Human, robot, alien: the universal succession and transformation of terrestrial life

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Session Title:

  • Posthumanism I

Presentation Title:

  • Human, robot, alien: the universal succession and transformation of terrestrial life

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Abstract:

  • Abstract

    Drawing from examples in science, art, technology, architecture and space exploration this paper proposes that the successors of humans may not be post humans or robots, but will instead be more akin to bacteria or synthetic forms of biology. Our role in the larger scheme of things may be simply to act in the capacity of midwives to facilitate the evolution of our more robust and sophisticated successors. Cross-disciplinary collaborations are now taking place that fundamentally challenge our anthropocentric evolutionary aspirations.

    Hans Moravec proposed that our successors would be silicon biology, or robots, that would colonize the universe in our stead, rendering humans a transitional stage in evolution rather than as a definitive tertiary species.

    Developments within the field of chembiogenesis suggest that the creation of artificial life forms within the laboratory is not only feasible within the next ten years according to Mark Bedau of Proto Life, based in Venice Italy, but marks the beginning of an age of synthetic organisms whose existence will be at first fragile but gradually, with human nurturing, will become self sustaining and independent from us.

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