Sponsored by Terasem Media and Films
Produced by Sabine Hoffman
In a period of exponential technological change, human life is in the process of being irreversibly transformed: in the next 50 years, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, genetic engineering and other technologies will allow human beings to transcend the limitations of the body. Is this evolution inevitable? Will “humanity” survive? Is the prospect of virtual eternal life something mankind should embrace? Transhumanism has been described as the world's most dangerous idea as well as the movement that epitomizes the most daring, courageous, imaginative, and idealistic aspirations of humanity. This panel will look at the perils and promise of a transhuman future.
James J. Hughes, Ph.D. Associate Director of Institutional Research and Planning at Trinity College in Hartford, where he teaches Health Policy. As the Executive Director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, he also produces the syndicated weekly public affairs radio talk show program Changesurfer Radio. He is the author of “Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future.”
Ray Kurzwell is one of the world’s leading inventors, thinkers and futurists, with a twenty-year track record of accurate predictions. Called “the restless genius” by the Wall Street Journal, and “the ultimate thinking machine” by Forbes magazine, PBS included Kurzwell as one of 16 “revolutionaries who made America.” Kurzwell has written five books, four of which have been national best sellers, among them “The Age of Spiritual Machines” and “The Singularity is Near.”
Martine Rothblatt, Ph.D, MBA, is a lawyer, author and entrepreneur. She is the founder of numerous companies, including Sirius Satellite Radio and United Therapeutics. She has cyberscripted pioneering websites including endracism.org. Rothblatt's company Terasem Media and Films produces independent narrative and documentary films that raise public awareness and understanding of innovations in human life extension through the geo-ethical application of cyber consciousness and biotechnologies.
Wendell Wallach is a lecturer and consultant at Yale University's Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics. He is recognized as one of the leaders in the new field of Machine Ethics and the co-author of “Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right From Wrong.” The book he is presently writing examines what what humans might become through emerging technologies: “Cybersoul: Self-Understanding in the Information Age.”
Woodstock Film Festival panels are made possible thanks to a generous grant from the Academy Foundation