Public perceptions of robots and artificial intelligence (AI)—both positive and negative—are hopelessly misinformed, based far too much on science fiction rather than science fact. However, these fictions can be instructive, and reveal to us important anxieties that exist in the public imagination, both towards robots and AI and about the human condition more generally. These anxieties are based on little-understood processes (such as anthropomorphization and projection), but cannot be dismissed merely as inaccuracies in need of correction. Our demonization of robots and AI illustrate two-hundred-year-old fears about the consequences of the Enlightenment and industrialization. Idealistic hopes projected onto robots and AI, in contrast, reveal other anxieties, about our mortality—and the transhumanist desire to transcend the limitations of our physical bodies—and about the future of our species. This chapter reviews these issues and considers some of their broader implications for our future lives with living machines.
Pixar's animated feature wall-E (2008) revolves around a sentient robot, a small trash compactor who faith fully continues his programmed duties seven hundred years into the future, after humans have long abandoned their polluted home planet. Landscaped into skyscrapers of compacted waste, Earth no longer seems to harbor any organic life other than a cockroach, Wall-E's only and constant friend. Similarly, in Mamoru Oshii's Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004; ), sequel to the groundbreaking first Ghost in the Shell anime, the love of the cyborg police officer Batou for his vanished colleague Motoko Kusanagi is surpassed only by the care and affection he displays for his pet basset hound. These films are two recent examples of works of science fiction in which the emergence of new kinds of humanoid consciousness in robots, cyborgs, or biotechnologically produced humans is accompanied by a renewed attention to animals. Why? In what ways does the presence of wild, domestic, genetically modified, or mechanical animals reshape the concerns about the human subject that are most centrally articulated, in many of these works, through technologically produced and reproduced human minds and bodies?
With a backdrop of action and science fiction movie horrors of the dystopian relationship between humans and robots, surprisingly to date-with the exception of ethical discussions-the relationship aspect of humans and sex robots has seemed relatively unproblematic. The attraction to sex robots perhaps is the promise of unproblematic affectionate and sexual interactions, without the need to consider the other’s (the robot’s) emotions and indeed preference of sexual partners. Yet, with rapid advancements in information technology and robotics, particularly in relation to artificial intelligence and indeed, artificial emotions, there almost seems the likelihood, that sometime in the future, robots too, may love others in return. Who those others are-whether human or robot-is to be speculated. As with the laws of emotion, and particularly that of the cognitive-emotional theory on Appraisal, a reality in which robots experience their own emotions, may not be as rosy as would be expected.
The trajectory of science fiction since World War II has been defined by its relationship with technoscientific imaginaries. In the Golden Age of the 1930s and 1940s, writers like Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein dreamed of the robots and rocket ships that would preoccupy thousands of engineers a few decades later. In 1980s cyberpunk, Vernor Vinge, William Gibson, and Bruce Sterling imagined virtual worlds that informed generations of technology entrepreneurs. When Margaret Atwood was asked what draws her to dystopian visions of the future, she responded, "I read the newspaper." This is not just a reiteration of the truism that science fiction is always about the present as well as the future. In fact, we will argue, science fiction is a genre defined by its special relationship with what we might term "scientific reality," or the set of paradigms, aspirations, and discourses associated with technoscientific research.
The concept of Space megastructures is originated from science fiction novels. They symbolize the material landscape form of a comprehensive advancement of intelligent civilization after the continuous development of technology. Space megacity is actually an expansion process of human development in the future. It is not only a transformation of space colonization but also a mapping of self-help homeland. Therefore, it is a symbol of technological optimism and a future utopia in the context of technology. In contemporary times, sci-fi movies use digital technology to translate the giant imagination in literature into richer digital image landscapes. Space giant cities are one of the most typical digital images with spectacle view, which reflects the impact of American sci-fi movie scene design on the landscape and preference that human will be living in the future. The aesthetic preferences and design principles of the future picture, and the aesthetic value of science fiction as a medium of imagination are revealed. The aim of this article is to explore the digital design style of space megastructure with utopia sense in science fiction movies, and analyzes its aesthetic connotation.
This article deals with the problem of relationships among people in the future, which are based not on respect and understanding of each other's value, but on absolute dependence on technical progress. The purpose of this work is to highlight the problem of humanity’s tragedy in the genre of science fiction, using the example of Ray Bradbury’s works „Tomorrow's Child” and „The Veldt”. Firstly, it is noted that the difference and, accordingly, the problem begins immediately with terminology, because there is no single stable definition of the term „fantasy” (as a generic phenomenon) in English-language science. The options offered by scientists are speculative fiction, fantastic fiction, fantasy literature. The author notes that science fiction (Sci-Fi) describes many different super important problems of the human society: technological progress, information wars, the desire of people to be immortal, powerful, rich, possessing the Universe. In fact, the tragedy of humanity begins from these desires. However, R. Bradbury’s works „Tomorrow's Child” and „The Veldt” have a wide range of topics, affecting aesthetic, intellectual, moral and scientific problems. In addition, the science fiction writer reveals his special interest in the inner world of the child. In the mentioned-above stories, the idea of the coexistence of people and the techno world is traced, which leads to a tragic situation. Covering the problem of humanity’s tragedy in the future, described back in the distant 1950s, R. Bradbury aims to present another idea of the future, he describes, at the same time, possible threats to us, and shows what significant consequences this can lead to.