(Session led by Yvonne Jones on 19th June 2020)
In light of previous sessions, I was keen to focus on the junction between empathy identified as a human phenomenon and the possibility of empathy being noted in androids and the implications of this.
Texts for the discussion can be found here. To see the wide range of areas that arose see Yonat’s summary.
The fictional situation in Blade Runner gave rise to discussing different angles of empathy and how it sits with issues of androids and the era of the posthuman. We considered the fundamental human attributes, of feelings, emotions and the imagination in relation to androids and to notions of the posthuman.
A shift in humanity could go unseen, one to being more adherent to timetables and data, a shift away from the fundamentals of gifting, empathy and caring, that have been discussed in our sessions, a move away from feelings. Luisa put forward that the Covid Hibernation period gave the opportunity to reflect and that this offered her the realization that we were indeed becoming posthuman in the respect of less human towards fellow humans. I have long considered this to be happening and that there is the opportunity to develop a different posthuman future that is not android focused, NOT less caring, less feeling or less human, one that is develops the posthuman subject, using distributed cognition so important to the Roboticists, in a different way, to enhance our world, to overcome inequality and poverty.
My hope to bring the human-machine relationship and the posthuman discussion into the wider public, in order that we can choose our future rather than be walked blindly into a future we would not want, took one step forward today, during this session.
posted by Yvonne