Future Studies Nick Bostrom is the Director of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University
   
  I try to think about the future in a different way than that traditionally associated with "future studies". I don't know how to describe what is different about my approach; I can only illustrate it by presenting you with some of my papers.
How Unlikely is a Doomsday Catastrophe?
Examines the risk from physics experiments and natural events to the local fabric of spacetime. Argues that the Brookhaven report overlooks an observation selection effect. Shows how this limitation can be overcome by using data on planet formation rates. [With Max Tegmark] [expanded version of original in Nature, 2005, 438, 754] [pdf]
 
 
Technological Revolutions: Ethics and Policy in the Dark
Technological revolutions are among the most important things that happen to humanity. This paper discusses some of the ethical and policy issues raised by anticipated technological revolutions, such as nanotechnology. [Nanotechnology and Society, eds. Nigel M. de S. Cameron and M. Ellen Mitchell (John Wiley), 2007] [pdf]
The Future of Human Evolution
This paper explores some dystopian scenarios where freewheeling evolutionary developments, while continuing to produce complex and intelligent forms of organization, lead to the gradual elimination of all forms of being worth caring about. We then discuss how such outcomes could be avoided and argue that under certain conditions the only possible remedy would be a globally coordinated effort to control human evolution by adopting social policies that modify the default fitness function of future life forms. [In Death and Anti-Death, ed. Charles Tandy (Ria University Press, 2005)] [pdf | html]
 
 
Anthropic Bias: Observation Selection Effects in Science and Philosophy
Failure to consider observation selection effects result in a kind of bias that infest many branches of science and philosophy. This book presented the first mathematical theory for how to correct for these biases.
Existential Risks: Analyzing Human Extinction Scenarios and Related Hazards
Existential risks are ways in which we could screw up badly and permanently. Remarkably, relatively little serious work has been done in this important area. The point, of course, is not to welter in doom and gloom but to better understand where the biggest dangers are so that we can develop strategies for reducing them. [Journal of Evolution and Technology, 2002, vol. 9] [html | pdf]
 
  Astronomical Waste: The Opportunity Cost of Delayed Technological Development Suns are illuminating and heating empty rooms, unused energy is being flushed down black holes, and our great common endowment of negentropy is being irreversibly degraded into entropy on a cosmic scale. These are resources that an advanced civilization could have used to create value-structures, such as sentient beings living worthwhile lives... [Utilitas, 2003, Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 308-314] [html | pdf]
Ethical Issues In Advanced Artificial Intelligence
Some cursory notes; not very in-depth. [Cognitive, Emotive and Ethical Aspects of Decision Making in Humans and in Artificial Intelligence, Vol. 2, ed. I. Smit et al., Int. Institute of Advanced Studies in Systems Research and Cybernetics, 2003, pp. 12-17] [html | pdf]
 
 
Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?
This paper argues that at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching the posthuman stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run significant number of simulations or (variations) of their evolutionary history; (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. It follows that the na´ve transhumanist dogma that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation. A number of other consequences of this result are also discussed. [Preprint, Philosophical Quarterly, 2003, Vol. 53, No. 211, pp. 243-255] [pdf | html] Also with a Reply to Brian Weatherson's comments [Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 55, No. 218, pp. 90-97.]