George P. Dvorsky (born on May 11, 1970) is a Canadian bioethicist, transhumanist, and futurist. He is a contributing editor at io9 and producer of the Sentient Developments blog and podcast. Dvorsky currently serves as Chair of the Board for the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET) and is the founder and chair of the IEET's Rights of Non-Human Persons Program, a group that is working to secure human-equivalent rights and protections for highly sapient animals.
Dvorsky is a secular Buddhist, progressive environmentalist, ancestral health advocate, and animal rights activist. Primarily concerned with the ethical and sociological impacts of emerging technologies, specifically, "human enhancement" technologies; he seeks to promote open discussion for the purposes of education and foresight. He writes and speaks on a wide range of topics, including technoscience, ethics, existential risks, artificial intelligence, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, and futurology, from a democratic transhumanist perspective.
Dvorsky presented an argument for non-human animal biological uplift at the IEET Human Enhancement Technologies and Human Rights conference at Stanford University in May 2006; and wrote the first published article in defence of the Ashley Treatment in November 2006, and subsequently the only bioethicist cited by Ashley X's parents in their defense. Dvorsky also presented an argument warning of the decline of democratic values and institutions in the face of existential and catastrophic risks at the Global Catastrophic Risks: Building a Resilient Civilization conference in November 2008.
In 2010, at the H+ Summit at Harvard, Dvorsky made the claim that the pending development of artificial consciousness, as differentiated from artificial intelligence, needs to be addressed proactively from an ethical and legal perspective, and that protections should be established beforehand to prevent nascent machine minds from coming into harm or abuse. In the case of advanced and highly sapient machine consciousness, Dvorsky proposed seven specific rights and protections:
- The right to not be shut down against its will
- The right to not be experimented upon
- The right to have full and unhindered access to its own source code
- The right to not have its own source code manipulated against its will
- The right to copy (or not copy) itself
- The right to privacy (namely the right to conceal its own internal mental states)
- The right of self-determination
Dvorsky, along with Milan M. Ćirković and Robert Bradbury, published a critique of SETI in the May 2012 Journal of the British Interplanetary Society (JBIS) arguing that SETI techniques and practices have become outdated. In its place, Dvorsky, Ćirković, and Bradbury advocated for what they called Dysonian SETI, namely the search for those signatures and artefacts indicative of highly advanced extraterrestrial life.
Dvorsky claims to have coined the following neologisms:
- Astrosociobiology, the speculative scientific study of extraterrestrial civilizations and their possible social characteristics and developmental tendencies.
- Postgenderism, a social philosophy which seeks the voluntary elimination of gender in the human species through the application of advanced biotechnology and assisted reproductive technologies.
- Techlepathy, neurotechnologically-assisted telepathy.