By Despina Kakoudaki
By studying quite a lot of literary texts and movies (including episodes from Twilight Zone, the fiction of Philip okay. Dick, Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel Never permit Me cross, city, The Golem, Frankenstein, The Terminator, Iron guy, Blade Runner, and that i, Robot), and going again to alchemy and to Aristotle’s Physics and De Anima, she tracks 4 foundational narrative parts during this centuries-old discourse— the fable of the bogus beginning, the fable of the mechanical physique, the tendency to symbolize man made humans as slaves, and the translation of artificiality as an existential trope. What unifies those investigations is the go back of all 4 components to the query of what constitutes the human.
This targeted method of the subject of the synthetic, developed, or mechanical individual permits us to re-examine the construction of synthetic life. through concentrating on their old provenance and textual versatility, Kakoudaki elucidates man made people’s major cultural functionality, that is the political and existential negotiation of what it capability to be a person.
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Additional resources for Anatomy of a robot : literature, cinema, and the cultural work of artificial people
With this work/rest ratio, why would we imagine that human-form robots like ASIMO could replace human workforces? Successful robotic applications in our everyday life from washing machines to automated factories, heavy industrial processes, or Roomba the robotic vacuum cleaner are function-specific and not anthropomorphic. Whether or not it is physically possible to design a mechanical form as versatile as the human body, the discourse of the artificial person offers other reasons as to why effective workplace robotic applications avoid the human form.
The textural and sensual impact of the presence of objects in our lives cannot be dismissed that easily. Taking a somewhat estranged stance towards imitation and the vernacular definition of the person in the contemporary landscape may lead to surprising results. 26 Our philosophical analyses may be constantly questioning whether computers can think, but, to paraphrase Descartes’s solution to the age-old problem of motion, thinking may not be what matters any more. And while mainstream definitions of animation and humanity insist on dualist patterns of mirroring and responsivity, in the Cartesian, Hegelian, psychoanalytic, and existential definitions of personhood that characterize the scale 24 A n ato my of a Robot of imitation and prioritize mutual recognition, we find ourselves in a transitional phase similar to that of the seventeenth century which reorganized the status of motion.
31 As with folktales, fairy tales, and myths, stories that feature artificial people seem to return to certain patterns across time, reiterating stereotypical kernels of meaning and repeating important storylines. This book seeks to elucidate the structural logic of such repetitions, to identify the semiotic relationships that emerge when we place the stereotypical patterns of popular culture under critical pressure. Using a roughly structuralist methodology and taking both narrative and historical issues into consideration, in each of the chapters I focus on a core feature, a basic or fundamental ingredient of the discourse of the artificial person.
Anatomy of a robot : literature, cinema, and the cultural work of artificial people by Despina Kakoudaki