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Death, the Concept —with Eileen Murphy, MD

August 1 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

My presentation is on the concept death and the various ways Western philosophers, artists and, more recently, AI researchers have explored it. The idea of death has been trending. Many people are convinced that with the inevitable merging of humans with Artificial Intelligence, a superhuman creature who is deathless will come to be. No more death! This shocking possibility is muted about due largely to Ray Kurzweil who wrote an influential book, The Singularity Is Near, in 2005. He is a notable futurist and principal AI researcher at Google. In his book he predicted that within 50 years the “human-machine” creature would be sufficiently advanced to overcome death. His recent predictions of the stages leading to the goal have been highly accurate. Is this desirable? In literature, opera and other arts the answer has often been “NO!” But it was never more than a mind-experiment. Now it seems to be a tangible possibility.

In the lead-up to discussion, I will start with Socrates, the Stoics, the Existentialists with emphasis on Heidegger… and then sketch the progress on creating, in Kurzweil’s words, a “human-machine” chimera.


August 1
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm