[ExI] Singularity - Non-Gender Specific

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Tue Sep 29 15:57:03 UTC 2009

On 9/29/2009 10:12 AM, Natasha Vita-More wrote:

>   Because the Singularity is so male-dominated, I wonder if it is not
> almost stirring up what might later be a larger issue of gender
> misappropriation now, which could lead to a strong gender appropriation.

Interesting. Rather than the insect metamorphosis metaphor, I' be 
inclined to look at the way we currently construe/construct "machines" 
as a male preserve (despite a century and more of sewing machines, 
telephone operators, process work, etc), and look at the iconography of 
large gleaming "male" robots that effortlessly dominate humans. Attempts 
to subvert that, as in the Sarah Conner Chronicles, just create a sort 
of male-with-boobs killer machine. You might look at Harry Harlow's 
classic wire vs. cloth "mother" experiments with baby monkeys.

The obvious irony is that the premise of most Singularity models is a 
transition *beyond* anything as biological as gender or sex. But given a 
culture in which male is the unmarked norm, that just means any super-AI 
(say) is automaticallly "he." And so on. (Although there are 
countervailing currents: the seductive female robot of METROPOLIS, the 
relationship between designer and AI in the COLOSSUS novels, which is 

Damien Broderick

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