Frankenstein Short Thoughts [Larson]

Although Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein in 1818, some themes of the book regarding technology still hold true to this day. The very creature that Victor creates could be interpreted as artificial intelligence. The creature comes into the world knowing nothing, similar to a robot. Just like AI, the Creature has to be trained. Instead of someone controlling the training, as the creator of the AI should, the Creature has to train itself, with little regard for human life. Victor Frankenstein was responsible for nurturing the fiend, but his inability to do so causes his own grief.  This is a worry of many people today, as AI and robots have the capability to learn for themselves which could potentially harm our society.

Furthermore, Victor’s hubris as a creator ultimately ruins his life and those around him. He becomes obsessed with science and natural philosophy, which causes him to create the Creature. He is so centered on creating the Creature that he is blind to the consequences that come with it. When the Creature finally opens its eyes, Victor is disgusted and sees the Creature as a wretched being. This relates to current day technology, as many people are selfish and are focused on being the one to create something new, without stepping back and seeing the big picture. Victor seems to simply be selfish when he doesn’t want to create a mate for the Creature, but really he may just have been concerned about replication of the fiend. He learns the hard way about the consequences of creation, so his decision to destroy the unfinished mate could show that self-replication is something that should not be tampered with.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *