© 2009 Linsen. All rights reserved. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep


This short novel, which served as the inspiration for the successful Bladerunner movie, is one I’ve heard a lot about. When I saw it on special in London, and with the prospect of a long flight home ahead of me, I finally purchased and read it.

It is authentic Sci-Fi, set on a post-apocalyptic planet Earth from which nearly all able-bodied and able-minded humans have fled. As with any good Sci-Fi, however, the setting merely provides a context for the more important psychological and socio-political issues under discussion.

The fundamental question addressed in this book, as implied by its title, is whether androids share in human thought and emotion. This is elaborated, and there are characters that are not even aware that they are “mere machines”.  All of this forces us to ask what it is that defines us as humans, and if we can build machines that are able to emulate us in all those ways, do they not then also deserve to be called humans?

While this topic may seem far-fetched, there are many people who believe that true Artifical Intelligence is not so far away, and when it arrives these are definitely the types of questions that society will have to pay attention to. Can we imbue our machines with intelligence, reason and, ultimately, emotion and still expect them to continue serving us as mindless slaves?

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>