We Can Build You

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Dick, Philip K. We Can Build You. NYC: DAW, 1972. Serialized as "A. Lincoln, Simulacrum," Amazing Stories November 1969; Amazing Science Fiction, January 1970. See at link Internet Speculative Fiction Database for complex history of publication, translations, reprints, and re-titling, and for links to reviews.[1]

Discussed in Kiyoko Magome's "The Player Piano and Musico-Cybernetic Science Fiction between the 1950s and the 1980s: Kurt Vonnegut and Philip K. Dick," which see. Magome summarizes the novel, relevantly here:

In order to make their piano company survive [against competition from the mood organ], Louis [Rosen] and Maury [Rock] decide to create not musical instruments but electronic simulacra of dead people, such as Abraham Lincoln revived as a contemporary, highly elaborate machine. [...] As they produce more and more simulacra and interact more closely with them, they become involved in many serious problems. One of them is that they cannot tell the difference between real human beings and electronic simulacra, or between man and machine, in terms of feelings, emotion, temper, and will. (Magome p. 379)

Cf. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and the film version, BLADE RUNNER. Note Magome's quotation of the observation by the two businessmen, "'We were, beyond doubt, watching a living creature [the first simulacrum] being born'" (p. 72 [in 1994 Vintage reprint; Magome's interpolation]): so We Can Build You may be relevant for one understanding of Artificial Life (AL) as well as intelligence (AI).

Louis "falls in love with" Pris, the "machine-like girl" simulacrum (quoting Magome, p. 380): cf. and contrast Pris in BLADE RUNNER and the tradition of the female robot, from robot Maria in METROPOLIS to "Helen O'Loy," "The Lonely" episode of Twilight Zone, to the "Hail to the Teeth" episode of The Simpsons.[2]

RDE, finishing, 15Feb22