T5W | Book List for a Class on Robots and AI

T5W is a weekly book meme created by Lainey from Gingereadslainey and hosted by Sam from Thought On Tomes with a different bookish topic each week. You can check out the GoodReads group here.

Topic: Book List for Class on Robots and AI

Since my research focus in university is in robotics, I thought it’d be interesting to go make a list of books that feature robots. Then I realized that I haven’t actually read that many books featuring robots so instead this is a list of 5 books on robots and AI.

1. Autonomous by Annalee Newitz

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Autonomous is an interesting sci-fi novel that simultaneously discusses the treatments of humans vs sentient robots that are effectively their own person, and the dangers of Big Pharma. Newitz’s interpretation of a sentient robot’s ability to perceive human gender and gender norms was fascinating.

2. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

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This is the only one on this list I haven’t actually read, but is a list of books featuring robots a real like if it doesn’t include this book? I have watched the original Blade Runner, which is based on this, so hopefully that’s close enough.

3. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

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One of my favorite sci-fi novels of all times! The subtle yet important characteristic differences between Breq, Justice of Toren, and the individual Justice of Toren ancillaries was so impressive to read. I know a lot of people consider the language of this book confusing, but I think if you read it as the author’s attempt to translate dialogue into English where not every word has a one-to-one, it makes much more sense.

4. The Lifecycle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang

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This is a short story that talks about raising your own pet sentient AI. Basically, how would a sentient Neopet feel if you spent five years then abandon it entirely? The ending is rather sad, but I suppose their treatment was realistic.

5. All Systems Red by Martha Wells

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This one’s probably the fluffiest of the list. While every other book poses questions for the reader to think about as they read, I read this one simply as a book about a Murderbot that would rather watch TV than kill people. Overall, very cute and I’m curious whether future books get more serious.

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