The title of this book is designed to provoke two lines of thought. First, there is the incredible effect of anthropomorphic machines on human imagination and culture. Anthropomorphism has a power to direct attention away from the alien nature of a technological object. Second, the philosophical study of the way machines sense and act in their worlds is essential for breaking free of the anthropomorphic effect. Tessa Leach argues that this is the foundation upon which we must base a study of technologies without undue emphasis on their human origins, which often means breaking free of the way that we group different objects under human-imposed naming systems. Object-oriented ontology is used as a way of of insisting upon the unhuman nature of technology while still acknowledging its immense power and significance in human life. Machine Sensation discusses such remarkable objects as natural user interfaces, artificial intelligence, and sex robots.
Dr Tessa Leach completed her PhD in history & philosophy of technology at the University of Melbourne in 2018. Her work exists at an intersection of metaphysics, the history and philosophy of technology, science and technology studies, videogames studies, gender studies, queer STS, and animal ethology.