The robotic love-slave- it’s a science fiction trope as old as the hills, but that doesn’t stop it getting dragged out of retirement by the occasional academic … not to mention science and technology websites looking for a humorous Valentines Day item. Ahem. [Image by kaibara87]
Cosmos Magazine talks to David Levy, a professor of gender studies and artificial intelligence, about what he sees as the inevitability of robot lovers:
“[He] is convinced the demand is there and that market forces will provide the financial drive to overcome any technical – or psychological – obstacles. “It is only a matter of time before someone in the adult entertainment industry, which is awash in money, thinks, ‘Gee, I could make a pile of money’,” he says.”
The less charitable might possibly conclude that a similar line of thought may have given rise to Levy’s book …
I’m particularly fond of The Holy Machine by Chris Beckett, a science fiction novel that deals with a man falling in love with an android prostitute; it also has a whole lot to say about the conflict between science and religion, and a redemptive ending with zero schmaltz.
Any robot romance reading recommendations from the audience?
4 thoughts on “A soft spot for hardware – the future of human/robot intercourse”
I was gonna put something up about Dutch wives, RealDolls and how the future’s getting closer, but the whole thing kinda weirds me out.
Wouldn’t Pygmalion count as the first “robot” romance?
I’d recommend K.W. Jeter’s Dr. Adder, but aside from the Disneyesque-lovedroid section, those aren’t robots [cybernetically enhanced prostitutes? harsh.], and that isn’t love.
I think Pygmalion counts.
/me visualises tele-operated androids ‘managed” by agile, experienced (and older) ex-prostitutes, as well as genderbending males with the proper attitude. A nice that will probably prosper, when hardware and actuators are able to simulate a good sexbot body, but not yet come up with a sufficiently challenging mind.
/me licks her lips.
Ok, it’s not a book or short story, but for me the most moving/powerful sci-fi narrative of all time would fall into the category of human-robot love… the episode of “The Twilight Zone” entitled “The Lonely.”
Anyone remember it? Man is sentenced to prison asteroid (“Witness if you will a dungeon, made out of mountains, salt flats and sand that stretch to infinity…”). Man is dying of loneliness. Man’s only friend, the supply ship captain, smuggles him a robot woman with his biannual food shipment. Man hates and fears robot woman. Man falls in love with robot woman. Something horrible happens. Last shot of the episode is one of the most horrifying images I’ve ever seen.
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