Of Great Apes and Robots: Considering the Future(s) of Cultural Heritage

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Because cultural heritage management is an inherently retrospective discipline, too many valuable heritage places have been lost because they are not recognised and assessed in time. This paper advances strategic thinking in cultural heritage management by addressing two on-the-horizon and over-the-horizon issues: the management of artefacts created by our closest relatives, the Great Apes; and the management of artefacts created in the future by the first artificial intelligence-imbued, self-reflecting robots.Given the increasing understanding that Chimpanzees have cultures and traditions in tool use, there is a need to recognise their heritage value in reference to human evolution. Likewise, it is now also time to explore how we are going to deal with the non-human, robotid artefacts. Te contemplation of the role of non-human heritage will ultimately foster a re-appraisal of human heritage. The paper outlines some of the conceptual issues that need to be addressed if our heritage is to have an ethical future
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)861-877
Number of pages17
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2007

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