The Human in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction: the Artificial Unconscious in Science Fiction

Emanuela Piga Bruni, Christiano Presutti

Abstract


The pun we indulged in taking up the title of Benjamin's famous essay is useful to describe the effects of a highly disputed technological revolution, one the human community feels imminent. The cultural and anthropological consequences of the possibility of reproducing the artistic artefact made by a human being through technique were no less relevant than those that occur when the object of reproduction is the human itself. The present essay proposes a reflection on some science fiction stories in which anthropomorphic robots are described that are able to act and think in ways that require the emergence of consciousness and the unconscious, all that is more human and mysterious at the same time.
We address such a vast and complex topic through the analysis of the dialogue between the human being and the machine, between evidential paradigm and psychoanalytic session. This study analyses some works belonging to literature, cinema and television that have declined these themes with different nuances: the interrogation aimed at determining the machine malfunction or deception in Liar! (1971) and Mirror Image (1972) by Isaac Asimov; the sessions carried out to establish the human or machinic nature of the investigated subject in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) by Philip K. Dick and in the film Blade Runner (1982) by Ridley Scott; the dialogues between programmers and androids of the TV series Westworld (2016–) by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy.
Particularly relevant for the purposes of this study is Westworld, which stages the manifestation of the unconscious in the artificial intelligence. An oxymoron that unites the unconscious and its opposite, the artifice, to tell the artificial unconscious is a true representation of the impossible.


Keywords


Artificial Consciousness; Artificial Unconscious; Dialogue; Evidential paradigm; Psychoanalysis; Android; Isaac Asimov; Philip K. Dick; Blade Runner; Westworld; Science Fiction.

Full Text:

PDF (Italiano)

References


Abruzzese, Alberto, La grande scimmia. Mostri vampiri automi mutanti: l'immaginario collettivo dalla letteratura al cinema e all'informazione (1979), Roma, Sossella, 2007.

Avramides, Anita, Other Minds, London, Routledge, 2001.

Asimov, Isaac, The Complete Robot, London, Grafton, 1983, trad. it. Tutti i miei robot, Milano, Mondadori, 1982.

Id. “Liar!”, trad. it. “Bugiardo!”, in Asimov 1982.

Id. “Mirror Image”, trad. it. “Immagine speculare”, in Asimov 1982.

Baccolini, Raffaella - Moylan, Tom (eds.), Dark Horizon: Science Fiction and the Dystopian Imagination, New York - London, Routledge, 2003.

Baudrillard, Jean, L’Échange symbolique et la Mort (1976), tr. it. Lo scambio simbolico e la morte, Milano, Feltrinelli, 1979.

Id., “Simulacri e Science Fiction”, Un’ambigua utopia. Rivista trimestrale di critica marx/z/iana, IV, n.7 (1980).

Id., Simulacres et simulation, Paris, Galilee, 1981.

Benjamin, Walter, Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner technischen Reproduzierbarkeit (1935), tr. it. L'opera d'arte nell'epoca della sua riproducibilità tecnica, Torino, Einaudi.

Bowler, Peter J., A history of the Future: Prophets of Progress from H. G. Wells to Isaac Asimov, Cambridge, Cambridge UP, 2017.

Bukatman, Scott, Blade Runner, London, British Film Institute, 1997.

Burton, James, The Philosophy of Science Fiction: Henri Bergson and the Fabulations of Philip K. Dick, London, Bloomsbury Academic, 2015.

Caronia, Antonio, Il cyborg: saggio sull'uomo artificiale (1991), Milano, ShaKe, 2001.

Caronia, Antonio - Gallo, Domenico, Philip K. Dick, la macchina della paranoia: enciclopedia dickiana, Milano, Agenzia X, 2006.

Carrère, Emmanuel, Io sono vivo, voi siete morti (1993), Milano, Adelphi, ed. digitale 2016.

Carroll, Louis, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, 1865, Through the Looking-Glass, and what Alice found there, 1871, tr. it. Alice nel paese delle meraviglie e Attraverso lo specchio, Torino, Einaudi, 1980.

