Know thyself and beyond™, A postphenomenological mediational analysis of transhuman AI and the self 

May 29 @ 18:00 20:00 EEST

We continue the third Technosemiotics seminar with Jared Smith.

Know thyself and beyond™: A postphenomenological mediational analysis of transhuman AI and the self

Avenues for metaphysical revelations about the self have revolved around God, or even the subject itself in western history. Now, recent developments in artificial intelligence have provided a new avenue for manifesting new understandings. With data tracking and smart algorithms, it is entirely possible for a system to be able to accurately predict one’s preferences and values, even better than close friends, family, partners, or even the individual themselves. Such a landmark in individual and collective understanding stands as an opportunity to use technology to further benefit humanity in our Lifeworld, as self-knowledge can be one such way of improving one’s livelihood. The mediative role this artificial intelligence plays between the individual and their own self-understanding houses a metaphysical dimensional paradox, however. The reality manifested by it both reveals and conceals. This presentation will be exploring this paradoxical phenomenon in order to highlight the potential benefits and acknowledge the deeper risks involved in the mediational experience taking place between the user and artifact, using postphenomenology as the analytical framework, and juxtaposing the conclusion with transhumanism – the growing philosophy driving many current technological developments toward the “posthuman.”

Jared is a PhD student in Virginia Tech’s Science and Technology Studies program with a focus in the philosophy of technology, investigating the metaphysical and ontological challenges of current and future developments.

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