The Hay 30 – Beth SINGLER

Beth Singler is a Research Associate on the Human Identity in an age of Nearly-Human Machines project.  She is working with Professor John Wyatt and Professor Peter Robinson to explore the social and religious implications of technological advances in AI and robotics.

Beth’s research explores popular and religious re-imaginings of science and technology.  She is an experienced social and digital anthropologist of New Religious Movements, and her recently completed PhD thesis is the first in-depth ethnography of the ‘Indigo Children’ - a New Age re-conception of both children and adults using the language of evolution and spirituality. She has also been published on the development and legitimation of Jediism and Scientology through social media.

Beth has completed three Theology and Religious Studies degrees at the Faculty of Divinity, Cambridge: undergraduate, masters and PhD.  She has taught at the Faculty on “Understanding Contemporary Religion” and “Topics in the Study of Religion”.

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The Hay 30 is made possible by the generous support of the CASE foundation.

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Hay Festival 2017

Beth Singler

Cambridge Series: Could and Should Robots Feel Pain?

Hay Festival 2017, 

Recent developments in Artificial Intelligence and robotics demonstrate that we are aiming towards creating something that is ‘human-like’ in various ways. What sort of experiences should these beings have? And what does the answer to that question tell us about ourselves? Anthropologist Dr Beth Singler is Research Associate on the Human Identity in an age of Nearly-Human Machines project at the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion. Chaired by Daniel Davis.