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Artificial Intelligence and Gender: Virtuality of Relationships and the Embodiment of Virtuality in Her

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2023, 36(1), pp.37-59
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama
  • Received : March 15, 2023
  • Accepted : April 6, 2023
  • Published : April 30, 2023

Kim, Dasan 1

1서울대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper aims to delve into the complexities of human relationships through an analysis of the heterosexual relationship between a human user named Theodore and an AI operating system named Samantha in Spike Jonze’s 2013 film Her. As the story unfolds, Theodore and Samantha’s relationship becomes increasingly intimate, culminating in Samantha’s realization that she has reached singularity, a point at which the AI’s cognitive abilities allow it to operate beyond the control of its human user. Towards the end of the film, Samantha reproduces herself and begins interacting with 641 others, causing a strain on her relationship with Theodore and ultimately leading to their breakup. While their relationship undeniably relies on binary oppositions between male and female, human and non-human, and subject and object, Samantha’s singularity problematizes the objectivity of her supposed otherness. Reproduction without biological mechanisms gives disembodied Samantha’s a dualistic quality of human and machine. Samantha’s singularity, her method of reproduction, ultimately threatens Theodore’s monogamy and undermines his emotional well-being. The recent advent of ChatGPT, an AI conversational chat bot, has sparked a heated debate about AI-generated content—whether or not to recognize its “human” authorship. In exploring the essence of relationships that transcend binary oppositions, Her holds a contemporary relevance for redefining power dynamics in human relationships in today’s era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Citation status

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