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Typically, an observer from our world will journey to another place or time and see one society the author considers ideal, and another representing the worst possible outcome. The point is usually that the choices we make now may lead to a better or worse potential future world. Ursula K.


In Starhawk 's The Fifth Sacred Thing there is no time-travelling observer, but her ideal society is invaded by a neighbouring power embodying evil repression. In Aldous Huxley 's Island , in many ways a counterpoint to his better-known Brave New World , the fusion of the best parts of Buddhist philosophy and Western technology is threatened by the "invasion" of oil companies.

As another example, in the "Unwanteds" series by Lisa McMann, a paradox occurs where the outcasts from a complete dystopia are treated to absolute utopia, and therefore believe that those who were privileged in said dystopia were actually the unlucky ones. In another literary model, the imagined society journeys between elements of utopia and dystopia over the course of the novel or film. At the beginning of The Giver by Lois Lowry , the world is described as a utopia, but as the book progresses, the world's dystopian aspects are revealed. In ecotopian fiction , the author posits either a utopian or dystopian world revolving around environmental conservation or destruction.

Danny Bloom coined the term "cli fi" in , with a Twitter boost from Margaret Atwood in , to cover climate change-related fiction , [7] but the theme has existed for decades. Novels dealing with overpopulation , such as Harry Harrison 's Make Room! Make Room!

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The novel Nature's End by Whitley Strieber and James Kunetka posits a future in which overpopulation, pollution, climate change, and resulting superstorms, have led to a popular mass-suicide political movement. Some other examples of ecological dystopias are depictions of Earth in the films Wall-E and Avatar. While eco-dystopias are more common, a small number of works depicting what might be called eco-utopia, or eco-utopian trends, have also been influential.

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These include Ernest Callenbach 's Ecotopia , an important 20th century example of this genre. Kim Stanley Robinson has written a number of books dealing with environmental themes, including the Mars trilogy. Most notably, however, his Three Californias Trilogy contrasted an eco-dystopia with an eco-utopia, and a sort of middling-future. Robinson has also edited an anthology of short ecotopian fiction, called Future Primitive: The New Ecotopias.

There are a few dystopias that have an "anti-ecological" theme. These are often characterized by a government that is overprotective of nature or a society that has lost most modern technology and struggles for survival. A good example of this is the novel Riddley Walker.

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Another subgenre is feminist utopias and the overlapping category of feminist science fiction. Writer Sally Miller Gearhart calls this sort of fiction political: it contrasts the present world with an idealized society, criticizes contemporary values and conditions, sees men or masculine systems as the major cause of social and political problems e.

Utopias have explored the ramification of gender being either a societal construct or a hard-wired imperative. In contrast, Doris Lessing 's The Marriages Between Zones Three, Four and Five suggests that men's and women's values are inherent to the sexes and cannot be changed, making a compromise between them essential.

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In My Own Utopia by Elisabeth Mann Borgese , gender exists but is dependent upon age rather than sex — genderless children mature into women, some of whom eventually become men. Utopic single-gender worlds or single-sex societies have long been one of the primary ways to explore implications of gender and gender-differences. In speculative fiction, female-only worlds have been imagined to come about by the action of disease that wipes out men, along with the development of technological or mystical method that allow female parthenogenetic reproduction.

The resulting society is often shown to be utopian by feminist writers. The societies may not necessarily be lesbian, or sexual at all — Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a famous early example of a sexless society. Utopias imagined by male authors have generally included equality between sexes, rather than separation.

Feminist dystopias have become prevalent in young adult fiction , or YA, in recent years, focusing on the relationship between gender identity and the teenager.

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For instance, the Birthmarked trilogy by Caragh M. O'Brien focuses on a teenage midwife in a future post-apocalyptic world while the second novel in the series places the teenage heroine Gaia in a matriarchy. These groups lived in communal settings and lasted until From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Further information: Utopia. See also: List of utopian literature and Category:Utopian fiction. Further information: Dystopia. See also: List of dystopian literature ; List of dystopian comics ; List of dystopian films ; and List of dystopian music, TV programs, and games.

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Who stands between you and AI dystopia? These Google activists

Jules Verne Saturn. Comics Magazines Novels Publishers Short stories. Opera Theatre. What is certain is that Human Compatible marks a major stride in AI studies, not least in its emphasis on ethics. He warns about how, deployed in combination with invasive data collection, AI applications such as voice and facial-recognition technologies, deepfake generators and information-integration systems can be used for surveillance, control and mass-behavioural manipulation.

It might seem surprising, in a solid, cautionary account of contemporary misuses and abuses of AI, that Russell fails to do justice to current boots-on-the-ground benefits. These are already helping people to tackle challenges such as climate change, the biodiversity drain, disease detection and disaster relief. For instance, AI applications in medical image analysis have advanced the early diagnosis of breast cancer, non-small-cell lung cancer and chronic heart failure.

And machine-learning models that integrate macro-scale climate prediction with local observational data allow scientists to assist governments in climate adaptation and mitigation.

Dystopia | Definition of Dystopia by Lexico

This is where the control problem truly comes in. It is to do with the impossibility of AI management once it exceeds the general cognitive capabilities of humans. His definition of AI reduces this quality to instrumental rationality. Rational agents act intelligently, he tells us, to the degree that their actions aim to achieve their objectives, hence maximizing expected utility.

This is likely to please hoary behavioural economists, with proclivities for formalization, and AI technologists squeaking reward functions onto whiteboards.

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He offers scenarios such as a domestic robot that roasts the pet cat to feed a hungry child, an AI system that induces tumours in every human to quickly find an optimal cure for cancer, and a geoengineering robot that asphyxiates humanity to deacidify the oceans. One struggles to identify any intelligence here. An artificial-intelligence personal assistant being demonstrated at a trade show in Japan in Still, Russell all but admits that instrumental aptitude is not enough to account for the full gamut of intelligence capability.

Sacrificing the coherence of his own definition, he hedges his bets. It includes gaining a capacity for common sense, a grasp of context and relevance, and an understanding of natural language. This inventory is difficult to stomach. That is, problems hinging on the failure of AI systems to equal the remarkable human capacity to put together a working but ever-provisional understanding of the world from the infinite number of possible meanings, properties and relationships that together constitute its moving frame.