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Introduction: Preparing for a “Transhuman” Future

  • Peter BloomEmail author
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Abstract

This chapter will introduce the main theme of the book—how can humans prepare today for a “transhuman” tomorrow. In particular one where we share the world with a range of new and emerging forms of “smart consciousness”. Questions will be asked such as whether existing perspectives on human relations are sufficient for a coming age where “the internet of everything” is a daily and global reality. Will robots have “human rights”? Will individuals apply for the same jobs as a “conscious” automated employee? Can humans and A.I. learn from each other to create new forms of knowledge and social relations?

The chapter will begin by highlighting the imminent emergence of a “smart world” and what this means. It will then explore the fears and hopes these changes will bring—ranging from dystopian visions of a robot controlled future to utopian hopes of a technologically enlightened society. Following this critical discussion, it will focus on the almost complete lack of thinking (either from academics or policy makers) surrounding the concrete cultural norms, ethical concerns, laws and public administration required to make this an empowering rather than disempowering shift. It will conclude by highlighting the need for humans to fundamentally evolve their thinking, practices and physical existence to meet the challenges and opportunities of this new “smart” revolution.

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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of EssexColchesterUK

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