Ex-machina: sex, knowledge, and artificial intelligence

This paper investigates the relationship between sex and knowledge and its manifestation in the development of Artificial Intelligence. With the concept of the extimate uncanny I analyse the status of the robotic companion as emblematic of the Lacanian non- existent sexual relation. Through a commentary on the 2014 film Ex – Machina, I discuss the staging of symbolic castration, sexuation and the uncanny and suggest that this conceptual reading of the sex-bot is an essential starting point to a more complex understanding of the contemporary significance of Artificial Intelligence and sexualised automatons in the social bond. Via my reading, the figure of the sex-bot is understood to be the vanishing mediator which articulates the onto-epistemological nexus between psychoanalysis and philosophy.

Psychoanalysis: a symptomatic problem

In this article the author explores why psychoanalysts are often seen as troublesome people and why they give so much critique. Foucault stated that in modernity the epistèmè changed: ‘man’ came in the thinking frame and human sciences were born. In his opinion psychoanalysis has in this epistèmè the position of a counter-science. In this article the author shows how psychoanalysis is different from human sciences in two aspects. First, psychoanalysis has another subject theory. The subject is not seen as something that can be discovered and has authentic qualities, but is fundamentally desiring and divided. Second, the author explains the difference in the way knowledge is grasped in psychoanalysis and human sciences by using Lacans discourse theory. These different points of view, mark the position of psychoanalysis in the modern epistèmè. The author concludes by stating that this is why psychoanalysis is so problematic for others. As a discourse, she is a symptom that appears because human sciences fail to grasp subjectivity. This is why psychoanalysis is fundamentally intertwined with the other human sciences and will probably disappear one day.