Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Daniel W. Smith

Committee Co-Chair

Thomas J. Rickert

Committee Member 1

Robert P. Marzec

Committee Member 2

William L. McBride


With innovations in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) advancing at an exponential rate, it is ever the more pertinent to interrogate the ramifications and potentialities of these developments. Luciano Floridi, known as “the Google philosopher,” considers this phenomenon an integral part of the digital information age or the “Fourth Revolution.” We are now forced to confront the following problems: What is the relationship between humans and AI? What does it mean to be “human”? What futures are possible given our current coevolution with AI? Such questions motivate close philosophical consideration. Here, the theoretical polarization of the doomsday neo-Luddite versus the overzealous futurist unnecessarily constrains philosophical dialogue. Employing a feminist methodological approach, I turn to two films, Jonze’s Her & Garland’s Ex Machina, to explore these questions. The conditions of possibility that allowed for these films to emerge, point toward a simultaneous critique of phallogocentrism and anthropocentrism. Several frameworks -primarily feminist, psychoanalytic, Deleuzoguattarian, & Heideggerian -are deployed in this dissertation. Using visual media as the lens through which to probe these issues, I investigate how technology (AI specifically) changes what we consider to be human, our affective relation to technology, and how we coevolve with technology.