Transhumanist Predictions and the Human Predicament

2:30pm-4:30pm, Saturday, March 10th, 2018

Future Event

The rapid development of technology in the modern era has inspired a movement known as transhumanism. Envisioned is a near future in which human bodies and minds will be transformed and enhanced through genomics, pharmaceuticals, nanotechnology, robotics, artificial intelligence, and any number of prosthetic devices inside and outside our bodies. Advocates also hold out the possibilities of radical life extension through rejuvenation technologies or alternately reincarnating individuals inside of computers. The proponents of transhumanism argue that the exponential growth in scientific knowledge and know-how is leading humanity to a “Singularity” sometime in the mid 21st century. In that Singularity, our technologies will cross a threshold. We will become post- or trans-humans. Required is a transdisciplinary conversation to explore the scientific possibilities and the cultural implications of this brave new world.

Image credit to artist Erica Vinskie.

Participants:

William Grassie is an interdisciplinary scholar, academic entrepreneur, social activist, and author. Grassie received a B.A. in political science from Middlebury College and then worked for ten years on nuclear disarmament, citizen diplomacy, community organizing, and sustainability issues in Washington, D.C, Jerusalem, Philadelphia, and West Berlin. He completed a Ph.D. in Religion from Temple University, where… read more »

Stephen Post

Director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics, Stony Brook University School of Medicine

Stephen G. Post, Ph.D. has taught at the University of Chicago Medical School, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine (1988-2008), and Stony Brook University School of Medicine (2008-), where he is Director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics. He is an elected member of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia,… read more »

Francesca Rossi

Research Scientist, IBM T.J. Watson Research Centre
Professor of Computer Science, University of Padova

Francesca Rossi is a research scientist at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Centre, and an professor of computer science at the University of Padova, Italy, currently on leave. Her research interests focus on artificial intelligence, specifically they include constraint reasoning, preferences, multi-agent systems, computational social choice, and collective decision making. She is also interested in ethical issues in the… read more »

Hava Tirosh-Samuelson

Regents’ Professor, Irving and Miriam Lowe Professor of Modern Judaism, Director of Jewish Studies, and Professor of History, Arizona State University

Professor Hava Tirosh-Samuelson (Ph.D. Hebrew University, 1978) is Regents’ Professor, Irving and Miriam Lowe Professor of Modern Judaism, Director of Jewish Studies, and Professor of History at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ. Her research focuses on Jewish intellectual history, religion and science, and religious environmentalism. In addition to over 50 essays, she is the… read more »

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