Next Nature

Getting rid of that bit of unspoiled green

There it is. A hefty hen, with its head up high and its beak out. And a gigantic VR headset over its beady little eyes. What does this battery hen see? ‘An experience of a free life’, according to American designer Austin Stewart. Second Livestock – shown last year at the ‘Robotic Wilderness’ exhibition of the Transnatural collective – is uncomfortable to watch, but it does uncover accurately the relationship we currently have with nature. Because no, this is not an image that we associate with nature. When we think of nature, we think of a hen freely scratching around a bit of bright and unspoiled green. Not of a battery hen, let alone with a VR headset.

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Wild Systems

The return of direct democracy: Introducing a digital agora to the crypto-world

In Ancient Greece the people were part of a direct-democracy, this means that they would directly vote for policies and laws. Nowadays, it seems as though this horizontal approach to governance of a community is desired again: The crypto world has developed a specific platform to enable direct democracies to their users; the Decentralized Autonomous Organisations (DAO’s). What could these DAO’s mean for the ECO Coin? May these revive the ancient buzzing agora, this time in the digital sphere?

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Image Consumption

This Twitterbot imagines the Fanta flavors that will fuel your summer

Today, artificial intelligence is doing all kinds of things: It can write an episode of game of thrones, it may revolutionize the teaching industry, and it’s drawing new streets from its artificial memory. Now, it’s imagining Fanta flavors. In our media-saturated society, it can be hard to see things for what they really are. Welcome to the world of Image Consumption.

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Reprodutopia

How will the artificial womb affect society?

Where contraceptives such as the pill disconnect sex from reproduction, in vitro fertilisation disconnects contraception from sex, and the artificial womb would disconnect the body from pregnancy and childbirth. As scientists are getting closer to enabling this technology, the question becomes relevant: How will reproductive technologies, such as artificial wombs, change our ideas about intimacy, gender equality, relationships and human nature? Next Nature Network led the workshop supporting open discussion on this thought provoking topic.

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Human Planet

Space Tourism: Your next vacation destination might not be on Earth

Back in the mid-twentieth century, before the first moon landing, people had all sorts of ideas about the golden age of space travel in front of them. Colonize the moon! Fly astronauts to Mars! Take a holiday in space! Decades later, reality still hasn’t lived up to any of these sci-fi visions. But at last, several ambitious projects are bringing one of them closer to reality: space tourism might not be a fantasy for much longer.

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Intimate Technology

Why human enhancement requires technological citizenship

New technologies – from artificial intelligence to synthetic biology – are set to alter the world, the human condition, and our very being in ways that are hard to imagine. The discussion of these developments limits itself as a rule to individual values. But it is also crucial to talk about the collective human values that we wish to guarantee in our intimate technological society. That brings an important political question is at the table. How to develop and implement human enhancement technologies in a socially responsible way?

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