Artificial humanity: man-machine relationship between fiction and science

Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, Science, Art, Science Fiction, Creativity


Can machines ever have feelings and conscience? And if it were even possible, why should it be desirable? Science and science fiction narrative have been asking these questions for over a century, generating rather similar creative products. But are the processes that drive the imagination of storytellers and scientists the same? Analyzing some examples taken from science fiction and scientific research in the field of Artificial Intelligence, the article shows affinities and differences between these two areas of human creativity.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Isabella Tomassucci

Master's Degree in Public Communication, Business and Advertising Sciences. Graduated at the University of Macerata, her research interests focus on the intersections between arts and cognitive processes.

Other publications:

-"'Non potevo fare altro'. Retorica e rappresentazione dell'ossessione in ZeroZeroZero di Roberto Saviano", Heteroglossia, Università degli Studi di Macerata, EUM, 14 (2016): 419-440


Adams, Douglas, Guida galattica per gli autostoppisti. Il ciclo completo, trad. it. Laura Serra, Milano, Mondadori, 2012 (ed. orig., The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, London, Completely Unexpected Productions Limited, 1980).

Andreasen, Nancy C. – Ramchandran, Kanchna, “Creativity in art and science: are there two cultures?”, Dialogue Clinic Neuroscience, 14.1 (March 2012): 49–54.

Asimov, Isaac, Io Robot, trad. it. Laura Serra, Milano, Mondadori, 2006, (ed. orig. I, Robot, New York, Random House, 1950).

Baum, Frank, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Chicago, George M. Hill Company, 1900.

Boden, Margaret A., Mind as Machine: A History of Cognitive Science, Oxford, OUP, 2006.

Buzzati, Dino, Il grande ritratto, Milano, Mondadori, 1960.

Carroll, Lewis, Alice in Wonderland, London, Macmillan, 1865.

Colby, Kenneth Mark, Artificial Paranoia: A Computer Simulation of Paranoid Processes, Oxford, Pergamon Press, 1875.

De Bono, Edward, Il pensiero laterale, Milano, Rizzoli, 1996.

Dick, Philip K., Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, New York, Doubleday, 1968.

Eco, Umberto, Lector in fabula. La cooperazione interpretativa nei testi narrativi, Milano, Bompiani, 1979.

Ellis, Edward S., "The Steam Man of the Prairies”, Beadle's American Novel, 45 (August 1868).

Gottschall, Jonathan, L’istinto di narrare. Come le storie ci hanno reso umani, Torino, Bollati Boringhieri, 2014.

Harris, Robert, L’indice della paura, Milano, Mondadori, 2014.

Lem, Stanislaw, Golem XVI, trad. it. Di Lorenzo Pompeo, Fontecchio, Il Sirente, 2018.

Levy, David, Love and Sex with Robots: The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships, New York, Harper Perennial, 2008.

Li Zhou, Jianfeng Gao, Di Li, Heung-Yeung Shum, The Design and Implementation of XiaoIce, an Empathetic Social Chatbot, 2018, arXiv:1812.08989 (last accessed: 27/02/2019).

Marrone, Gianfranco, Introduzione alla semiotica del testo, Bari, Laterza, 2011.

Picard, Rosalind W., “Affective Computing”, M.I.T Media Laboratory Perceptual Computing Section Technical Report, 321 (1995): 1-16.

Pillera, Giuseppe, “L'immaginario utopico e distopico: origine, temi e forme espressive. Appunti di viaggio tra cinema e letteratura”, Cinergie, 19 (2010): 36-39.

Shelley, Mary, Frankenstein, trad. it. di Bruno Tasso, Milano, Rizzoli, 1952, (ed. orig., Frankenstein or The Modern Prometeus, Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor & Jones, 1918).

Smith, Andrew, “Il codice Frankenstein”, Internazionale, 1292 (Febbraio, 2019): 54-59.

Tang, Paul C. L. – Leonard, Arne R., “Creativity in Art and Science”, Journal of Aesthetic Education, 19.3 (1985): 5–19.

Wallace, Richard S., “The Anatomy of A.L.I.C.E.”, Eds. Epstein R., Roberts G., Beber G.. Parsing the Turing Test. Springer, Dordrecht, 2009

Weizenbaum, Joseph, “ELIZA - A Computer Program For the Study of Natural Language Communication Between Man and Machine”, Commungicatins of the ACM, 9:1, (January 1966): 36-35.


Cathy O’Neil, The Truth About Algorithms,, web (last accessed: 23/02/2019).

Megan Garber, “When PARRY Met ELIZA: A Ridiculous Chatbot Conversation From 1972”, The Atlantic, June,9 2014,, web, (last accessed 15/02/2019).

Tillmann Ohm, “Reflections of HAL and Samantha”,,, web (last accessed: 15/02/2019).


“Be Right Back”, Ep. 1, S. 2 di Black Mirror (serie TV), Dir. Owen Harris, Writer Charlie Brooker, Channel 4, 11 febbraio 2013.

2001: A Space Odissey, Dir. Stanely Kubrick, USA, 1968.

Blade Runner, Dir. Ridley Scott, USA - Hong Kong, 1982.

Brexit, The Uncivil War, Dir. Toby Haynes, USA, 2019.

Her, Dir. Spike Jonze, USA, 2013.

Star Trek: The Next Generation (serie TV), Id. Gene Roddenberry, USA, 1987-1994.

Trascendence, Dir. Wally Pfister, USA, 2014.

Westworld, Dir. Michael Crichton, USA, 1973.

Westworld (serie TV), Id. Jonathan Nolan, Lisa Joy, USA, 2016 - in corso.

How to Cite
Tomassucci, I. (2019). Artificial humanity: man-machine relationship between fiction and science. Between, 9(17).