This talk by Teresa Heffernan considers the far reaches of the multi-billion-dollar immortality industry and the money and power behind the scenes that fuels this fantasy science even as the planet teeters on the brink of collapse. After examining some contemporary fictions that challenge big tech and its paradoxical escalation of the end of all life even as it hankers after life without death in its relentless focus on a future that is always “future,” this talk then turns to archaeology and the future’s archaic longings.Read more “AI, the Immortality Industry, and the Ethics of Death”
–Journalist Eric Benson’s week-long experience
As Teresa Heffernan noted here last week, at the Silicon Valley-based Singularity University, “faith in technology and profit are unwavering, while the world’s problems are understood as great ‘market’ opportunities.” In March 2013, journalist Eric Benson took a weeklong $12,000 course in the Executive Program at the university. Not only was he instructed in the “nearly limitless potential of artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, and bioinformatics,” he learned that science fiction, religion and the drive to get rich motivate the university’s teachers and students. Benson’s insightful analysis of his experience, “Sci-Fi, Religion, And Silicon Valley’s Quest For Higher Learning At Singularity University” is posted at BuzzFeed.
Feature image source: Eric Benson/Buzzfeed.