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Can Artificial Intelligence Solve the Climate Crisis? - The Climate Crisis and AI Narratives in Korean Science Fiction

  • Journal of Popular Narrative
  • 2024, 30(1), pp.47-79
  • DOI : 10.18856/jpn.2024.30.1.002
  • Publisher : The Association of Popular Narrative
  • Research Area : Interdisciplinary Studies > Interdisciplinary Research
  • Received : January 11, 2024
  • Accepted : February 19, 2024
  • Published : February 28, 2024

Noh Dae-won 1

1제주대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The severity of the climate crisis has led to the academic proliferation of Anthropocene discourse. The concept of “Anthropocene fiction” has also emerged as a response to climate change. The Anthropocene can be perceived as a nomenclature and a contest of narratives around understanding and responding to reality. In literary studies, the establishment and practice of “anthropocene criticism” is called for. This paper critically analyzes Korean science fiction narratives that address the issues of climate crisis and artificial intelligence together from the perspective of climate fiction (Cli-Fi). James Lovelock, a proponent of the Gaia theory, is optimistic that the climate crisis will be solved by AI and calls it “the Novacene.” Many movies and novels also depict AI solving the climate crisis. So-yeon Kim and Hae-yeon Yoon's science fiction short stories “Gaia's Choice” and “Capsule for One” are narratives that delegate political power to AI as a "Green Leviathan" in the face of climate disaster. Ji-hong Park's sf comic “HOTEL, SINCE 2079” is a retrospective of the restoration process after human extinction by a non-human narrator, AI. Samsung Electronics' web drama Whale Dust is optimistic that AI technology will save the day in an era of gloomy climate disasters. This paper critiques the dangers of such techno-solutionist imaginaries of the climate crisis. Climate crisis and AI narratives have strong narrative and rhetorical power (effect) because they allow us to imagine narratives of global catastrophe and salvation. This paper emphasizes that climate crisis and AI narratives are about the transformation of our future.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.