Life, intelligence, body, matter, mind: such concepts are undergoing great transformations. From biotechnologies that rearrange DNA to create new life forms, to computers that learn to respond to human emotions and anticipate the most intimate desires, to space telescopes that reveal a universe percolating with strange particles and perhaps soon other sentient beings, we interact with and design technologies that unsettle our notions of nature, including human nature. These transformations thus prompt us to consider the diversity of possible futures for humans in connection with other beings, biologies, and the biosphere.
“Future Humans” is a new Berggruen Institute research area that will collaboratively and creatively ask: How can we construct a flourishing ecosystem with AI, humans, and the planet? What sorts of novel fragilities will we encounter in a world of rapidly transforming but ineluctable interconnection? And how must we radically rethink human-driven institutions (politics, society, the economy, and so on) in the face of these dramatic changes?
Launching in Fall 2022, this interdisciplinary program will unite experimentalists, creators, and scholars who will not only track, but also shape, how humans of the future will collaborate with forecasted natures and technologies.