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Genesis ReduxEssays in the History and Philosophy of Artificial Life$
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Jessica Riskin

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780226720807

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226720838.001.0001

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Techno-Humanism: Requiem for the Cyborg

Techno-Humanism: Requiem for the Cyborg

(p.196) 10 Techno-Humanism: Requiem for the Cyborg
Genesis Redux

Timothy Lenoir

University of Chicago Press

This chapter, which investigates how “the digital and the real” have been fused in recent developments in artificial intelligence, presents an example in the field of evolutionary robotics, in which researchers apply models of biological evolution to the development of technical systems. Cyborgs are simultaneously entities and metaphors, living beings and narrative constructions. Cybernetics was envisioned by scientists and engineers as a way to maximize human potential in a chaotic and unpredictable postwar world. The computer-driven alternate reality The Beast produced was make-believe, but every aspect of the player's experience was, phenomenologically speaking, real. The examples of The Beast, Wikipedia, and OhmyNews provide hopeful signs for the development of what is called “techno-humanism.” The cyborg has performed yeoman's service for science studies.

Keywords:   techno-humanism, artificial intelligence, evolutionary robotics, cyborgs, cybernetics, Beast, Wikipedia, OhmyNews

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