Debate A transhumanist revolution: Between utopia and apocalypse

30.05.2016

A transhumanist revolution is no longer the domain of eccentric visionaries from the Silicon Valley – it is already in progress. It was introduced into mainstream literature by Michel Houllebecq, developed by Peter Sloterdijk, and most recently it has become an area of interest for the French conservative philosopher Luc Ferry. Technologies augmenting the human mind – computers, digital communication networks, artificial intelligence, robotics – are developing at an increasing pace, and the change is occurring in a geometric progression. What seemed to be impossible a decade ago, like driverless cars, is becoming commonplace today. Artificial intelligence systems are winning with people in areas that seemed to have been beyond the reach of machines. Anthropotechnologies such as pharmaceuticals or biocybernetic and genetic engineering are transforming people into cyborgs-hybrids. Are we about to reach the mythical point of Singularity as professed by many transhumanist visionaries? Are we about to discover immortality? Will culture survive in a transhumanist world? And what about the boredom of eternal life?

The discussion at TR Warsaw continued the reflection about subjects raised during the conference Interfaces, codes, symbols. The future of communication. The Warsaw annex was moderated by Aleksandra Przegalińska, the curator of the conference, and Edwin Bendyk, the curator of the City of the Future / Laboratory Wrocław programme. Their guests included Ana Brzezińska, a director, producer and author of reportages, and Tomasz Stawiszyński, a philosopher and columnist for Newsweek and Krytyka Polityczna.