Skip to content Skip to footer

Get ready: advanced AI and human enhancement tech is coming

The bioethicist and legal scholar Sebastian Porsdam Mann reveals his groundbreaking work on human enhancement - particularly cognitive enhancement - and the potential of large language models - such as ChatGPT - to change our world beyond recognition
Sebastian Porsdam Mann
Sebastian Porsdam Mann

Sebastian Porsdam Mann is a bioethicist and legal scholar. Following military service, he was educated in philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, where he also obtained his first PhD in neuroethics. He has held postdoctoral positions in bioethics at Harvard Medical School and, as Carlsberg Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, at the Universities of Copenhagen and Oxford. He is currently finishing up a second doctorate at the Faculty of Law, Oxford. His research interests span cognitive enhancement, data and blockchain ethics, the human right to science, and ethical and legal implications of large language models. Outside of academia, he is an avid athlete and has competed in volleyball and Taekwondo.

Sebastian Porsdam Mann: his background and habits

How do you define success? Perhaps it’s as simple as excelling at whatever you put your mind to.

However you choose to define it, there are many metrics by which it can be measured, and much will of course depend on your own personal values and worldview.

Some might think of achievements, particularly those that can be listed on a LinkedIn page or CV. In the realm of health and fitness, you might think of measures of physical fitness or physique development. In academia, it might be doctoral degrees, books and published papers.

But maybe those sorts of things don’t convince you, or at least don’t tell the full story. Fundamentally, much of our success or failure can be judged by the impact we have on others, and the wider world.

One man who does pretty well by all the above criteria is Sebastian Porsdam Mann. The bioethicist and legal scholar is currently finishing a second doctorate on the human right to science and scientific progress at Oxford’s Faculty of Law.

With a unique career not only glittering with academic accomplishments but also real impact on consequential issues such as human enhancement and the ethics of large language models, it’s interesting to note Porsdam Mann stresses the importance of exercise, sleep, nutrition and social connection above all.

In a fascinating and wide-ranging conversation with Unfiltered contributing editor Dr Jonny Rees, PhD, Porsdam Mann explains his recent doctoral research and its implications, as well as the habits and daily routines that set him up for success. We discuss his work on human enhancement – particularly cognitive enhancement – and the implications of large language models – like ChatGPT – for academia and beyond.

The case for cognitive enhancement

The ethics of AI and large language models

The human right to science

The many benefits of socialising

Sign Up to Our Newsletter

Be the first to know the latest updates

[yikes-mailchimp form="1"]