Breaking barriers: Symbiotic processes

Luís Moniz Pereira, António Barata Lopes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Looking into the nature and evolutionary History of Humanity, we find that symbiotic processes are far from new. Not only are they present in Biology, but also in our relationship with other animals and archaic machines, multipliers of force and speed. Only on the basis of a less than 25,000-year-old illusion do we perceive ourselves as exclusive holders of the top of the knowledge chain; but in this exclusivity we have always been accompanied by projections of transcendent beings, or expectations about extra-terrestrials. Until about 25,000 years ago we shared the planet with other hominids, with whom the Sapiens had close relationships. Neanderthals have disappeared, but not all of their genes. Thus, the concept of symbiosis occupies centre stage in the understanding of evolutionary cognition. This has not been seen as too problematic. However, as AI evolves, this may change. Such scenarios should convene citizens for informed debates on the topics and processes of scientific inquiry. Icarus is an example of the abuse of technologies engendered by Daedalus, and symbolizes the risks we face. But it does not have to be so: the problems faced will be better solved with more, never less, properly conducted science and technology.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMachine Ethics
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-39630-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-39629-9
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameStudies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics
ISSN (Print)2192-6255
ISSN (Electronic)2192-6263


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