The rapid progress of AI technology prompts British novelists to speculate what a technologically advanced Britain will be like: a utopia or a dystopia? Or somewhere in between? Ian McEwan shows his concern over these questions in Machines Like Me (2019). It is suggested that this novel mainly reveals people’s technophobia and presents a techno-dystopian world, for which many people are ill-prepared. Technophobia and techno-dystopia represented in the selected novel echo the debates among the Neo-Luddites, especially the thoughts of Stephen L. Talbott. From the theoretical angle of Neo-Luddism, the present study aims to explore people’s multifaceted technophobia and the features of techno-dystopia in Machines Like Me, so as to disclose people’s values behind their attitudes to technological advancements. Technophobia as depicted in this novel basically includes people’s dread of AI replacement of humans. Moreover, the world presented in the novel is characteristic of a techno-dystopia: the technological replacement of humans results in people’s obsolete status and poses security risks to human beings. The objective of the research is to arouse people’s awareness about adverse technological impacts and provide some insights into how to handle the tension between technophobia and technological development in the real world. The study concluded that to some degree, such technophobia and techno-dystopia disillusion technophiles who fervently believe that advances in technology will bring about a utopia or at least help to fulfill a utopian ideal. Serving as a warning alarm for the dystopian future, this novel counters cyber-hype in contemporary society and reflects the real world of profit-fueled technology.
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