Books and literature

'Machines like me': Ian McEwan goes to science fiction with a love novel between robots and humans

We don't exaggerate if we say that Ian McEwan is one of the most important living novelists of literature. As it shows, a button: The times he included it in his list of the best 50 British writers in the last seventy years and his book Amsterdam It was made in 1998 with the Booker Prize, one of the most prestigious English-speaking literary awards. He is also the author of Atonement, one of the great novels of our time.

The story takes place in 1935 and is, at the same time, A romantic story of impossible love and a hard story of war. He adapted to the cinema in 2007, starring James McAvoy and Keira Knightley.

In total, he is the author of two story books and fifteen novels. With the last one, recently published in Spain by Anagrama, it turns 180 degrees and, for the first time, he enters the genre of science fiction.

In the past, McEwan had proven to be an author interested in science with several essays published in the press about climate change or the evolution of species but never until now had he delved into it since fiction.

Machines like me It is mainly focused on trying to answer a question related to artificial intelligence: Can a machine come to understand and judge the moral complexity of the decisions of a human being?

However, it does not take place in the future but in a dystopian and alternative past. In the pages of this book we traveled to London in the 80s that never took place in reality, as a result of which history has followed some different paths.

We mean that the United Kingdom lost the Falklands War and the scientist Alan Turing never committed suicide tormented by the consequences of the trial to which he was subjected in the fifties for his homosexuality. Now he's not only still alive but he's dedicated to the development of artificial intelligence, where it has achieved a milestone: the creation of the first synthetic human beings.

These are prototypes that he baptizes as Adam and Eve. Charlie, the protagonist of the story, buys one of these Adams designed to keep company and help at home. With the help of Miranda, her lover, they program it to their liking. However, Miranda hides a terrible secret that, the robot, lacking the moral nuances of true humans, ends up discovering.

This way it is generated a peculiar love triangle between Charlie, Miranda and Adam that generates a rising tension that will force the characters to make difficult decisions.

A story that is an excuse for pose moral dilemmas to the reader as uncomfortable as necessary: What is it that makes us humans? Where are the ethical limits of artificial intelligence? The end justifies the means? Can a machine come to understand and judge the moral complexity of the decisions of a human being?

Atonement (Anagram Compact)

Today on Amazon for € 176.00

Amsterdam (Limited Edition)

Today on Amazon for € 98.00

Machines like me: 1010 (Panorama of narratives)

Today on Amazon for € 19.85

Atonement (Anagram Compact)

Today on Amazon for € 176.00