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AI NarrativesA History of Imaginative Thinking about Intelligent Machines$
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Stephen Cave, Kanta Dihal, and Sarah Dillon

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198846666

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198846666.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 June 2021

AI and Cyberpunk Networks

AI and Cyberpunk Networks

(p.284) 12 AI and Cyberpunk Networks
AI Narratives

Anna McFarlane

Oxford University Press

Cyberpunk science fiction broke new ground in terms of AI representation; William Gibson’s Neuromancer (1984), the ur-text of cyberpunk, introduced the term ‘cyberspace’, and this spatialized metaphor for data creates an environment that can be inhabited by AIs, rather than an idea of the AI being located in one ‘body’, or in one static place. This chapter explores the possibilities opened by this innovation and by cyberpunk’s continued interrogation of AI as a phenomenon that is dispersed throughout networks, particularly focusing on William Gibson, in the Afrofuturist movement through a reading of Samuel R. Delany’s Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand (1984), and on the work of writers who have been characterized as ‘post-cyberpunk’, such as Cory Doctorow, who shows how algorithms and artificial intelligences can have unexpected, international, and economic consequences.

Keywords:   Posthumanism, cyberpunk, artificial intelligence, algorithms, Afrofuturism, hacking, cyberspace, William Gibson, Samuel R. Delany, Cory Doctorow

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