Gentofte Hovedbibliotek
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“Because organisms are capable of infinite variability and have an inherent tendency to change when set in an unstable environment, new species appear more rapidly when the environment is changing quickly. Evolution is so efficient that no ecological niche is left vacant for long. Something will always develop to fill it.”

Dougal Dixon, After Man a Zoology of the Future, 1981

“whereas other animals change and adapt through the slow process of evolution to fit into their environment, man was able to change his environment to suit his current needs, reaping a short-term advantage in the process. Living outside evolution each stage in his rapid cultural development was passed on to the next generation, not through his genes but by learning. Although he avoided the unpleasant effects of natural selection, he also did without its long-term benefits and in short called a halt to evolution as it applied to himself. The result was a world overburdened by a population of beings unable to survive.”

Dougal Dixon, After Man a Zoology of the Future, 1981

“The impulse to create an object in one’s own image is not new – think Galatea, Pygmalion, Frankenstein. These days, what is new is that an off-the-shelf technology as simple as an AIBO provides an experience of shaping one’s own companion. But the robots are shaping us as well, teaching us how to behave so that they can flourish.”

Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other, 2011

“We lose our words. Intelligence once meant more than what any artificial intelligence does. It used to include, sensibility, sensitivity, awareness, discernment, reason, acumen, and wit. And yet we readily call machines intelligent now. Affective is another word that once meant a lot more than what any machine can deliver. Yet we have become used to describing machines that portray emotional states or can sense our emotional states as exemplars of “affective computing”. These new meanings become our new normal, and we forget other meanings.”

Sherry Turkle Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age, 2015

“With the arrival of electric technology, man has extended, or set outside himself, a live model of the central nervous system itself. To the degree that this is so, it is a development that suggests a desperate suicidal autoamputation, as if the central nervous system could no longer depend on the physical organs to be protective buffers against the slings and arrows of outrageous mechanism.”

Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, 1964

“There can be no experience of any person or object as cute that does not somehow call up the subject’s sense of power over those who are less powerful. But, as Lori Merish underscores, the fact that the cute object seems capable of making an affective demand on the subject—a demand for care that the subject is culturally as well as biologically compelled to fulfill—is already a sign that “cute” does not just denote a static power differential, but rather a dynamic and complex power struggle.

Sianne Ngai, “Our Aesthetic Categories: An Interview with Sianne Ngai”, Cabinet Magazine, 43, 2011

“The revolutions in biotech and infotech will give us control of the world inside us, and will enable us to engineer and manufacture life. We will learn how to design brains, extend lives, and kill thoughts at our discretion. Nobody knows what the consequences will be. Humans were always far better at inventing tools than using them wisely.”

Yuval Noah Harari, 21 lessons for the 21st Century, 2018

“man will have become to the machine what the horse and the dog are to man. He will continue to exist, nay even to improve, and will be probably better off in his state of domestication under the beneficent rule of the machines than he is in his present wild state. We treat our horses, dogs, cattle, and sheep, on the whole, with great kindness; we give them whatever experience teaches us to be best for them, and there can be no doubt that our use of meat has added to the happiness of the lower animals far more than it has detracted from it; in like manner it is reasonable to suppose that the machines will treat us kindly, for their existence is as dependent upon ours as ours is upon the lower animals.”

Samuel Butler, “Darwin Among the Machines”, 1863

“The first half of the twenty-first century will be characterized by three overlapping revolutions—in Genetics,
Nanotechnology, and Robotics. These will usher in what I referred to earlier as Epoch Five, the beginning of
the Singularity. We are in the early stages of the "G" revolution today. By understanding the information
processes underlying life, we are starting to learn to reprogram our biology to achieve the virtual elimination of disease,
dramatic expansion of human potential, and radical life extension. Hans Moravec points out, however, that no matter
how successfully we fine-tune our DNA-based biology, humans will remain "second-class robots," meaning that
biology will never be able to match what we will be able to engineer once we fully understand biology's principles of

Ray Kurzweil, The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, 2005

“Today we should welcome, and even study, every serious attempt to envisage the future of our race; not merely in order to grasp the very diverse and often tragic possibilities that confront us, but also that we may familiarize ourselves with the certainty that many of our most cherished ideals would seem puerile to more developed minds. ”

Olaf Stapledon, Last and First Men, 1930