Cybernetic Humanity

Shunichi Kasahara

Exploring the new humanity emerging from the harmony between humans and computers

Cybernetic Humanity is a new research field that focuses on the "new humanity" emerged from the integration of humans and computers, and explores it through approaches from both computer science and human science, advocated by Dr. Shunichi Kasahara. Our research will focus on the dynamics of humanity woven by the integration of humans and computers from multifaceted perspectives which includes augmented sensation and perception as fundamental elements that constitute our embodiment, 'self' through extended cognition, and "social self," which is formed through interaction and relationships with others.

Research domains

Cybernetic Humanity focuses on the following three domains. Research and development of augmentation of perception and ability (Superception) by means of technology, elucidation and design of subjectivity enabled by the technology, and exploration of the social image in which these augmentation technologies and subjectivity are implemented.

1. Superception ※1:Expanding our perception and abilities
The first component is the research and development of Superception: the computer technology enables the expansion and transformation of perception, which is the root of human existence and abilities. We will realize the acquisition of new bodies and abilities by applying human augmentation technology, mixed reality, AI technology, robotics, and other technologies to understand and draw out human potential.
※1A coined concept created by combining "super: beyond the normal state, an aggregate beyond the individual, meta” + “perception”, advocated by Dr. Kasahara since 2015.

2.Subjectivity:Elucidating our subjectivity in the human-computers integration
Equally important component is the research on subjectivity created when perception is augmented by technology. We will elucidate how subjectivity can be formed, including a sense of agency, body ownership, perception and cognition of self, the formation of identity, and the mutual understanding and trust created in interactions with others.

3.Society:A new view of society arising from new humanity
We then analyze and outlook the social image projected by the research of Cybernetic Humanity from perspective of social science and behavioral economics including the relationship between social efficacy and abilities acquired through the fusion of robotics and AI, and the social interaction constructed by individuals with dynamically formed selves that transcend situation where one person has more than a single body and identity.

Research Through Experience

The exploration of Cybernetic Humanity requires connecting and discussing the contradictory and complex nature of the physicality that is expanded by technology and the humanity that is inherent in ourselves. To tackle this complex system of Cybernetic Humanity, we adopt not only a reductive approach, but also a circular experiential research process that attempts to create and analyze new "experiences" of the body and humanity as an open system. Through the experientialization of research, such as the creation of artwork and workshop programs, we create opportunities for dialogue with society and promote research activities in collaboration with a variety of collaborators, including researchers, creators, and artists.

Toward Cybernetic Humanity

The emergence of a "new humanity" through the integration of humans and computers will cause significant changes in our society, including how we perceive ourselves, how we communicate with others, and ultimately the relationship between technology and humanity. Through the integration of computer science and human science, we aim to deepen our understanding of human nature and realize a society where people and computers can harmonize creatively, and diverse individuals can exhibit their diverse abilities and play an active role in society.