Congress on a range of topics, such as data privacy, algorithmic bias, technological unemployment, autonomous weapons, and more. Schneider appears frequently on television shows on stations such as PBS and The History Channel (see below for clips) as well as keynoting AI ethics conferences at places such as Harvard University and University of Cambridge. She also writes opinion pieces for the New York Times, Scientific American and The Financial Times. Her work has been widely discussed in the media, (see “media” above), at venues like The New York Times, Science, Big Think, Nautilus, Discover and Smithsonian.

 

© 2007-2019 USIA: United Sigma Intelligence Association