The Jagiellonian University’s Students Circle – The Philosophy of Technology Research Group

History

Adrian Mroz (in “real life” abbrev. “RL”) a.k.a. Abenteuerzeit (Second Life username – abbrev. “SL”) has started The Philosophy of Technology & Technics Student Research Group, part of the Jagiellonian University’s Student Circle of the Institute of Philosophy, in November, 2015.

Advisor: Sidey Myoo

Chair: Mariusz Markiewicz (RL) | Yacina (SL) – markiewicz.mario@gmail.com
Vice-Chair: Dorota Tomaszewska (RL) Walpurgia Night (SL) – grrr@o2.pl

Membership Declaration: please contact club chair.

About us

Research topics include, but are not limited to: techno-scepticism / enthusiasm, techno-religion, virtual reality, bionics, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, interaction, techne, video game discourse.

Polish Terminology:

Suggested Reading:

  • Spitzer Manfred, Digital Dementia: What We and Our Children are Doing to our Minds.
  • Noah Yuval Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.
  • Ray Kurzweil, The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology.
  • James Gleick, Information: a History, a Theory, a Flood.
  • Stanisław Lem, Summa Technologiae.
  • Dominic Pettman, Love and Other Technologies: Retrofitting Eros for the Information Age.
  • Philipp Zimbardo, Nikita Coulombe, The Demise of Guys.
  • Sidey Myoo, Joanna Hańderek, Filozofia Technologii

Films:

  • Metropolis, feature film, dir. Fritz Lang (1927)
  • Ex-Machina, feature film, dir. Alex Garland (2015)
  • Chappie, feature film, dir. Neill Blomkamp (2015)
  • Transcendence, feature film, dir. Wally Ofister (2014)
  • Her, feature film, dir. Spike Jonze (2013)
  • Matrix, feature film, dir. Larry and Andy Wachowscy (1999, 2003) – Wiki

Archives


Meeting 1: November 17, 2015

The first organizational meeting of The Philosophy of Technology & Technics Research Group with a lecture delivered by Adrian Mroz (RL) | Abenteuerzeit (SL) on the impact of technology on human life. Spotkanie organizacyjne Sekcji Filozofii Techniki KNSF UJ


Meeting 2: December 1, 2015

The lecture, titled Morlokowie czy Elojowie? Wpływ techniki na życie człowieka, was based on Manfred Spitzer’s book Digital Dementia, and delivered by Adrian Mroz (RL) | Abenteuerzeit (SL). A selection of issues related to change in brain function was discussed as well as the influence of technology on the human mind. There was also a reference to the futurology of Herbert G. Wells.

Literature:
1. Spitzer Manfred, Digital Dementia: What We and Our Children are Doing to our Minds.
2. H. G. Wells, The Time Machine.
3. Her, feature film, dir. Spike Jonze (2013)


Meeting 3: December 15, 2015

Dorota Tomaszewska (RL) aka Noc Walpurgii (SL), presented a lecture on the end of humanity titled Zmierzch człowieczeństwa: paradoksy posthumanizmu.

The purpose of the lecture concerns confronting radically enhanced human beings with views of the supporters of posthuman movements. A special meta-objectives accompanying the study of body enhancement is showing the function of philosophical and ethical considerations in empirical sciences.

The main subject of the discussion was the critical work of Nicholas Agar entitled Humanity’s End. Why We should Reject Radical Enhancement. In this book, Agar evaluates technological enthusiastic of two posthuman camps: the compatibilists, who assume a lack of conflict between the human condition and radical enhancements possible for humans (such as Ray Kurzweil), and incompatibilists such as Nick Bostrom, who promote the view of creating a new category, a better species, without any remorse in bidding humanity goodbye.

Nicolas Agar criticizes radical enhancements on two fronts. First, he tries to demonstrate the unrealistic nature of many of the assumptions in posthumanist projects. He is sceptical about strong AI and opposes atomic views with a holistic approach. He also does not believe in strong compatibility between humans and machines. His ontological position does not recognize the possibility of identity continuity between “I” and its copy in another material substrate, which is why he rejects the idea od uploading (the mind), while referring to “Searle’s Wager” among other ideas.

Where philosophers foresee potential success in enhancement projects, he foresees a serious breakdown and warns against their effects. This is how he rebutes Aubrey de Gray’s promise of longevity through nanobiotechnology, which would eliminate the effects of aging. Agar depicts a perspective that is contradictory to human nature. He is, in the words of de Gray, a fanatic who is convinced that taking away a person’s death also takes away the value of life.

Finally, he considers the social consequences that arise from a division into “natural” and “enhanced” people. It evokes a number of classic anti-utopias, including H.G. Wells’ and demonstrates the naivety of the concept of “democratic transhumanism”.

