Klara and the Sun

by Kazuo Ishiguro

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What questions does Kazuo Ishiguro raise about the boundaries between human and artificial intelligence in Klara and the Sun?

In Klara and the Sun, Ishiguro raises questions about the boundaries between human and artificial intelligence by addressing emotional qualities such as compassion, the connection between rational and spiritual beliefs, and ethical matters such as generating and ending existence.

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In Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro raises numerous questions about the limits of human intelligence and artificial intelligence. The author focuses on emotional qualities, such as compassion, and asks about the ways that rational and spiritual beliefs connect. He explores these issues primarily through Klara’s changing relationship with Josie. Ishiguro expands on them through offering the characterization of the Sun through Klara’s eyes as she tries to understand the connection between power and healing. He also addresses ethics as an aspect of human intelligence in regard to the ongoing responsibilities associated with giving and taking life.

Ishiguro encourages the reader to ask how humans develop emotional intelligence and share affective qualities with other humans. As Josie’s health declines, Klara learns to understand the concept of mortality and to experience sorrow and grief. He portrays this artificial being as capable of posing fundamental questions about the nature of existence and even of developing a religious belief system.

The highly complicated ethical dimensions of the relationship between humans and AFs are shown through the idea of Klara’s “continuing” of Josie past Josie’s death, including the conflictual attitudes of Josie’s parents. One of Ishiguro’s ethical questions relates to humans’ responsibility toward the sentient beings they create, including whether humans should be allowed to terminate those beings’ existence.

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