March 28, 2010

Two kinds of posthumans

Posthumans are future beings who greatly exceed, in terms of their basic capacities, what present-day humans are capable of, with respect to healthspan, cognition and emotion. Furthermore, on this conception of the term, posthumans may or may not be "phylogenetically" related to humans: they may be completely synthetic beings, such as strong AI systems, rather than biotechnological hybrids (via cyborgization).

At the risk of silliness, one might then distinguish between post-humans and post-humans: the former would refer to a posthuman entity that non-human in nature, while the latter to a posthuman entity that has (or had in its past) biological components. An android would count as a post-human, while an advanced cyborg would count as a post-human.

For more on the relation between cyborgs and posthumans, see my most recent article on the IEET website.