Suggested Reading:

Nick Bostrom, Transhumanist Values

Nicholas Agar, Humanity’s End. Why We Should Reject Radical Enhancement (MIT)

Video:

Neil Harbisson: I listen to color, The first official “cyborg” (TED)
Gattaca – Szok przyszłości, feature film, dir. Andrew Niccol – zwiastun
The Brave New Bionic World – a video about body modyfication (TED)

Noc Walpurgii – Zmierzch człowieczeństwa. Paradoksy posthumanizmu (streszczenie)


Meeting 4: January 5, 2016

A presentation titled Will Virtual idols replace current ones? Creepy4U (SL).

We all succumb to certain illusions. As a result, sometimes we are unable to distinguish between a virtual creation and the physical image of the world. Francis Bacon, realizing this, developed a theory of delusions which he called the theory of idols. Together we reflected on such issues as what idols are and where they come from? What influence do idols have on our lives?
What role does technology and the use of techniques play in the creation of idols and how is it going to play out in the future?

Literature:
Francis Bacon, Novum organum


Meeting 5: January 19, 2016

Dorota Tomaszewska’s study titled Science as a Religion – Does the “rationalist” have their own cult?

Science vs. faith – this question is as old as the very existence of the empirical sciences, which is characterized by different ways of modelling reality, and in some instances seeks synthesis, only to return soon to unsolvable disputations. We are going to set aside this conflict for a while and examine how science, not necessarily intentionally, can assume religious functions and purposes. We will talk about the cult of quasi-scientific devotion and consider how much faith is needed in order to uphold those hypotheses that are very much in demand.

The talk will be given by Abenteuerzeit (SL) and NocWalpurgii (SL).


Meeting 6: March 1, 2016

The presentation entitled Love in the electronic milieu was delivered by Adrian Mróz (RL) | Abenteuerzeit (SL)

The discussion was focused on the subject of love and the electronic environment – on how the latter can affect interaction and intimacy between people.

Literature:
Turkle Sherry – Lonely Together
Dominic Pettman – Love and other technologies

A date was agreed upon for a meeting in RL in order to provide Abenteuerzeit with the necessary membership declarations for our group. A research conference in Academia Electronica was also suggested.


Meeting 7: March 15, 2016

A lecture entitled Between Freedom and Responsibility – the nature of modern relationships in the conversations between Z. Bauman and D. Lyon was delivered by Dorota Tomaszewska (RL) | Noc Walpurgii (SL).

The discussions are inspired by the conversations among Z. Bauman and D. Lyon, compiled in a publication called “Liquid Surveillance: A Conversation”. An ethical theme will also be presented – we consider in this respect the origins of ethics as outlined by Emmanuel Levinas.


Meeting 8: April 5, 2016

A lecture entitled Body image in the electronic environment was delivered by Aleksandra Budzisz (RL) M.A. | Skrzydlatamara (SL).

Each human being’s physical body is the foundation for their functioning. By interpreting the sensations connected with it, an ‘image of the body’ is created in the mind. This structure is based on affective experiences (emotions and feelings), the cognitive aspect of thoughts, beliefs and behaviors. During the session, we discuss the concept of mediating experiences from the first or third person perspective and the methods of therapeutic work in the immersive electronic environment, which aims to improve the image of the body appearing in adverse form, e.g. in eating disorders (Facebook SFTKSFIFUJ).


Meeting 9: May 10, 2016

Adrain Mróz (RL) | Abenteuerzeit (SL) presented his review of James Gleick’s book entitled “The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood”.

Each epoch has a distinctive quality. Now we live in the age of “information”, just as our ancestors lived in the age of ” steam “, ” iron ” or even ” chipped stones “. Incidentally, what is “information”? This question has been asked by the renowned popularizer of science and best-selling author James Gleick.

His latest book is a novel review that allows us to look at the contemporary world in a new perspective. This is a journey that goes back centuries, to the earliest times, when each thought was forgotten as quickly as it came into being.

Gleick guides the reader from the very first communication systems, such as drums, to the present day, where we have all unknowingly become experts in everything and where the challenge is not a lack of information, but its excess. He familiarizes us with the often forgotten generations of inventors and visionaries behind the way we understand and use information today. Every single piece of information could transform the way you perceive things.

This Information will totally redefine what you see in the world.


Meeting 10: October 18, 2016

Adrain Mróz (RL) | Abenteuerzeit (SL) presented his review of the book “Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow” (2015) by Yuval Noah Harari.


Meeting 11: November 8, 2016

Dorota Tomaszewska (RL) | Noc Walpurgii (SL) presented her reviews of a book by Nicholas Carr, “What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains: The Shallows”.


