Year of Publication

2012

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

English

First Advisor

Dr. Michael Trask

Abstract

The principle objective of this thesis is to expand the term “technological sublime” to include technologies of artificial intelligence. In defining new realms of the technological sublime, we must not only consider the ecological integration of technology within natural surroundings, but also appreciate modern technological objects that instigate sublime experiences. This work examines science fictional portrayals of interactions with sentient artificial intelligence in I, Robot, 2001: A Space Odyssey and other major works of science fiction. In each of these works, characters who encounter technologies possessing artificial intelligence share sublime experiences. This thesis considers various levels of embodiment associated with the objects of artificial intelligence and discusses the sublime qualities of both cybernetic and android beings. Finally, this work examines how our perceptions of environment are altered by the introduction of virtual reality and virtual landscapes, which consequently affects our mindscapes and contribute to the technological sublime.

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