In Steven Spielberg’s film Artificial Intelligence, set in a high-tech world of the near future, a woman is not allowed to have a second natural child, but is permitted to adopt an artificial substitute: a boy android that is astonishingly lifelike in its emotional responses. The illogic of this premise (why would an artificial child be preferable to a real one?) betrays the true intent: controlling not population but reproduction, displacing female-created life with male-created artifice. The play of the artificial boy upon his adopted mother’s emotions represents the triumph of masculine ingenuity over feminine sentiments and instincts: the ultimate test of the masculine project of simulating life is whether it can fool a real mother. Ironically, the film largely follows the quest of this “pinocchio” to become a real son. Virtually immortal, his deepest wish is to be reunited, if only for a day, with his long-dead human mother, to be enfolded at last in feminine love.
RELATED TAGS: [AI, Steven Spielberg, artificial boy/child/motherhood, masculine ingenuity, simulating life, Pinocchio]
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