Representations of Otherness: How Literature Reflects Implications of Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence on Humaneness and Societies


Nicole Brandstetter

Year: 2022

interculture journal: Online-Zeitschrift für interkulturelle Studien, 21(36), 35-48.

Keywords: otherness, artificial intelligence, human-machine interaction, digitalization, self-optimization
Language(s): English

Fictional narratives concerning science and technology, and specifically science fiction narratives, are centred upon questions of difference, alterity and Otherness. Though not representing classical science fiction texts, the analyzed novels display a key role attributed to technological advancement and thus incorporate and discuss that central question of Otherness in external and internal representation. Firstly, Ian McEwan’s novel Machines Like Me (2019) and Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel Klara and the Sun (2021) superficially deal with human-machine interaction, but also more subtly mirror humaneness in contrast to a perfectionist Machine Otherness that, in turn, questions human morality. Secondly, Juli Zeh’s novel Leere Herzen (Empty Hearts) (2017) and Julia von Lucadou’s novel Die Hochhausspringerin (The High Rise Diver) (2018) subconsciously display the more disruptive influences of Artificial Intelligence on societies. The conception of Otherness is thus not rooted in the opposition between machines and human beings, but in a steady process of self-alienation.

Post created by: Lymor Wolf Goldstein

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