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A Survey of Androids and Audiences: 285 BCE to the present day

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This historical survey reviews incidences and popularity of mechanical humans from Ptolemaic Alexandria to the present day. These devices were of special interest in the Enlightenment as models of a Mechanistic self, as artistic and scientific spectacles, and as entertainment devices. Historical mass audiences may not have shared the negative associations held by audiences of today; however intense responses to android displays have been documented. The project finds that audience response is informed by a wide variety of factors that should be considered together when determining the depth of uncanniness present in a device. Therefore, the project explores issues related to the philosophical interpretation, imagery, and social contexts of android automata.
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