Frankenstein complex

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Coined by American science fiction author Isaac Asimov in 1947 in his novelette Little Lost Robot. From Victor Frankenstein, the title character of Mary Shelley's 1818 novel Frankenstein.

Noun[edit]

Frankenstein complex (plural Frankenstein complexes)

  1. The fear that an artificial intelligence will turn against humans.
    • 1947 March, Asimov, Isaac, “Little Lost Robot”, in Astounding Science Fiction, volume 39, number 1, page 116:
      I'll admit that this Frankenstein Complex you're exhibiting has a certain justification—hence the First Law in the first place.
    • 1987 December, Bujold, Lois McMaster, “Falling Free”, in Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, volume 108, number 13, page 30:
      Mr. Graf, you're still disturbed. You sure you're not harboring just a little of the old Frankenstein complex about all this? It's all right to admit it to me—in fact, I want you to talk about it.
    • 1992, Segen, Joseph C., The Dictionary of Modern Medicine, →ISBN, page 234:
      The central character of Mary Shelley's novel by the same name 'Frankenstein' is used as an adjective in a variety of biomedical contexts, eg. Frankenstein complex The fear that machines via artificial intelligence may replace physicians

References[edit]