Tech Anxiety

Artificial Intelligence and Ontological Awakening in Four Science Fiction Novels


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About the Book

This project examines the representation of anxiety about technology that humans feel when encountering artificial intelligences in four science fiction novels: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Neuromancer, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Cloud Atlas. By exploring this anxiety, something profound can be revealed about what it means to be a person living in a technologically saturated society. While many critical investigations of these novels focus on the dangerous and negative implications of artificial intelligence, this work uses Martin Heidegger’s later writings on technology to argue that AIs might be more usefully read as catalysts for a reawakening of human thought.

About the Author(s)

Christopher A. Sims received a Ph.D. in literature from Ohio University. He lives in Columbus, Ohio, and teaches at Columbus State Community College. His scholarship explores the human relationship to technology in literature.

Bibliographic Details

Christopher A. Sims

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 252
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6648-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0449-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Introduction 1
1. Heideggerian Technology Studies 19
2. HAL as Human Savior in Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey 69
3. The Dangers of Individualism and the Human Relationship to Technology in Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? 110
4. AIs, Hatred of the Body, Cyborgs and Salvation in William Gibson’s Neuromancer 139
5. David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas: Cloned AIs as the Leaders of an Ontological Insurrection 178
Conclusion 223
Notes 232
Bibliography 235
Index 240

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