Human Futures: A study of Technoscientific Immortality

Cryonics and AI at Bergen Anthropology Day

At this years Bergen Anthropology Day (BAD) hosted by department of Social Anthropology and CMI to present some of the current research being done by Bergen-based anthropologists, Will Dawley and Fartein Hauan Nilsen took part and shared some of the insights form their research on Cryonics and AI.

Man presenting in front of audience
Dawley presenting his recent fieldwork at BAD
Sigrid Torsnes

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Dawley gave a short presentation on his recent work on cryonics in the United States. He showed pictures from the Alcor cryonics facilitates and the “Frozen dead guy days” festival. Dawley told a curious audience about the cryonics process and the story of how a Norwegian man ended up cryopreserved in Colorado and getting a whole festival, the “Frozen dead guy days”, thrown in his honour. The use of digital ethnography and collecting data from social media platforms was also part of Dawley's presentation where he showed examples of the lingo being used by the online cryonic community.  

After several interesting and enlightening presentations from PhD-students and post docs about their current research and a lunch break with good food and networking a panel discussion took place. The topic of the discussion was ethnographic methods and the “Multifaceted relationships in ethnographic work”. The panel was led by Synnøve Bendixsen (UiB) and the participants were Tord Austdal (UiS), Eva Johais (CMI), Jon Henrik Ziegler Remme (UiB) and Fartein Hauan Nilsen (UiB). All of the participants had different experiences in doing ethnographic work with human to non-human relations within technology or multispecies. Nilsen shared insights from his recent fieldwork in San Fransico where he researched among else relations between humans and AI chat-bots. The panel discussed their research experience and how anthological methods have been debated in recent years in regard to new (or maybe not so new) developments in Anthropology.