The Human Version 2.0: AI, Humanoids, and Immortality
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionSocial Analysis: The International Journal of Anthropology. 2021, 65 (1), 70-88. 10.3167/sa.2021.650104
This article investigates new ethnography on AI development relating to imaginaries of technoscientific forms of immortality. As a Think Piece in Analytics, it engages in a somewhat experimental comparative endeavor as I set concepts from the ethnographic field of transhumanism in a comparative relation to concepts developed in the anthropological theory of Christianity, mainly Dumont's concept of the ‘individual-in-the-world’. I argue that through such a comparison we can understand recently developed ideas about the (technologically) immortal human being in a new light. The article points to how technoscientific immortality echoes core cultural themes, but it also considers a major difference in the perception of the social. When death is made redundant, the question of how sociality is reproduced moves center stage.