• Klara and the Sun Book Cover

    Review: Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

    Minor spoilers for the novel follow. Published in 2021, Kazuo Ishiguro’s Klara and the Sun predates the excitement and consternation generated by the advent of large-language-model AIs. Yet this astonishing novel has some important things to say to us about quasi-intelligent machines, and how our interactions with them might affect us. Klara, the protagonist and narrator is an android—or AF (artificial friend)—built to provide companionship to a human child. As we first meet her in her shop window, waiting to be purchased and looking out on the world, we encounter a mind that is charming and strange. Klara is curious, childlike, innocent and compliant, but she is also highly perceptive…