Katarzyna Nowaczyk-Basińska 2023 Early Career Fellow
Affiliation Research Fellow, University of Cambridge Hard Problem Solved what it means to be human in the age of AI, or John Maynard Keynes’ problem when he noted, “Thus for the first time since his creation man will be faced with his real, his permanent problem— how to use his freedom from pressing economic cares, how to occupy the leisure, which science and compound interest will have won for him, to live wisely and agreeably and well.”

Dr Katarzyna Nowaczyk-Basińska is a Research Fellow at The Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence at the University of Cambridge, with a background in cultural and media studies. In her research, she explores how digital technologies (re)shape our understanding of death, loss, grief, and afterlife presence. Her work intersects the fields of technology, culture, and thanatology.

From 2020-2023, she held an individual grant entitled “Immortality. Contemporary Technocultural Strategies,” funded by the Polish National Science Center. In February 2022, she defended (with distinction) her doctoral thesis. Recognizing the clear need for interdisciplinary research in the field of (im)mortality technologies, as part of her doctoral dissertation, she developed a theoretical framework for a new sub-discipline called “(im)mortality studies“. 

Since 2020 she has been collaborating with The Leverhulme Center for the Future of Intelligence, University of Cambridge, focusing on the development of responsible approaches to AI-driven technologies of (im)mortality. In 2021 she co-organized and co-moderated (with Dr Stephen Cave) an international conference ‘Digital (Im)mortality. Philosophy, Ethics and Design’. She is also a team member of an international scientific consortium ‘Digital Death. Transforming History, Ritual, and Afterlife’ (as a part of EU CHANSE ).

AI2050 Project

In recent years, the impact of AI on our attitudes to death and immortality have gained immense significance across technological and economic domains. While the design and implementation of systems promising a digital afterlife can have far-reaching global consequences, they are currently discussed almost exclusively within an Anglophone Western context. Katarzyna Nowaczyk-Basińska’s AI2050 project aims to investigate perceptions of digital immortality in three eastern countries assessing their alignment with local interests and exploring diverse cultural imaginaries related to AI-driven immortality concepts. It will conduct three intercultural workshops with experts and non-experts to frame digital immortality within a context of diversity.