Catanese, Rossella, et al., Scenari tecnologici: Matrix, la fantascienza e la società contemporanea, Roma, Avanguardia 21, 2017.

De Feo, Linda, Philip K. Dick: dal corpo al cosmo, Napoli, Cronopio, 2001.

Ead., Il raggio verde: una metafora del confine. Riflessioni erratiche e interpretazioni sociologiche, Milano, Mimesis, 2019.

Dennett, Daniel C., “Quining Qualia”, Consciousness in Modern Science, Eds. Anthony J. Marcel - E. Bisiach,Oxford,  Oxford UP, 1988.

Id., “A History of Qualia”, Topoi (2017): 1-8.

Dennett, Daniel C. - Hofstadter, Douglas R. (eds.), The Mind’s I. Fantasies and Reflections on Self and Soul (1981), trad. it. L'io della mente. Fantasie e riflessioni sul sé e sull'anima, Milano, Adelphi, 1985.

Descartes, René, Meditationes de prima philosophia (1641), tr. it. Meditazioni metafisiche, Opere Filosofiche, Roma, Laterza, 2005.

Dick, Philip K., The Simulacra (1964), tr. it. I simulacri, Ed. Carlo Pagetti, postfazione Jean Baudrillard, Roma, Fanucci, 2012.

Id., We Can Build You (1972), tr. it. Abramo Lincoln androide, Roma, Fanucci, 1997.

Id., Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, New York, New American library, 1969, tr. it. Cacciatore di androidi, Ed. Carlo Pagetti, Milano, Nord, 1986.

Id., Rapporto di minoranza e altri racconti, Ed. Carlo Pagetti, Roma, Fanucci, 2002.

Fattori, Adolfo, “L'essenza spettrale delle cose. L'immaginario moderno nella post-serialità e nel postumano”, Funes. Journal of Narratives and Social Sciences, I.1, (2017): 76-89.

Id., Di cose oscure e inquietanti. Narrativa di massa, immagine artificiale, nuovi media: l'immaginario del nostro secolo fra incubi e rassicurazioni, Caserta, Ipermedium, 1995.

Ferroni, Giulio (ed.), Il dialogo. Scambi e passaggi della parola, Palermo, Sellerio, 1985.

Freud, Sigmund, Opere, Ed. Cesare Musatti, Torino, Bollati Boringhieri, 1971-1988, 12 voll.

Id., Das Unheimliche (1919), tr. it. Il perturbante, in L'Io e l'Es e altri scritti, Opere, Torino, Bollati Boringhieri, Vol. 9, 1980.

Id., Das Ich und das Es (1922), tr. it. L'Io e l'Es e altri scritti, Opere, Torino, Bollati Boringhieri, Vol. 9, 1980.

Frezza, Gino, La macchina del mito: tra film e fumetti, Scandicci, La nuova Italia, 1995.

Id., Dissolvenze: mutazioni del cinema, Latina, Tunuè, 2013.

Id. (ed.), EndoApocalisse: the Walking Dead, l'immaginario digitale, il post-umano, Cava de' Tirreni, Areablu, 2015.

Fuegi, John - Francis, Jo, “Lovelace & Babbage and the creation of the 1843 'notes'”, IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, 25.4 (2003): 16-26.

Fusillo, Massimo, L'altro e lo stesso: teoria e storia del doppio (1998), n. ed. Modena, Mucchi, 2012.

Gamov, Georgiy Antonovich, Thirty Years That Shook Physics: The Story of Quantum Theory, New York, Dover, 1966.

Gazzaniga, Michael S., Human (2008), tr. it. Human. Quel che ci rende unici, Milano, Raffaello Cortina Editore, 2009.

Gennaro, Rocco J. (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Consciousness, New York, Routledge, 2018.

Gibson, William - Sterling, Bruce, The Difference Engine (1990), tr. it. La macchina della realtà, Milano, Urania, 2001.

