Advertisement

Not in the Image of Humans: Robots as Humans’ Other in Contemporary Science Fiction Film, Literature and Art

  • Sophie WennerscheidEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

This article explores how human-posthuman intimate relationships are thematized in both robotics and in science fiction film, literature and robotic art. While many engineers and computer scientists are working hard, albeit in an altogether affirmative way, toward the technological development of anthropomorphic robots, i.e., robots in the image of humans and with qualities which match the human self, aesthetic representations of intimacy between man and machine, as primarily presented in science fiction film, literature and art, give us a more nuanced picture of the robot as humans’ other. This article seeks to analyze the way works of science fiction contextualize technology within a socio-cultural sphere we recognize as similar to our own but do not necessarily depict the artificial other as manlike but as a character in its own right.

References

  1. 1.
    Halberstam, J. & I. Livingston: Posthuman Bodies. Indiana UP, Indiana (1995).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hollinger, V.: ‘Something like a Fiction’: Speculative Intersections of Sexuality and Technology. In: Person, W. et.al. (eds.): Queer Universes: Sexualities in Science Fiction. Liverpool UP, Liverpool, pp. 140–160 (2008).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Levy, D.: Love and Sex with Robots. The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships. Duckworth, London (2008).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kleeman, J.: The race to build the world’s first sex robot. In: The Guardian. (2017) Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/apr/27/race-to-build-world-first-sex-robotGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kant, I.: Lectures on Ethics. Cambridge UP, Cambridge (1997).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Richardson, K.: The asymmetrical ‘relationship’: parallels between prostitution and the development of sex robots. In: ACM SIGCAS Computers and Society 45(3), 290–293 (2016).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Devlin, K.: In defence of sex machines: why trying to ban sex robots is wrong. In: The conversation, 17 September 2015. Retrieved from http://theconversation.com/in-defence-of-sex-machines-why-trying-to-ban-sex-robots-is-wrong-47641Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Spinoza, B.: Ethics, A Spinoza Reader: The Ethics and Other Works. Princeton UP, Princeton (1994).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Grosz, E.: Space, Time and Perversion: Essays on the Politics of Body. Routledge, London (1995).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Braidotti, R.: Metamorphoses: Towards a Materialist Theory of Becoming. Polity Press, Cambridge (2002).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Braidotti, R.: Editor’s Note. In: Journal of Posthuman Studies. Philosophy. Technology. Media 1(1), 1–8 (2017).MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Deleuze, G., Guattari, F.: A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia 2, Athlone, London (1987).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    MacCormack, P.: Posthuman Ethics. Embodiment and Cultural Theory. Routledge, London (2016).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Coeckelbergh, M: Robot rights? Towards a social-relational justification of moral consideration. In: Ethics and Information Technology 12: 209–221, (2010). DOI  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10676-010-9235-5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Badmington, N.: Alien Chic: Posthumanism and the Other Within. Routledge, London (2004).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ferrando, F.: Of Posthuman Born: Gender, Utopia and the Posthuman in Films and TV. In: Hauskeller, M., Carbonell, C., Philbeck, Th.: The Palgrave Handbook of Posthumanism in Film and Television. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke (2015), pp. 269–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Garland, A.: Ex Machina. UK/US. (2015).Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Brooker, C.: Be Right Back. UK (2013)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Lundström, L: Real Humans. S (2012-2014)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Coeckelbergh, M., Alterity ex Machina. The Encounter with Technology as an Epistemological-Ethical Drama. In: Gunkel, D., Marcondes F. & Mersch, D. (eds.), The Changing Face of Alterity. Communication, Technology, and Other Subjects, Rowman & Littlefield International, London, 181–196 (2016).Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ghazi, S.: Sången ur det kinesiska rummet. Norstedts, Stockholm (2014).Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Mori, M.: The uncanny valley. In: IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine, 19(2), (1970/2012), pp. 98–100. doi: https://doi.org/10.1109/MRA.2012.2192811CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Jochum, E., Goldberg, K.: Cultivating the Uncanny: The Telegarden and Other Oddities. In: Herath, D., Kroos, C., Stelarc (eds.): Robots and Art. Exploring an Unlikely Symbiosis. Springer, Singapore (2016).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Winterson, J.: The Stone Gods. Penguin, London (2008).Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Braidotti, R.: The Posthuman. Polity Press, Cambridge (2015).Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Demers, L.-P.: The Blind Robot. (2012)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Demers, L.-P.: Machine Performers: Agents in a Multiple Ontological State. Dissertation, University of Plymouth. (2014) http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.829.7112&rep=rep1&type=pdfGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Sjef: The Blind Robot. 28.5.2014 https://sjef.nu/the-blind-robot/Google Scholar
  29. 29.
  30. 30.
    Wolfson, J.: Female Figure. (2014)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Bakshi, R.: Cool World. US. (1993)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Feldhaus, T: Jordan Wolfson’s Robot: In the Moment of Terror https://www.spikeartmagazine.com/en/articles/jordan-wolfsons-robot-moment-terror
  33. 33.
    Owsianik, J.: State of Sex Robots: These are the Companies Developing Robotic Lovers. September 1, 2017 https://futureofsex.net/robots/state-sex-robots-companies-developing-robotic-lovers/

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ghent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.University of CopenhagenKøbenhavnDenmark

Personalised recommendations