Meeting 12: December 6, 2016

Adrian Mróz (RL) | Abenteurzeit (SL), delivered a lecture entitled The Superintelligent Leviathan: an Outline of the Problem Concerning Human Autonomy and the Autonomy of Devices, where he presented the concepts of Tomasz Hobbes in the context of contemporary society. The aforementioned concepts were juxtaposed with the ideology of “Smart Cities” proposed by the French philosopher Bernard Stiegler. An attempt was made to answer the questions “Will or when will humans cease to be autonomous entities?” or “Can humans ever be independent?


Meeting 13: December 17, 2016

Przemysław Zawadzki (RL) | LightYagami (SL) presented a paper entitled Lo and Behold, what will have already happened? Musings on the Biological and Artificial Superintelligence of the Future.

Abstract:

Superintelligence is the most general hypothetical intelligence that far exceeds the cognitive abilities of modern humans in practically every domain of mental activity, including scientific creativity, general knowledge, and social skills. There are at least two types of superintelligent systems – the biological one and the artificial one – and both can be associated with the human mind. The first is obviously the brain of the human being or human being as a substrate for the emergence of the posthuman. The adoption of artificial systems for human cognitive development could lead to the emergence of superintelligent hybrid systems. A third possibility to reach supernormal intelligence levels – based solely on artificial media – is also possible.

The aim of the presentation will be to outline some of the most promising areas of research that may lead to the development of any of these forms of superintelligence. I will present a justification for the thesis that it seems today that the strongest stimulus for the development of biological superintelligence will come from the outcomes of biotechnology, more specifically: genetic engineering with the use of iterative embryo selection. Hybrid techs leading to such a superintelligence may be developed into a brain-computer-brain interface, creating a form of an ” internet of minds “. In turn, computer brain simulations and machine learning seem to be attractive fields of research for the emergence of artificial superintelligence.

In my lecture I will also present estimates (highly speculative) concerning the probability, the possible timeframe and consequences, which could lead to the emergence of superintelligence from each of the above mentioned research areas.
At the end of the session there will be a debate in which we encourage each participant to share their thoughts.

The trailer for the film Lo and Behold! Reveries of the Connected World.


Meeting 14: March 14, 2017

Adrian Mróz (RL) | Abenteuerzeit (SL) presented a presentation entitled Moral dilemmas of AI, in which he referred to ethical responsibility in the digital era – a problem raised, among others, by Daniel Dennett in his article When HAL Kills, Who’s to Blame: Computer Ethics.

Human fate is increasingly bound up with algorithms and automation, so it is worth considering their consequences. A wide-ranging discussion on ethical issues in the information age will take place.


Meeting 15: April 15, 2017

Mariusz Markiewicz (RL) | Plotinus (SL) presented a study entitled Anthropology in the view of B. Latoura and the Philosophy of Technics.

Abstract:
The basis of the paper will be referring to the contents of the book We Have Never Been Modern (2011) by B. Latour. I start by following the author by addressing the questions related to the methodology of science – the problem of separating different fields of science and the problem (possibilities) of a wider perspective. Next, I quote a critical argument aimed at undermining interdisciplinarity in Latour’s understanding. Further, I provide a proposed ” tripartite division ” of the sciences – and the problems associated with the separation of these sciences.

In the following part I explain the notion of “nature-culture” and outline the reasons for the difficulties we have in researching our own culture (nature-culture), which is directly related to the problems connected with the anthropology of the modern world. Then, I propose the concept of modernity – so I will try to explain the content of the book’s title itself, as well as the difficulties related to whether we are modern and why we are not. Also, I will tell you about two types of modern practice: translations and purifications.

In the next part I discuss the origins of the division of sciences (both the division of sciences and political questions within science, etc.). – A separation that constitutes a kind of an exact science (on the example of Boyle and Hobbes).
In the next part I will introduce the author’s views on the questions of philosophers. Afterwards I will return to the subject of nature-culture to bring this interesting concept closer. I will also explain the criticism of anthropology proposed by the author. The next step will be to introduce the principle of symmetry.

To ensure that the presentation is not just a reconstructive reading of a book that anyone can see, I will attempt to reflect on the extent to which a broad, holistic perspective, not only the perspective on the human world, but also on the world in general, is capable of changing our perspective on reality. In my opinion, Latour’s thought may motivate readers to feel awakened – to feel a sense of the significance of human nature. Why do humans feel privileged amidst the hierarchy of beings?

In the final part of the discussion I would also like to refer to the problems of the philosophy of technics – that is, to the re-interpretation of the two worlds (one?): the world of humans and the world of technics. Has this other world been created by humans, or is there some kind of turn of things being fulfilled (even if this “turn” is indeterminate)?


Meeting 16: May 9, 2017

Adrian Mróz (RL) | Abenteuerzeit (SL) addressed a selection of themes from the first volume of Bernard Steigler’s work La technique et le temps, 1: La faute d’Epiméthée.

In his opinion, technology determines the horizon of human existence. The emergence of technology not only enabled the emergence of the human being, but is also the origin of the time as such. This is important for understanding humanity and technology as a dynamic relational process.

