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217th IdS: When Science Meets Fiction - Intelligent Agents in SF Narratives as Paradigm for Human Enhancement

217th IdS: When Science Meets Fiction - Intelligent Agents in SF Narratives as Paradigm for Human Enhancement

WHO: Jelena Guga
WHEN: October 13, 17:00
WHERE: lecture room UV 115, building FAV/FST ZCU, Univerzitní 22, Borská pole
Map: Mapy.cz or Google Maps
DOWNLOAD: A3 poster

The emerging technological developments across various scientific fields have brought about radical changes in the ways we perceive and define what it means to be human in today’s highly technologically oriented society. Advancements in robotics, AI research, molecular biology, genetic engineering, nanotechnology, medicine, etc., are still mostly in experimental phase, but they are gradually becoming a part of our daily experience. Given that human enhancement and emergence of autonomous artificial beings have long been a part of futures imagined in science fiction, these narratives can serve as a fruitful ground for analyzing ethical, moral, social, legal, and pragmatic issues the ubiquitous use of human enhancing devices may bring about. While focusing on the phenomenon of cyborg as a product of both social reality and fiction, the talk will offer a kind of hybrid perspective on selected SF narratives by treating them not only as fiction, but as theory of the future as well. Furthermore, selected examples of existing real-life cyborgs emerging from scientific and artistic experiments will show that SF narratives are not merely limited to the scope of imagination but that they are a constituent part of lived experience, thus blurring the boundaries between reality and fiction.


Jelena GugaJelena Guga, Ph.D., is a postdoc researcher at the Department of Interdisciplinary Activities – NTC, University of West Bohemia in Pilsen. She holds a Ph.D. degree in Theory of Art and New Media from the University of Arts in Belgrade, Serbia. Her work largely focuses on the ways new media technologies have rearticulated and redefined the notions of identity and embodiment in the age of constant connection and technological augmentation. She has participated in a number of international conferences and her published work includes journal and magazine essays, conference proceedings papers, and book chapters in edited volumes. Her forthcoming book is called Digital Self: How We Became Binary.