Ginzburg, Carlo, Miti, emblemi, spie: morfologia e storia, Torino, Einaudi, 1986.

Giovannoli, Renato, La scienza della fantascienza (n. ed. 1991), Milano, Bompiani, 2015.

Giuliani, Gaia, Zombie, alieni e mutanti: le paure dall'11 settembre a oggi, Milano, Le Monnier, 2015.

Goody, Alex - Mackay, Antonia, Reading Westworld, Cham, Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.

Heisenberg, Werner Karl, Physics and Philosophy (1958), Fisica e filosofia, Milano, Il Saggiatore, 1961.

Id., Lo sfondo filosofico della fisica moderna, Eds. Giuseppe Gembillo - Enrico Antonio Giannetto, Palermo, Sellerio, 1999.

Hofstadter, Douglas R., Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, (1979), tr. it. Gödel, Escher, Bach: un'eterna ghirlanda brillante, Milano, Adelphi, 2013.

Hume, David, A Treatise of Human Nature (1738), tr. it. Trattato sulla natura umana, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 1982.

Iannuzzi, Giulia, “A propria immagine: i replicanti di Westworld”, Quaderni d'Altri Tempi (ottobre 2017).

Irwin, William - South, James B. - Engels, Kimberly S., Westworld and Philosophy, Oxford, Wiley-Blackwell, 2018.

Jameson, Fredric, Archaeologies of the Future. The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions, London – New York, Verso, 2005.

Jung, Carl G., Die Beziehungen zwischen dem Ich und dem Unbewussten (1928), tr. it. L’io e l’Inconscio, Opere, Intr. di Mario Trevi, Torino, Bollati Boringhieri, 1985.

Id., Die Archetypen und das collective Unbewusste (1934), tr. it. Gli archetipi e l’inconscio collettivo, Opere, Ed. Luigi Aurigemma, Torino, Bollati Boringhieri, 1980, Vol. 9/1.

Id., Psicologia del profondo (1943), Torino, Bollati Boringhieri, 2017.

Kerman, Judith B. (ed.), Retrofitting Blade Runner. Issues in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner and Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Bowling Green, Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1991.

Rickels, Laurence, I think I Am: Philip K. Dick, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 2010.

Lem, Stanislaw, “Non serviam”, in Dennett - Hofstadter 1985.

Lino, Mirko, L'apocalisse postmoderna tra letteratura e cinema. Catastrofi, oggetti, metropoli, corpi, Firenze, Le lettere, 2014.

Lipps, Theodore, “Fonti della conoscenza. Empatia” (1909), Discipline filosofiche, 12.2 (2002): 47-62.

Lodge, David, La coscienza e il romanzo, Milano, Bompiani, 2011.

Luckhurst, Roger (ed.), Science Fiction. A Literary History, London, The British Library, 2017.

Micali, Simona, Towards a Posthuman Imagination in Literature and Media. Monsters, Mutants, Aliens, Artificial Beings, Oxford, Peter Lang, 2019.

Minsky, Marvin, The Society of Mind (1985), New York, Simon & Schuster, 1988.

Mori, Masahiro, “Bukimi no tani”, tr. eng. “The uncanny valley”, Energy, 7.4 (1970): 33–35.

Monticelli, Rita, “Citations of ‘Difference’: Human/Non-human, Mutations, and Contaminations in Utopian/Dystopian Television Series”, (Post)Colonial Passages: Incursions and Excursion across the Literatures and Cultures in English, Eds. Silvia Albertazzi et al., Newcastle upon Tyne, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2018.

Morowitz, Harold J., “Rediscovered the Mind”, Psychology Today, (agosto 1980), tr. it. “La riscoperta della mente” in Dennett - Hofstadter 1985.

Nagel, Thomas, “Conceiving the Impossible and the Mind-Body Problem”, Philosophy, 73. 285 (1998): 337-352.

Id., Questioni mortali, Milano, Il Saggiatore, 1986.

