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A Cosmist, according to Professor Hugo de Garis at Starlab in Belgium, is an individual who favors building or growing artificial intelligence, and ultimately leaving the planet Earth to the Terrans, e.g. Kevin Warwick, Bill Joy, who oppose this path for humanity.

If, that is, the two factions do not war to the death, as De Garis predicts in his essay "The Artilect War".

De Garis relates that "just out of curiosity, I asked Kevin whether he was a Terran or a Cosmist. He said he was against the idea of artilects being built (i.e. he is Terran). I was surprised, and felt a shiver go up my spine. That moment reminded me of a biography of Lenin that I had read in my 20s in which the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks first started debating the future government of Russia. What began as an intellectual difference ended up as a Russian civil war after 1917 between the white and the red Russians."

Accordingly, the two fired the first shot in a debate in Zurich in March 2000. It has yet to be heard all the way 'round the world, although some technologists e.g. Bill Joy, Ray Kurzweil, Hans Moravec and a few physicists and mathematicians e.g. Roger Penrose, have taken positions in the "War".

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