The book is divided into 2 parts:
Part 1: An outline of selected concepts concerning the development of technique (and the source of homonization) in terms of their historical perspective. Selected thinkers include: Andre Leroi-Gourhan, Gilbert Simondon, and Bertrand Gille. Stiegler concludes that the relationship between the human being and what is “technology” is indeterminate. In other words, it is impossible to distinguish within history whether the human being is the subject or the object of history (in contrast to technology).

Part 2: The criticism of M. Heidegger in relation to the aforementioned considerations. He particularly critiques the notion of temporal “authenticity”, which, according to Steigler, is only accessible through objects, without which we do not have access to the past and the future. An essential aspect of this section is the myth of Promotheus.


Meeting 17: June 20, 2017

The last session of the research group for this semester.

During the last meeting we discuss the activities of the research group in the next academic year. If you would like to lead this research group in 2017/18, please join us! We also encourage you to join the Philosophy Students’ Scientific Circle http://www.iphils.uj.edu.pl/knsf/

At this meeting, Abenteuerzeit (SL) | Adrian Mróz (RL) will present a chapter from the book “Techno-fix” regarding (un)happiness in relation to technical progress.

Extensive evidence suggests that material wealth (possession of a lot of money), consumerism and economic growth provided by scientific and technical progress have failed to improve people’s psychological well-being. At the same time, such progress has weakened or destroyed many other intangible and traditional sources of happiness.

There will be a discussion / debate on the positive and harmful aspects of the use of technology and the reliance on scientific progress as a tool for regulating human emotions. What are the arguments for and against?
E.g: Was life better or worse before Facebook? Before the Internet? Before the Industrial Revolution? Before the Agrarian Revolution? Were the most fortunate those who live or lived in a pre-industrial society (e.g. gathering and hunting, about 75,000 – 10,000 years ago)? To complement this, a reading about this period by Y.N. Harari is attached in Polish.


Meeting 18: November 26, 2017

This meeting was hosted by: Mariusz Markiewicz (RL) | Yacina (SL)
Event website: https://www.facebook.com/events/2092731027628227/

Abstract:

During the meeting we focused on the analysis of 2 books: ” The end of work” and “The future of life”. The subject of reflection was the changing role of humans in the world. Should we tax the work of robots? What role was played by humans in the world – and what role was played by robots? These and other questions were raised at the meeting.

Bibliography:

Edward O. Wilson, The Future of Life, translated. Janusz Ruszkowski (2003)
Jeremy Rifkin, The End of Work: The End of the World’s Labour Force and the Beginning of the Post-Market Era, transl. Ewa Kania (2001)
Jeremy Rifkin, The Third Industrial Revolution: how the lateral model of power inspires an entire generation and changes the face of the world, translated into Polish. Adam Olesiejuk and Katarzyna Różycka (2012)
Jeremy Rifkin, Age of access: a new culture of hypercapitalism in which one pays for every moment of one’s life, translated by Ewa Kania (2003)
Jeremy Rifkin, Ted Howard, Entropia : New Worldview, Beata Baczyńska (2008)
José Ortega y Gasset, Rebellion of the masses and other sociological writings, transl. Piotr Niklewicz and Henryk Woźniakowski (1982)


Meeting 19: December 5, 2017

The meeting was moderated by: Liliana Kozak (MA) (RL) | Guaderlaine (SL)
Event website: https://www.facebook.com/events/828361754012604/

Abstract:
If human brains work similarly to each other, then it is essential to understand the stimuli that make this happen. The experience of art through neuroaesthetics becomes a source of knowledge about the process of life experience, building identity, and an attempt to learn about its conditions. Vilayanur S. Ramachandran and William Hirstein are looking for a universal rule, a deep structure combining artistic experience with a common perception of visual art. The eight principles of visual perception gathered by the authors are the starting point for learning the neuroaesthetic principles of aesthetic experience. They are complemented, among other things, by the question of empathizing stimuli. In order to get to know the specificity of neuroaesthetics, the research areas defined by Piotr Przybysz and Piotr Markiewicz have been mentioned. The experience of creation in the description of Semir Zeki was analyzed from the point of view of tracking the transforming synthetic brain concept and the sense of being unable to fully grasp it in a work of art.


Meeting 20: December 19, 2017

The meeting was prepared by: Dorota Tomaszewska, M.A. (RL), Noc Walpurgii (SL), Liliana Kozak, M.A. (RL), Guaderlaine (SL), Adrian Mróz, M.A. (RL), Abenteuerzeit (SL), Adam Jarmuła (RL), Harmonijka (SL), and Mariusz Markiewicz (RL), Yacina (SL).

