“Frankenstein & AI — What Does it Mean to be Human?”

Salon Discussion Immersive | Dan Miller | Indianapolis, IN | October 7, 2023

“O my creator, make me happy; let me feel gratitude towards you for one benefit! Let me see that I excite the sympathy of some existing thing; do not deny my request!” —Mary Shelley

What does it mean to be human in a world among artificial intelligences? Our interactive, open dialogue Great Conversation Immersive Experience is informed by an early edition of Mary Shelley’s visionary and cautionary tale of Frankenstein and a live performance at the Indiana Repertory Theatre. Through discussion led by Dr. Dan Miller, gain an understanding of AI’s historical context and learn practical problem solving applications for coexisting with humanity’s new creation. You will achieve a realistic, “fact over fear” vision of the AI landscape, learn the best questions to ask for the future, and enrich your leadership capabilities needed to meet the challenge of the “New” Modern Prometheus. 


The future of both Technology and AI foreshadowed by this classic work of literature:

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, 1845 | What kind of norms did the character Frankenstein try to defy and why? Who are the modern Frankensteins who demonstrate dereliction of duties and run away from their monster creations?

Questions for the four selected reading portions. All portions are from the 1845 edition.

Portion One, pp 51-60:

  • What does it mean to be human? 
  • What are the things critically unique to being human, things are not transferable to a non-human? 

Portion Two, pp 60-62, 65-67:

  • What learning is fundamental to being human?
  • How does that learning help in adapting to the most important, explosive, and unpredictable types of change?

Portion Three, pp 69-76: 

  • Where do conflict and suffering arise between the Creator and the Created?
  • Is one type of conflict and suffering likely to be more immediate between the Creator and the Created?

Portion Four, pp 84-86, 111-114:

  • How can choice and free will make for better outcomes between Creator and Created?
  • What should the Creator learn from the Created?