This chapter provides a theoretical framework for considering how imaginaries and narratives interact with calculative devices to structure expectations and beliefs in the economy. It analyses the nature of uncertainty in innovative market economies and examines how economic actors use imaginaries, narratives, models, and calculative practices to coordinate and legitimize action, determine value, and establish sufficient conviction to act despite the uncertainty they face. Placing the themes of the volume in the context of broader trends in economics and sociology, the chapter argues that, in conditions of widespread radical uncertainty, there is no uniquely rational set of expectations, and there are no optimal strategies or objective probability functions; instead, expectations are often structured by contingent narratives or socially constructed imaginaries. Moreover, since expectations are not anchored in a pre-existing future reality but have an important role in creating the future, they become legitimate objects of political debate and crucial instruments of power in markets and societies.
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.