Artificial Intelligence in Gibson's Idoru and Oshii's Ghost in the Shell

Artificial Intelligence in Gibson's Idoru and Oshii's Ghost in the Shell

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Artificial Intelligence in Gibson's Idoru and Oshii's Ghost in the Shell


If people knew what scientists are up to, they would not be sleeping as calmly as they do today. If only they knew, they would read more carefully what the cyberpunk authors have to say.


The purpose of this work is not only to compare the pictures of Artificial Intelligence (hereafter referred to simply as AI) included in two major works of cyberpunk genre, but also to show the connection between those images and the reality we all live in or its nearest future.


So what is the future of AI depicted in cyberpunk works like? And if, as Sterling suggests, science-fiction writers pass on a cautionary message to the contemporary society in a satirical disguise, are these pictures really parallel to our reality? And if they are, should we be afraid?


The subject matter is Artificial Intelligence. The environments that house the AIs described hereafter are the environments of cyberpunk literature. To understand the findings and conclusions of this work, it is necessary to know the meaning of both these notions.


Defining Basic Notions: Introduction to cyberpunk


Cyberpunk has been present on the literary scene for almost twenty years now, being the most trendy and mainstream sub-genre of science-fiction and, although announced dead by some critics, has not been replaced by any other science-fiction movement so far. But how should we define what cyberpunk is and distinguish it from what is merely cyberpunkish? Appignanesi points out that the major feature of the cyberpunk world is a "total intrusion of technology into human lives" (129) and this may be used as a sufficient...

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Works cited


1. Gibson, William. Idoru. London: Penguin Books. 1997.

2. Ghost in the Shell. Dir. Mamoru Oshii. Masamune Shirow/Kodansha/Bandai Visual/Manga Entertainment. 1995.


1. Appignanesi, Richard. Postmodernism for Beginners. Cambridge: Icon Books Ltd. 1995.

2. Buller, Andrzej. Sztuczny mózg. To ju nie fantazje (Artificial Brain. Not a Fantasy Any More). Translation mine. Warszawa: Prószy ski i S-ka. 1998.

3. Marciszewski Witold. Sztuczna inteligencja (Artificial Intelligence). Translation mine. Kraków: SIW Znak. 1998.

4. Cyran Janusz, ed. "Requiem dla ludzko ci?" ("Requiem for Humanity?"). Translation mine. Nowa Fantastyka Oct. 1999: 74 76.

5. Anonymous collective work. The Cyberpunk Project. Authors' Definition. 1999.

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