We are immersed in a time of meteoric change: Cosmologists’ observations reveal that only a fraction of the observable universe is made up of what they call matter. Scientific and kin-making collaborations with animals suggest that the mind extends beyond individual human brains. Intelligent machines are learning to respond to human emotions. Brain-computer interfaces that amplify human senses are altering the boundaries of our bodies. And biotechnologists simulate and then mold cells toward new evolutionary pathways, editing life itself. Concepts that ground matter, mind, intelligence, body, and life are undergoing momentous revisions.
These transformations prompt us to consider the diversity of possible futures for humans, in connection with other biologies, beings, and the biosphere. The Future Humans theme asks: How can we construct a flourishing ecosystem that includes and integrates humans, the varied life forms of the planet, and new intelligences? What sorts of fragilities and benefits will we encounter through these emergent interconnections? And how can philosophies of more-than-human worlds help us to radically re-envision human institutions, from politics, to laboratories, to the economy? Future Humans connects experimenters, creators, and scholars who are shaping how humans of the future will collaborate with natures and technologies. At the center of these projects is a crucial question: What will life become?