Human Enhancement, Artificial Intelligence and Social Theory
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This volume engages with posthumanist and transhumanist approaches to present an original exploration of the question of how humankind will fare in the face of artificial intelligence. With emerging technologies now widely assumed to be calling into question assumptions about human beings and their place within the world, and computational innovations of machine learning leading some to claim we are coming ever closer to the long-sought artificial general intelligence, it defends humanity with the argument that technological ‘advances’ introduced artificially into some humans do not annul their fundamental human qualities. Against the challenge presented by the possibility that advanced artificial intelligence will be fully capable of original thinking, creative self-development and moral judgement, and therefore have claims to legal rights, the authors advance a form of ‘essentialism’ that justifies providing a ‘decent minimum life’ for all persons. As such, while the future of the human is in question, the authors show how dispensing with either the category itself or the underlying reality, is a less plausible solution than is often assumed.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Conceptualising Posthuman Futures
Mark Carrigan and Douglas V. Porpora
1. Being Human (or What?) in the Digital Matrix Land: The Construction of the Humanted
2. Being Human as an Option: How to Rescue Personal Ontology from Trans-Humanism, and (Above All) Why Bother
Andrea M. Maccarini
3. Perplexity Logs: On the Social Consequences of Seeking Advice from an Artificial Intelligence
4. Artificial Intelligence and the Challenge of Social Care in Aging Societies: Who or What Will Care for Us in the Future?
5. Why Should Enhanced and Unenhanced Humans Care for Each Other?
Ismael Al-Amoudi and Gazi Islam
6. Can Humans and A.I. Robots be Friends?
Margaret S. Archer
7. Humanity’s End: Where Will We Be in a Million Years?
Douglas V. Porpora
Mark Carrigan is Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge, UK.
Douglas V. Porpora is Professor of Sociology in the Department of Communication at Drexel University, USA.