A Splice of My LIfe

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McLean, Richard William (2020) A Splice of My LIfe. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


This arts-based, practice-led, qualitative theoretical work amplifies young people’s ethical opinions of what it means to be human both now and in the future through three cumulative technological lenses. These are artificial intelligence (AI), and the anticipated superintelligence which has already commenced (Andrews, 2017), which enables the third lens of posthumanism, defined by the Oxford dictionary as ‘The idea that humanity can be transformed, transcended, or eliminated either by technological advances or the evolutionary process; artistic, scientific, or philosophical practice which reflects this belief (Dictionary, 1970).' Posthumanism auspices Transhumanism, which is defined as using technology to further enhance the skills, abilities, and lifespans of human beings who ultimately become posthuman (H+). This research renders a superintelligent AI which might orchestrate the qualities that future humans / posthumans will have, considering eugenics, gene modification, and the ultimate designing of entities and/or sentient beings, has already happened and is expressed via art and narrative experience as research. Transcending our biology to coexist with future world(s), including inter-dimensionally, is suggested as being inevitable when technological acceleration is viewed not linearly, but exponentially, especially considering quantum superintelligence(s). This research examines both the ethical lives of young people (extrapolated from recorded interviews) and of the author (through retrospective art and memory). It splices across generational divides, as well as past analogue and current/ future digitisation, compares young people today and in years gone by, also splicing human or posthuman survival as framed by the Anthropocene, (‘Anthrop’ meaning human and ‘cene’ meaning a geological period of time, in simple language, ‘The Human Era’), stemming out of compassion for nature and the living world, while conversing with young people about global catastrophic risks. An unexpected existential creative artefact(s) emerges through the methodologies of A/r/ tography, Arts-Based Research, Narrative Inquiry, otherwise referred to throughout as Living inquiry. This metaphorically mirrors ‘The Event Horizon’ of the technological singularity discussed within the data collection section, in which outcomes are and were impossible to predict. The metaphor of me talking to students about events unknowable past a technological singularity, or event horizon, is precisely what happened as my memories and art revealed themselves with the help of healers, and detailed in the creative component ‘A Splice of My Life.’ I have since learned that this idea can be attributed to Deleuze.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/41836
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education
Historical > FOR Classification > 1999 Other Studies in Creative Arts and Writing
Historical > FOR Classification > 2203 Philosophy
Current > Division/Research > College of Arts and Education
Keywords young people; ethics; artificial intelligence; superintelligence; posthumanism; arts-based research; a/r/tography; global catastrophic risks; shamanism; Anthropocene; autobiographical narrative
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