Saturday, August 8, 2009

Playing from the Grave

5th Annual Colloquium on the Law of Futuristic Persons

The above-titled conference will be held in the Second Life® virtual world on December 10, 2009. It is organized by Terasem Movement, Inc. a not-for-profit organization that also publishes two Terasem Journals. The focus is on the rights of people who will be revived from biostasis—cryogenic preservation of legally (but not irreversibly) dead or near-dead people waiting for a cure, and cyberstasis—people whose consciousness is preserved digitally.

Does immersion in virtual reality involve similar legal issues? As the technology of personality archiving gets closer, VR citizens may opt to transition from DNA to silicon existence. The legal/ethical issues they are dealing with might make you think of Arthur C. Clarke or Isaac Asimov, but relevance is relative, in light of current concerns about AI and FMRI.

For example, one of the papers in the current issue of The Journal of Personal Cyberconsciousness is "Pros and Cons of Corporate Personhood for Transbemans" by Dr. Martine Rothblatt: "Dr. Rothblatt imposes the legal notions of corporate personhood upon transbemans or futuristic persons, specifically those who transition from flesh-ware to software, and may lack the traditional DNA based biological substrate."

There are over 20 issues of the above journal and their Journal of Geoethical Nanotechnology, with articles by prominent scientists, lawyers, psychologists, etc. in the Terasem online archive.

If you would like to submit a paper for the conference, or have further interest in this, get in touch with the editor of the Journals, Loraine J. Rhodes, either through the Contact link on their website or by IM in SL to Lori Darling.

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