Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Technology Anxiety in British and American SF: Artificial Intelligences as Catalysts for Ontological Awakening
by Sims, Christopher A., Ph.D., Ohio University, 2012, 377; 10631266
Abstract (Summary)

This project examines the representation of technology anxiety human subjects feel when encountering artificial intelligences in four British and American SF novels: 1) Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? 2) Neuromancer 3) 2001: A Space Odyssey 4) The Cloud Atlas. While many critical investigations of these novels focus on the dangerous and negative implications of AIs, this work uses Martin Heidegger's later writings on technology to argue that AIs might be more usefully read as catalysts for human ontological realignment. Such a transformation leads technologically saturated humans away from an imperious ontology of “enframing” that Heidegger sees as the danger of modern technology and toward the saving power that changes the human posture with respect to beings from a colonial, domineering stance to a pious posture of abetting. I contend that it is not enough to simply read the danger AIs pose without seeing the salvation they also reveal.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Zionkowski, Linda
Commitee: Briscoe, Robert, Hartley, George, Marciniak, Katarzyna, McLaughlin, Joseph
School: Ohio University
Department: English
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 78/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Modern literature, American literature, British and Irish literature
Keywords: AIs, Androids, Clarke, Arthur C., Dick, Philip K., Gibson, William, Heidegger, Martin, Mitchell, David, SF, Science fiction, Technology
Publication Number: 10631266
ISBN: 978-0-355-01536-2
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