Neuromancer and 2001: A Space Odyssey Comparison

Topics: Science fiction, Arthur C. Clarke, Artificial intelligence Pages: 3 (867 words) Published: October 2, 2013

How do 2001: A Space Odyssey and Neuromancer represent the values, attitudes and conventions associated with Science Fiction?

2001: A Space Odyssey and Neuromancer represent the values, attitudes and conventions associated with Science Fiction through their complex reliance on Artificial Intelligence and how it invariably turns against its creators; through the emotional detachment of the characters portrayed; and the slow influence of technology on the human psyche.

Artificial Intelligence is a predominant feature in both 2001: A Space Odyssey and Neuromancer. The former text gives the audience an AI called HAL which never makes mistakes and is symbolised by a glowing red circular lens. Neuromancer, however, possesses two AI: Wintermute and Neuromancer. These two pieces of technology have the potential to combine and form one super intelligence, but to do so requires the removal of the lock placed on Wintermute, which requires a word that the AI is programmed to be incapable of knowing. Wintermute uses and manipulates the minds of its helpers without caring about the consequences, only thinking of its purpose: to join with Neuromancer. HAL, on the other hand, is complete in and of itself, requiring no human guidance after programming. However, this lack of regard for humanity is what destroys HAL, when he attempts to remove the human lives from the spaceship by killing them. These AI well represent the attitudes associated with Science Fiction: the understanding Sci-Fi authors, readers and believers have of the dangers of AI; that a true AI would be capable of anything a human is - deceit, murder, manipulation - but on a much larger scale. Artificial Intelligence is also a very typical aspect of Science Fiction, occurring in other texts including I, Robot, Alien, and Wall-E.

The lack of emotion throughout both Neuromancer and 2001: A Space Odyssey is another Science Fiction convention. Futuristic texts like The Book of Eli contain personas which seem...
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