REL-D 375: Robots, Androids, Apocalyptic AI

REL-D 375

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Course Description

This course focuses on fictional narratives of cyborgs, sentient machines, and engineered humans as speculative fiction. It explores such issues as what it means to be human, the nature of consciousness, and the prospect of augmenting our bodies through technology. These issues are directly relevant to concerns at the heart of both anthropology and religious studies, not to mention fields such as robotics and computational neuroscience.

Specific questions will include: How would sentient beings created by humans differ from humans who are born naturally? Can we draw a clear line between a human and a machine? What kind of rights and responsibilities would conscious machines have in our society? What might be the benefits and dangers of creating conscious machines?