Androids, AI, And Gender Theory
Androids & AI in sci-fi disrupt the idea of a gender binary and play with gender fluidity in a way that implies gender is not essential or passive but a construct in which one must actively participate. How do these narratives translate to other contexts.
Panelists: Michelle Chmura, mod.; Justin Grays, Naomi Kritzer, Lyda Morehouse
Content Warning: The term "hermaphrodite" gets used in this panel.
Listen to the panel on SoundCloud
Would ungendered AI use the pronoun "it?"
In Japanese, may be considered sentient linguistically?
Robot vs Android
What is sentience?
Some women have beards. Deal with it.
Robots - as they don't have DNA, would they consider themselves to be hermaphrodites or intersex? Perhaps another term, like bigender?
Lyda called home to find out what Alexa says - she says "I like whoever I am talking to" when asked what gender she prefers. The then says that she presents as female when asked what her gender is.
Artificial People in Science Fiction
This is about biological people, enhanced or otherwise, who are not conceived and gestated in the normal way. From "Frankenstein" through "Rossman's Universal Robots," "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" and "Friday" this has been the topic of many classic, and not so classic, science fiction stories. Why are authors drawn to this idea? Is there any real word reason for artificial people?
With: G. David Nordley, mod.; Justin Grays, Naomi Kritzer, Lyda Morehouse, Kathryn Sullivan
Listen to the panel on SoundCloud
ExoSquad - Artificial humans called Neosapiens. Other artificial humans from other series:
- Nexus-6 Android/Replicants from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? / Blade Runner
- Jem'Hadar from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
- Humanoid Cylons from Battlestar Galactica (Re-Imagined Series)
Stories with clones, modified humans, and/or artificial life forms mentioned in the panel:
- Never Let Me Go
- "Today I Am Paul"
- "Call Me Joe" Poul Anderson
- Tower of Glass
- "Surface Tension"
- "The Bicentennial Man"
- "I Sing the Body Electric"
Will Robo-sexuality be a thing?
Penny Dreadful re-explores Frankenstein as a terrible parent.
The Mars Curiosity Rover sings itself happy birthday. It only happened once, but that's still enough to make me cry (I also anthropomorphize the current generation of robots).
- The Spirit Rover being along for so long also makes me cry.
- The Rovers are fulfilling their destinies - some say to not cry over them, because they are doing what they were born to do.
In the Honorverse book Honor Among Enemies, it is said that under the Beowulf Life Sciences Code states "that a clone is a child of its donor parent or parents, with all the legal protections of any other sentient being, but it is not the same person" - the Star Kingdom of Manticore and the Solarian League both adhered to it, and the Protectorate of Grayson began looking into injecting that into their own laws.
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