Id., “What it is like to be a bat?”, Philosophical Review, 80 (1974): 435–450; tr. it. in Nagel 1986.

Id., “Panpsichismo” (1979) in Nagel 1986.

Pagetti, Carlo, “Introduzione”, in Dick 1986.

Id., Senso del futuro: la fantascienza nella letteratura americana, Milano - Udine, Mimesis, 2012.

Pecchinenda, Gianfranco, L’Essere e l’Io. Fenomenologia, esistenzialismo e neuroscienze sociali, Milano, Meltemi, 2017.

Penrose, Roger, The Emperor’s New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds, and The Laws of Physics (1989), tr. it. La mente nuova dell’imperatore, Rizzoli, Milano, 1992.

Rieder, John, “On Defining SF, or Not: Genre Theory”, SF, and History, Science Fiction Studies, 37.2 (July 2010): 191-209.

Roberts, Adam, The History of Science Fiction, London, Palgrave, 2016.

Russell, Stuart J. - Norvig, Peter, Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, Harlow (UK), Pearson, 2016.

Ryle, Gilbert, The concept of mind (1949), Abingdon (UK), Routledge, 2009.

Shakespeare, William, Le tragedie, Ed. Giorgio Melchiori, Milano, Mondadori, 1995.

Id., King Lear, Ed. Kenneth Muir, London – New York, Routledge, 1989.

Id., The second part of King Henry the Fourth, Ed. P. H. Davison, Harmondsworth, Penguin books, 1996.

Sammon, Paul, Future Noir. The Making of Blade Runner (1996), London, Gollancz, 2007.

Scholes, Robert - Rabkin, Eric S., Science Fiction: History, Science, Vision (1977), tr. it. Fantascienza: storia, scienza, visione, Parma, Pratiche, 1988.

Schrödinger, Erwin, Meine Weltansicht (1925), tr. it. La mia visione del mondo, la mia vita; Poesie, Ed. Bruno Bertotti, Milano, Garzanti, 1987.

Sobchack, Vivian, Screening space: the American Science Fiction Film (1987), New Brunswick, Rutgers UP, 1997.

Stableford, Brian, Science fact and science fiction, New York, Routledge, 2006.

Russo, Luigi (ed.), La fantascienza e la critica: testi del Convegno internazionale di Palermo, Milano, Feltrinelli, 1980.

Sutin, Lawrence, Divine Invasions. A Life of Philip K. Dick (1979), tr. it.  Divine invasioni. La vita di Philip K. Dick, Roma, Fanucci, 2001.

Suvin, Darko, Metamorphoses of Science Fiction: on the Poetics and History of a Literary Genre (1979), tr. it. Le metamorfosi della fantascienza: poetica e storia di un genere letterario, Intr. di Oreste del Buono, Bologna, Il Mulino, 1985.

Thompson, Evan, Mind in Life. Biology, Phenomenology, and the Sciences of the Mind, Cambridge, Harvard UP, 2007.

Tirino, Mario – Tramontana, Antonio (eds.), I riflessi di Black Mirror: glossario su immaginari, culture e media della società digitale, Roma, Rogas, 2018.

Toole, Betty Alexandra, Ada, the Enchantress of Numbers. Poetical Science (1992), Lovelace-Byron Collection, 2010, ed. digitale.

Turing, Alan M., “Computing machinery and intelligence”, Mind, 59 (1950): 433-460, tr. it. “Calcolatori e intelligenza”, in Dennett -Hofstadter 1985.

Velmans, Max - Schneider, Susan L. (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness, Oxford, Blackwell, 2007.

Vest, Jason, Future imperfect. Philip K. Dick at the movies, London, Praeger, 2007.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/3805

Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM


Between Journal is published by the University of Cagliari - Maintenance for this OJS installation is provided by UniCA  Open Journals, hosted by Sistema Bibliotecario di Ateneo.

Between Journal is published with the funding of the Bank of Sardinia Foundation.

ISSN 2039-6597

CC-By lockssDOAJ seal SPARC Europe