Retirement and regeneration: how robots and replicants experience death

Blade Runner’s Roy Batty tried to escape death, despite being a replicant. Screenshot from Blade Runner/Warner Brothers

In the 2014 film Interstellar, Matt Damon’s Dr Mann explains that “a machine doesn’t improvise well because you cannot program a fear of death”.

The demise of non-human characters in science fiction films, TV shows and books has shown otherwise, suggesting that fear of losing “life” is not always a uniquely human phenomenon.

In fact, popular culture is helping redefine what it means to be truly human, with emphasis placed on behaviour rather than biology. If fiction is anything to go by, human birth may not always be the only prerequisite for “death”.

 

Source: Retirement and regeneration: how robots and replicants experience death

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