Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality, and to see the links to virtual rooms.

Accepted Paper:

Are Robots Haunted by Electric Ghosts? Artificial Intelligence and the Technological Construction of Life After Death  
Leo Ruickbie (University of Northampton)

Paper short abstract:

Technology can already bring back the appearance of the dead, but as machine learning and quantum computing push the boundaries of the possible, will Web 3.0 create Heaven 2.0? This paper will explore the emerging technologies of resurrection and their implications for human and non-human society.

Paper long abstract:

Even after death, our digital selves continue – in email accounts, in social media profiles, in blogs and websites – virtual ‘ghosts of place’ (Bell, 1997; recently documented by Pozzi, 2021). The machine world is already haunted. However, these shadows of our digital lives are unintended consequences of living in the modern world, what happens when they become intentional, what happens when technology deliberately tries to bring the dead back to life, or even invent an afterlife? What happens when the metaphor of Derridean ‘hauntology’ becomes literal?

Deceased singers Freddie Mercury and Tupac Shakur have appeared on stage to perform once more, and the late Carrie Fisher has been re-assembled out of unused footage and CGI for The Rise of Skywalker. Microsoft has already patented software that can bring the dead back as chatbots. Technology is creating new Frankenstein’s monsters, this time made from memories, recordings and digital manipulations to be given the spark of (after)life by AI.

The digital return of the dead has begun, unregulated by legal frameworks and motivated by the interests of consumer capitalism, prioritising entertainment over spirituality. But how will it develop? Could a religious leader be brought back in a virtual Second Coming? What are the messianic implications of a digital Resurrection? Will we see a heavenly metaverse develop complete with angels, powers and dominions – a Web 3.0 version of Heaven 2.0? How will religion and spirituality adapt to the possibilities of AI? And what will it mean for the AI entities themselves?

Panel P07b
Travelling to Other Worlds and Altered States of Consciousness: Human-Artificial relational interactions and living worlds in the Age of Aquarius
  Session 1 Wednesday 8 June, 2022, -