Event website: https://www.facebook.com/events/136256860372587/

Abstract:

The speakers shared their reflections on the state of moral dilemmas in the worlds portrayed in the most recent mass culture productions. Therefore, the speakers faced dilemmas that have no place (or perhaps do) in the present world, but exist in imaginary worlds. The meeting was prepared collectively. Below is a list of speakers with the titles to which the speakers referred:

Equilibrium
Dorota Tomaszewska, MA (RL) | Noc Walpurgii (SL) (Adam Mickiewicz University, The Jagiellonian University)

Extinct, Cleverman.
MA Liliana Kozak (RL) | Guaderlaine (SL) (Maria Curie-Skłodowska University)

Black Mirror
M.Sc. Adrian Frost (RL) | Abenteuerzeit (SL) (The Jagiellonian University)

Star Trek The Next Generation
Adam Jarmuła (RL) | Harmonica (SL) (The Jagiellonian University)

The 100, Westworld
Mariusz Markiewicz (RL) | Yacina (SL) (The Jagiellonian University)


Meeting 21: January 9, 2018

The meeting was moderated by: Adrian Mróz (RL), M.A., Abenteuerzeit (SL).
Event website: https://www.facebook.com/events/2003256253263607/

Abstract:

“There has to be a measure in poetry that prevents counting.”
Paul Claudel. Golden Skull (1890)

Faced with algorithms and social media, what counts is accountability and transparency. The meeting is mainly based on Cathy O’Neil’s book entitled “A Weapons of mathematical annihilation: How algorithms increase inequalities and threaten democracy”, Marcus Gilroy-Ware’s book “Filling the Void: Emotion, Capitalism and Social Media”, and a selected issue presented at a conference on the same topic: https://enmi-conf.org/wp/enmi17/.

We discuss how Artificial Intelligence is a misleading term and how “effective calculation” would be better. Most models, autonomous Big Data processing systems, only duplicate the initial assumptions of the creators (sometimes erroneous) through models that create self-replicating feedback, which can be a threat to science, social life and ourselves. In such a case, we can talk about intelligent and irresponsible use of tools that can independently make decisions, including stupid ones. In addition, not every matter evaluated by human beings is easily calculable, such as measuring the effectiveness of education using a university ranking. For example, instead of the ideal of education in Lyndon B. Johnson’s view as “a way to achieve deeper personal fulfilment, greater personal effectiveness and enhanced self-esteem”, models use easy-to-measure intermediate factors that seem to be correlated with success, such as high school diploma scores, graduation rates, enrolment rates, student-to-faculty ratios, etc., which can be used to measure the effectiveness of education. This results in obscuring values with numbers, which are often made-up measures not empirically justified.

* Il faut qu’il y ait dans le poème un nombre tel qu’il empêche de compter. Translation, A.M.


Meeting 22: January 30, 2018

Meeting conducted by: Dorian Mączka, MA (RL) | FeatheredSnek (SL)
Event website: https://www.facebook.com/events/2003256253263607/

Abstract:

Thinking about the relationship between the present, the past and the future is one of the most important elements of philosophical research on technology. How do past ideas shape present-day projects of the world of the future? How do we look at old technologies from the perspective of the present? In my presentation I would like to address the problem of a specific type of relationship between the past and the future. Based on examples from cultural texts – selected science fiction novels, computer games and films – I intend to show the way in which things that seem to be close or distant from our perspective are presented in cultural narratives as if they were the past from the perspective of the heroes. Such an outlook is, I think, an interesting and effective tool for interpreting technology in its various aspects.


Meeting 23: March 20, 2018

The meeting was moderated by: Liliana Kozak, MA (RL) | Gwaderlen (SL)
Event website: https://www.facebook.com/events/2003256253263607/

Abstract:

How did technical development affect the sensory perception of the world? Which stimuli are feelings connected with the use of technology in particular?
Virtual space is founded on the sense of sight and hearing, how does this affect a person?
The sense of touch and the issue of movement in the face of changing methods of human movement show two main changes. One is greater mobility in the sense of being able to travel with cars, planes, and the other is less movement in the sense of being on foot, walking, and hiking.
I will present the issue of post-media, a term that defines the reality in which the art of new media ceases to define the chosen area of art, because it is difficult to distinguish art that does not have its own form in the digital medium.
Also the term medium is twofold, the medium of contact and the medium of art often become identical.
I will analyze the relation between senses and technology through the aesthetic perspective.

