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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: 30 July 2021

The Measure of a Woman

The Measure of a Woman

Fembots, Fact and Fiction

(p.357) 15 The Measure of a Woman
AI Narratives

Kate Devlin

Olivia Belton

Oxford University Press

While the production of real-life sex robots is currently only at prototype stage, sexualized female artificial intelligences have long been a trope in popular media. By critically analysing a selection of science fiction films and television programmes, we explore the narrative of fictional representations of eroticized female robots and the ways in which their reception feeds real-life expectation. While these media representations are, at times, surprisingly nuanced, they persist in giving their female AIs stable gender identities, even when the AIs are disembodied. Fictional and factual fembots each reflect the same regressive male fantasies: sexual outlets and the promise of emotional validation and companionship. Underpinning this are masculine anxieties regarding powerful women, as well as the fear of technology exceeding our capacities and escaping our control.

Keywords:   Robots, sex robots, artificial intelligence, feminism, science fiction, film, television

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