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Deus Ex Machina: en kvalitativ studie i skildringen av feminin artificiell intelligens i filmen Ex. Machina.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies, JMK.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies, JMK.
2016 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

With this study, the authors wish to highlight the way artificial intelligence, as a new form of media technology, seems to be ascribed gender, both in fiction and reality. These, by humans artificially developed beings, would not need to be gendered, but still are. Given these beings are human made and new phenomenas, an opportunity of preventing boundaries considering gender, class and etnicity to be reproduced would be possible and in favour.

By analysing the Alex Garland 2015 film Ex Machina, the authors wish to discuss how and why the artificial intelligence becomes gendered, particularly feminised, and what this means from a wider perspective concerning the way we look at this new technlology not yet fully introduced in real life.

By using post- and transhuman theory mixed with feminist theories such as Judith Butlers theory of perfomativity, Donna Haraways posthuman feminist theory and Laura Mulveys theory of The Male Gaze, this study results in a qualitative text analysis. The methodic tools used in this study contains elements from visual text methods and therefor also semiotics.


The authors reach to the conclusion that the depiction of artificial intelligence in the film Ex Machina (2015) reproduces stereotypic feminine gender acts and even intensifies these. When these ways of presenting new and futuristic technology seems to appear in ficiton, an assumption can be made that they origin from existing and deep gender acts in the western society. Researchers, such as Donna Haraway, wishes for these strong boundaries in gender, class and etnicity to not be reproduced in new technology, but in the fictional case of the film Ex Machina (2015), this wish has unfortunately not been fullfilled.

If society would be able to rethink the sharp boundaries between nature and technology and succeed with this ontological change in the way we look at humanity, it would hopefully be easier to approach the new technology with an open mind. Perhaps then the reproduction of gender stereotypes in this new technology would cease in fiction, but also in reality. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 42 p.
Keyword [en]
artificial intelligence, humanoids, posthuman, transhuman, gender, femininity, myths, performativity, male gaze, Ex Machina.
National Category
Media and Communications
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-125584OAI: diva2:894152
Available from: 2016-01-14 Created: 2016-01-14 Last updated: 2016-01-14Bibliographically approved

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