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Half-human soldiers, robot servants and eagle drones – the Greeks got there first. Could an AI learn from their stories?


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Cyborgs, immortality and artificial intelligence aren’t new concepts at all; the ancient Greeks had them covered.

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  • Innovative


Ancient Greek mythology has long provided moral and ethical lessons for people, but according to author and researcher Adrienne Mayor, today’s leaders in biotechnology and artificial intelligence pursuits should take a particular interest in the legends. Mayor, through the Greek myths, shows the ethical and moral consequences of human’s never-ending quest for immortality – a timely message as society ramps ups its Herculean efforts to achieve artificial intelligence. getAbstract recommends Mayor’s thesis to biotech enthusiasts, mythology buffs and those interested in ethical dilemmas.


The ancient Greeks revealed their fascination with human limitations through elaborate storytelling. The myths of Hercules, Pandora and Medea display quests for eternal life, youth and superhuman ability. The Greeks used the term bio-techne (bios means “life” and techne means “crafted through the art of science”) to refer to these pursuits. Today, research in the fields of biotechnology and artificial intelligence (AI) reveal the same interest.

The desire to live forever is as old as humankind. When the immortal goddess Eos asked the gods to grant...

About the Author

Adrienne Mayor is a research scholar in classics and the history of science at Stanford University.

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