Artificial Intelligence: Is it Capable of Showing Flaws in Society?

Essay by brbbrbCollege, UndergraduateA-, April 2005

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Computers are programmed and humans learn with experience, but what if computers were programmed to learn, how would these "thinking machines" differ from humans? How these machines work must be looked at first in order to understand the difference between machines and humans. In his book Blade Runner, Philip K. Dick incorporates several different aspects of not only how artificial intelligence works, but he also uses artificial intelligence to show slaveries of today's society. The artificially intelligent machines Dick writes about are known as androids, and are equipped with highly advanced forms of artificial intelligence. These androids are used as slaves for humans who have emigrated to Mars because of World War Terminus, which has caused the Earth to become a dark and desolate place with an atmosphere filled with radiation.

The world today does not have the capability of making machines with the intelligence of the androids in Blade Runner, but Dick's science fiction can be looked at as a metaphor to how the world is becoming more accepting or oblivious to the many facets of slavery in today's society.

Rick Deckard, the main character of Blade Runner, works as a bounty hunter for his local police department. As a bounty hunter, Deckard's job is to "retire" the androids that have fled their slavery from Mars in a hope for a better so called "life" on Earth. This is the underlying idea in Dick's metaphor of acceptance of slavery. The androids, although just machines, understand the indecencies of their forced slavery, but humans continue to be oblivious to the many different forms of slavery going on around them. Sometimes this slavery is hard to see, but once it is found it must be overcome.

The androids in Blade Runner are able to identify their slavery...