Teresa Heffernan, AI, the Immortality Industry, and the Ethics of Death (Ethics@Noon)

Ethics at Noon

AI, the Immortality Industry, and the Ethics of Death

This talk 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. One of the oldest and longest surviving stories in the world, The Epic of Gilgamesh, is about a tyrannical king who wants immortality. In failing in his quest, however, Gilgamesh learns what it means to live as an ethical human being. Drawing on the lesson in this ancient epic, the talk ends with a reflection on the connection between mortality, responsibility, and freedom

► please register here

This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Wednesday, October 14. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

Teresa Heffernan
St. Mary’s University

Wed, Oct 14, 2020
12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
200 Larkin