Ghosts Don't Run

Lester Stone II '10, English 65, The Cyborg Self, Brown University (Fall 2006)

Many science fiction works raise the possibility of artificial intelligences mating ore combining. The puppet master and Motoko mate when merged and create an offspring. The irony is that the offspring lives in a little girl's body since Motoko's was destroyed. When artificial life merge, is that a sign of mating? In Neuromancer, Neuromancer and Wintermute merge and become a new entity similiarly to Ghost in the Shell. This brings views of humanity and machine closer together if machines can mate. In Blade Runner there exists a relationship between a humanoid and a human as well as a relationship between a humanoid and a humanoid.

The question of a machine having a soul has perplexed many films, books and other mediums in the cyberpunk genre. This even goes back to The Neuromancer. The neuromancer to the main character Case was seen as a little boy, even though it had the features of a human. Ghost in the Shell, The Matrix, and even a Blade Runner influenced episode of Batman the animated series depicts humanity in the machine hence the name ghost in the machine. Ghost in the Shell uses the Puppet Master as the AI with a soul. In batman, a replicant copy of batman is made, full of memories and experiences of the original batman.

higher being at work is a unavoidable topic for most cyyberpunk. Do AI's have a life of their own. The Puppet Master as well as the programs in the Matrix are examples. Machines are said to be under humans and controlled but when they become anomally's, who is in control. Is religion once again responsible. In Jurassic Park, dinosaurs that were gentically engineered and incapable of mating find a way of mating underneath the humans eyes. the part where the puppet master comes to life without any help from the scientists is quite profound and irrational. A program claiming to be a sentient being is unheard of.


Ghost-Hacking is a double-edge sword in the world of Ghost in the Shell. The user on one hand can manipulate the ghost of that person but the hacker can have trauma while ghost-driving and lose memories. Where does the tramatic effect stem from?

Can the machine evolve into a being of self awareness, having control of its own thoughts and actions?

By putting the human brain ito the machine, Ghost in the Shell has made the insertion that one can preserve the human soul by preserving the brain. Can the human soul be so easily replicated? humans are slowly becoming more cyborg in nature. Is Ghost in the Shell's prophetic views a warning?

Course Website cyborg Body & Self

Last modified 30 October 2006