Bibliography:

P.Celiński, Cyfrowy kod i bazy danych, wyd. UMCS, Lublin 2013
red. P. Celiński, Mindware. Technologie dialogu, Lublin 2012
R. Kluszczyński, 2010, Sztuka interaktywna Od dzieła instrumentu do interaktywnego spektaklu, Warszawa,
R.Kluszczyński, Między autonomią a hybrydycznością. Wprowadzenie do sztuki nowych mediów, Kwartalnik filmowy nr 82, Warszawa 2013
L. Manovicz, Post-media aesthetic, http://manovich.net/index.php/projects/post-media-aesthetics
D. Quaranta, Beyond New Media Art., wyd. Link Editions, Brescia 2013
M.Sładanek,Transmedialność i postmedialność-dialektyka konwergencji oraz dywergencji w nowych mediach [w:]Sztuka w przestrzeni transmedialnej, red. T.Załuski, Akademia Sztuk Pięknych im. Władysława Strzemińskiego w Łodzi, Łódź 2010,
E.Wójtowicz, Sztuka w kulturze postmedialnej, Gdańsk : Wydawnictwo Naukowe Katedra 2016
P. Zawojski, 2000, Destrukcja versus wspomaganie ciała w cyberprzestrzeni. Przypadek Stelarca, „Kultura Współczesna”, nr 1–2, źródło:http://www.zawojski.com/2006/04/19/destrukcja-versus-wspomaganie-ciala-w-cyberprzestrzeni-przypadek-stelarca/


Meeting 24: May 8, 2018

The meeting was conducted by: Dorota Tomaszewska, MA (RL) | Noc Walpurgii(SL)
Event website: https://www.facebook.com/events/795214574020989/

Abstract:

Within the framework of the next meeting of the Philosophy of Technology Research Group of KNSF UJ we propose to look at the relationship between technology and spirituality. Instead of replicating a standard narrative that puts science and religion in contrast, we will look at how themes that traditionally belonged to the areas of mysticism and theology are addressed in a hidden or direct way in the world of tech.
We will discuss the technical perspective of immortality, whether gods speak through machines, or whether machines substitute for gods, the religious dimension of transhumanism and posthumanism, and whether there is room for death in techno-utopia.
The starting point for the discussion will be Rafał Ilnicki’s book “The God of Cyborgs. Technique and transcendence”, available to those who wish to participate under this link:
https://repozytorium.amu.edu.pl/bitstream/10593/4779/1/Rafal_Ilnicki.pdf


Meeting 25: June 12, 2018

This meeting was conducted by.: Mariusz Markiewicz (RL) | Yacina (SL)
Event website: https://www.facebook.com/events/1055627701256236/

During the meeting we summed up our work from the academic year 2017/2018 and discussed ideas for the next year’s activities of the Philosophy of Technology Research Group. As the chairperson of the group I proposed to initiate the Polish Society of the Philosophy of Technology – work on this project will continue during the summer break and the first work on formalisation is planned to take place in September this year. All those interested in cooperation are welcome to contact us.


Meeting 26: October 30, 2018

This meeting was conducted by.: Mariusz Markiewicz (RL) | Yacina (SL)

Event location on fb: https://www.facebook.com/events/326376208140820/

Subject: Organisational meeting


Meeting 27: November 26, 2018

Topic: What is artificial intelligence? Discussion of general principles of operation and examples

This meeting was run by: Mariusz Markiewicz (RL) | Yacina (SL)

For more information about the meeting, visit the website of the Institute of Philosophy of the Jagiellonian University: https://tiny.pl/txgqq
Event website on fb: https://www.facebook.com/events/1098597270311641/

A lecture was delivered by: Krzysztof Soja (RL), MA, krzysiekNKRSI (SL) – What is artificial intelligence? Discussion of general principles of operation and examples

About the guest:
Krzysztof Soja – President of the Scientific Association of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence of the Jagiellonian University. Currently, he is studying Computer Science in his first year of MA studies at the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science of the Jagiellonian University. Privately a bookworm and a fan of video games.

Abstract:
The aim of the lecture will be to familiarize the participants with the possibilities of contemporary artificial intelligence. Participants will learn the basic principles of A.I. algorithms from the mathematical point of view. Next, specific methods, together with examples of their applications in industry and data analysis (from linear regression to neural networks and GANs) will be discussed. In the last part, together with the participants, we will discuss the impact of artificial intelligence on the world and look at a few myths circulating in social consciousness.

The meeting was moderated by: Mariusz Markiewicz (RL) | Yacina (SL)


Meeting 28: December 11, 2018

The meeting was conducted by: Mariusz Markiewicz (RL) | Yacina (SL)

Topic: No (p)AI(n), no GAME – tasks and methods of AI in video games

For more information about the meeting, visit the website of the Institute of Philosophy of the Jagiellonian University: https://tiny.pl/txgh4
Event website on fb: https://www.facebook.com/events/2003256253263607/

A lecture was given by: Barbara Giżycka (RL) Rusticat (SL)

A word about the guest:
Barbara Giżycka, MA, PhD student in computer science at the AGH University of Science and Technology, bachelor and master of cognitive science at the Jagiellonian University. Psychologist at Bloober Team and R&D Scientist at Nano Games. She combines her work and passion in the field of affective computer science, especially in relation to the design of video games. Privately, she is interested in computer games, literature and art, as well as in Far East culture.

