Cyborg Futures pp 127-140 | Cite as

Fiction Meets Science: Ex Machina, Artificial Intelligence, and the Robotics Industry

  • Teresa HeffernanEmail author
Part of the Social and Cultural Studies of Robots and AI book series (SOCUSRA)


This chapter challenges the pronouncements that fiction is coming true that are so prevalent in the media and in the robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) industry. While this oft-repeated slogan fuels the corporate fantasy that there is no difference between machines and humans, I want to restore the gap between science and fiction by critiquing the metaphors and the circular logic at work in the industry and by considering how science and fiction differently imagine robots and AI. Resisting the reading of Ex Machina as a film that predicts the future of robotics/AI, I suggest it explores the shifting ground of what it is to be human in the early decades of the tech- and porn-fueled twenty-first century.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EnglishSt. Mary’s UniversityHalifaxCanada

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