Alexander "Sasha" Chislenko (December 2, 1959 – May 8, 2000) was a Russian artificial intelligence theorist and an active member of the transhumanist and extropian communities, contributing many speculative essays on singularity-inspired topics between 1997 and 1999.
In 1982 Alexander Chislenko received a M.S. in mathematics, computer science and education from the Mathematical Department of Leningrad State University. He worked in industry, academia and as a freelancer on various software, research and educational projects. In 1989 he left Leningrad, Russia for Boston, Massachusetts.
Of particular note was his early belief in the value and power of collaborative filtering. In addition, he coined the term fyborg (a portmanteau of "functional" and "cyborg") to differentiate between the cyborgs of science fiction and the everyday ways humans extend themselves using technologies such as contact lenses, hearing aids, and mobile phones.
In 1996 Chislenko was one of the lead engineers at Firefly (website), one of the first companies to commercialize collaborative filtering technology for consumer recommendations. In 2000, he joined Cambridge-based MediaUnbound, Inc., the leading company of the second wave of media recommendation systems.
Chislenko experienced episodes of depression for many years. In the early morning of May 8, 2000, during a depressive episode, Alexander Chislenko committed suicide.
"History shows that representatives of consecutive evolutionary stages are rarely in mortal conflict. Multi-celled organisms didn't drive out single-celled ones, animals haven't exterminated all plants and automobiles neither killed nor eliminated all pedestrians. Indeed, representatives of consecutive evolutionary stages build symbiotic relationships in most areas of common interest and ignore each other elsewhere, while members of each group are mostly pressured by their own peers." - Alexander Chislenko
- A Total Makeover, Wall Street Journal, Wendy Bounds, January 1, 2000.
- Net Fallout: A Chaotic Economy, Wired News, June 1, 1998.