Abstract:
Contemporary Artificial Intelligence can play games by itself, design and create them, as well as model virtual worlds and their inhabitants (NPC). In the context of games, there are several areas in which a number of different AI methods find interesting and important applications and solutions: from algorithms of movement, through decision-making patterns, to models of emotions. The lecture will provide an overview of the current challenges posed by game design, which can be answered with different AI techniques.


Meeting 29: February 12, 2019

The meeting was conducted by: Mariusz Markiewicz (RL) | Yacina (SL)

Topic: The Emotivism of Law: A Continuous Challenge for the 21st Century

For more information about the meeting, visit the website of the Institute of Philosophy of the Jagiellonian University: https://filozofia.uj.edu.pl/wydarzenia-w-if/-/journal_content/56_INSTANCE_OBCsoa19hL6W/4371778/141979166
Event website on fb: https://www.facebook.com/events/2258107327795422/

The speaker:
Adrian Mróz, MA, Abenteuerzeit (born 1988, Baltimore MD, USA) Graduate of the Ignacy Jan Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznań, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań and Jagiellonian University. He is currently a PhD student at the Aesthetics Department of the Jagiellonian University Philosophy Faculty; he is preparing his thesis on Behavioural Aesthetics under the supervision of Professor Sidey Myoo. In addition, he is the editor of “The Polish Journal of Aesthetics” and the technical editor of “Kultura i Historia” and “Medialica. Multimedia Studies in Humanities”. In his free time he plays guitar and saxophone in the band SMOGGG. His interests include the philosophy of technology, music and gender. He speaks Polish, English and French.

Abstract:

– Do you think there’s not enough composure and too much emotion in politics?
– Find out how sages dealt with their feelings. Plato will surprise you!
– Think making up stories isn’t a part of law? Think again!

The meeting is organized around the issue of emotivism in the context of Law. The Polish version of the article will be presented, in which I discuss issues related to platonism, Lisa F. Barrett’s theory of constructing emotions, and the problem of imagining reality in an aesthetic and technical context. The starting point for the discussion will be the problem of media polarisation. We will seek to reflect on how to protect against ‘stupidity’ as compared to the phenomenon of ‘systemic irrationality’. A simulation of information and cognitive “sensations” based on American politics is available here: http://graphics.wsj.com/blue-feed-red-feed/

The presentation is a Polish adaptation of the article: Mróz, A. (2018). “The Emotivism of Law. Systematic Irrationality, Imagined Orders, and the Spirit of Decision Making”. Human studies, 7(4), pp. 16-29. DOI: 10.2478/sh-2018-0020.

Abstract of the article:
According to Dan Ariely, Daniel Kahneman, Yuval Noah Harari and other behaviorists, historians and philosophers, decision-making is predictable and irrational. Previous decisions may or may not be present in human activity. Stories and shared myths are also important, especially those based on a system of human norms and values based on belief in the “supernatural” order(s). Mass organized cooperation between strangers is possible thanks to that.


Meeting 30: February 26, 2019

The meeting was conducted by: Mariusz Markiewicz (RL) | Yacina (SL)

Topic: Transformations of practices, trends in the post-humanistic world, robots as legitimate actors.

Event website on fb: https://www.facebook.com/events/548290235669692

Speakers:

Emi Elegy (University of Łódź): a 3rd year student of New Media and Digital Culture at the University of Łódź. She specializes in video games and the art of New Media. VR fan, digital creator.

Nox Valpurgis: a philosopher by calling, as philosophy is life, and life without an order of values is unthinkable. For years in a love-hate relationship with psychology. Part of the philosophy of technology research group since its inception.

Abstract:
Trends in the 20th and 21st centuries indicate robots as joint information entities with a status equal to that of a human being. Are post-humanistic ideas that allow acceptance and tolerance of non-normative behaviors and practices our future? The concept of love and sex with robots, the replacement of living partners with “fucking machines”, marriage with a robot and the creation of new forms of relativity as a futuristic vision of the future give rise to many questions.

We will discuss aspects of cyborgization, sexuality transferred into the virtual world, love practices with objects and robots and try to find an answer whether the above trends can be assessed positively or negatively.


Meeting 31: March 12, 2019

The meeting was conducted by: Mariusz Markiewicz (RL) | Yacina (SL)

Topic: Human sexuality in the face of new technologies, part 2

Event website on fb: https://www.facebook.com/events/715523255508348/

Information about the speakers:

Emi Elegy (University of Łódź): a 3rd year student of New Media and Digital Culture at the University of Łódź. She specializes in video games and the art of New Media. VR fan, digital creator.

Nox Valpurgis: a philosopher by calling, as philosophy is life, and life without an order of values is unthinkable. For years in a love-hate relationship with psychology. Part of the philosophy of technology research group since its inception.Abstract:

“Aphrodisia is beyond morality. Ontologically, it belongs to the animal part of the human being, but it is nevertheless natural, ordinary and, after all, human. There are no demons inside of it”.
*”J. Tischner, the dispute over the existence of man.

Sexuality is one of the fundamental spheres of life, yet it is still spoken about either in a sensational tone or, conversely, in the most veiled way possible. From a medical point of view, it is primarily a determinant of the health and wellbeing of a person, which is why the second meeting on the links between human sexuality and new technologies will focus on this aspect of sexuality.

We will talk about the criteria of the sexual norm, the mechanisms of addiction and how a robot, electronic gadgets, VR or an encounter in SL differ from classic porn, a vibrator or the infamous inflatable doll.

We will present current philosophical positions of those thinkers who dare to restore carnality and sexuality to philosophical reflection, including: Roger Scruton, Igor Primoratza and Dominic Pettman.


Meeting 32: March 26, 2019

The meeting was conducted by: Mariusz Markiewicz (RL) | Yacina (SL)

Topic: Artificial Artist Is Present. Art in the age of artificial intelligence

For more information about the meeting, visit the website of the Institute of Philosophy of the Jagiellonian University: https://filozofia.uj.edu.pl/ogloszenia-dla-pracownikow/-/journal_content/56_INSTANCE_dFcBX8UzRlWg/4371778/142253234
Event website on fb: https://www.facebook.com/events/373865956790022/

The speaker:

Ada Florentyna Pawlak, MA (University of Łódź, Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Łódź, Polish Transhumanist Association) – technoanthropologist, lawyer, art historian. She gained her professional experience as a coach of the National Centre for Culture and managing communication strategy in an international interactive agency. Anthropological research on the technicisation of culture, transhumanism and technoesthetics is conducted at the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology of the University of Łódź, where she works on her doctorate entitled “Artificial Intelligence and Transhumanism. Embodiments.” Owner of EverMind training company and event agency. Active member of the Polish Transhumanist Association

Abstract:

Transhumanist Arts Statement stipulates that an artist’s task is to discover new and diverse styles of art through science and technology. Transhumanistic art is to represent a creative culture that supports the transgression of the human condition. In the age of artificial neural networks, an Artificial Artist with artificial intelligence enters the artistic scene. Art in the art@science paradigm is a catalyst for a powerful change in the perception of what was considered typically human – imagination and creativity. The ability to tell stories, create imaginative ideas and create artistic fiction has been seen until now as one of the cardinal qualities of our species that allows us to face the mysteries of existence. At present we are witnessing a shift in creative and receptive paradigms, to which we have to apply new aesthetic categories.

Starting with the artist’s cyborgization, strengthening their causality or sensual experience (Stelarc, Harvey Moon, Dragan Ilič, Patrick Tresset), through robotic art, bioart, hybrot art (works of hybrids combining living neural networks and robotic forms), art was becoming more and more distant from the “unarmed” technological body of the artist. Artificial Art is the ultimate abandonment of not only carnality but also the creative imagination of a human being. In the era of artificial neural networks and generative algorithms, the artistic scene is taken over by the Artificial Artist. Creative Adversarial Networks, TensorFlow, DeepArt, Google Deep Dream, Next Rembrandt, Neurographer, Magenta or Cloudpainting allow you to ask interesting questions about the development of artificial intelligence and its impact on our creativity and imagination.) In the age of machine learning, artificial neural networks and generative algorithms, Artificial Artist enters the artistic scene. In the times of Revolution 4.0, which promotes automation and robotization, creativity, imagination and the power of chance are transformed into programs and machines. The result is not only portraits made not by a human hand but rather by algorithmically calculated images without a model, but also technologies of transferring artistic style and “originals” of deceased artists who, thanks to artificial intelligence, “create” works of art after death. Are we pushing the imagination and creativity of Natural Born Artist out of the world by ceding creativity and cognitive functions to algorithms?

Walter Benjamin analyzed the work of art in the era of technical reproduction, announcing the creation of a non-auratic copy without an original, free from any time and space limitations. The work of art in the era of artificial intelligence is heading towards a mass uniqueness – a personalized aesthetic product of algorithmic culture. Are the works of art, so far considered as products of only human minds and sensitivities, generated by the “artificial imagination” of a machine, capable of evoking equally strong emotions in the viewers? Artistic activity makes it possible to ask questions about the existence of a different world than the one we live in today. It is one of the ways of expressing the problems of contemporary civilization, depicting the reality of “short range”, in which an artist (human artist) and an inhuman creative agent (non-human artist) will coexist on the artistic scene.


Meeting 33: April 9, 2019

The use of ophthalmography in the creation and analysis of works of art by Łukasz Kędziora, PhD