Mpho Tshivhase will spend her time at CASBS working on a book project called Uniqueness of Persons and Machines. Her aim is to use the fellowship year to extend her ideas of uniqueness of persons and examine whether such uniqueness is plausible in this age of posthumanism. The uniqueness of persons as a departure point to extend the application of the theory to AI machines, especially humanoids. Given that we have endowed AI with social status, this will have implications for the nature of uniqueness of persons and it will inspire questions about the uniqueness of AI as well. Her aim in the book is to question whether one can develop an account of the uniqueness of AI, especially humanoid social robots. In order to answer this question about the uniqueness of AI, she will account for the personhood of AI.
Tshivhase is currently a senior lecturer at the department of philosophy at the University of Pretoria. Her research interests are personhood, personal uniqueness, themes of love, autonomy, authenticity, death, African ethics, aspects of race, and afro-feminism. She has worked on different interdisciplinary institutional projects at the University of Pretoria that were hosted by the Center for Human Rights, the faculty of humanities, and the Center for Advancement of Scholarship. She was a visiting researcher in the moralities research group at the Bayreuth University in Germany. Tshivhase has also contributed to the intellectual and research activities within the Human Sciences Research Council (SA). Tshivhase has served as the president of the Philosophical Society of Southern Africa. She holds the 2018 Dean’s award for Outstanding Achievement in the Humanities Faculty and the 2019 Institute of People Management CEO’s Excellence Award. Furthermore, she is on the list of the 2019 Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans.