Posts Tagged 'robot-human relations'

You know Distance Learning but Distance Sex anyone?

First it was distance learning and soon there will be distance sex or at least that’s the idea if Dominic Choy has her way. Here is New Scientist story on this theme.

You’ve heard of distance learning. Now it looks like distance sex is on the way. Dominic Choy of Cammeray, New South Wales, wants to replace real sex with an online robotic experience. He proposes a lifelike flexible mannequin covered with imitation skin (WO 0059581). Servo motors move its limbs and other body parts in response to control signals both from the Internet and from touch and sound sensors on its body. Two people with matching mannequins connect over the Internet, wearing virtual-reality visors so they can see and hear each other. Couples can get together from opposite ends of the Earth—or they could program the system so that one participant resembles their partner’s favourite celebrity.

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Fredric Brown’s Answer

Some science fiction writers have somewhat amusingly noted that given that machines or rather intelligent machines may one day become too powerful for humans so that the relationship between them may be reversed. Fredric Brown explores such a theme in his famous short science fiction story, Answer. Here is the complete text.

Dwan Ev ceremoniously soldered the final connection with gold. The eyes of a dozen television cameras watched him and the subether bore throughout the universe a dozen pictures of what he was doing.
He straightened and nodded to Dwar Reyn, then moved to a position beside the switch that would complete the contact when he threw it. The switch that would connect, all at once, all of the monster computing machines of all the populated planets in the universe — ninety-six billion planets — into the supercircuit that would connect them all into one supercalculator, one cybernetics machine that would combine all the knowledge of all the galaxies.
Dwar Reyn spoke briefly to the watching and listening trillions. Then after a moment’s silence he said, “Now, Dwar Ev.”
Dwar Ev threw the switch. There was a mighty hum, the surge of power from ninety-six billion planets. Lights flashed and quieted along the miles-long panel.
Dwar Ev stepped back and drew a deep breath. “The honor of asking the first question is yours, Dwar Reyn.”
“Thank you,” said Dwar Reyn. “It shall be a question which no single cybernetics machine has been able to answer.”
He turned to face the machine. “Is there a God?”
The mighty voice answered without hesitation, without the clicking of a single relay.
“Yes, now there is a God.”
Sudden fear flashed on the face of Dwar Ev. He leaped to grab the switch.
A bolt of lightning from the cloudless sky struck him down and fused the switch shut.

(Fredric Brown, “Answer”)

Love and Sex with Robots by David Levy: An Introduction

The most famous book on this subject is Love and Sex with Robots by David Levy. In this book David Levy considers the basis and implications of relations between humans and robots in the not so distant future. He compares this phenomenon with how humans fall in love with other humans, make bonds with other animals even inanimate objects like their cars. While many of the themes discussed in the book may seem like far fetched science fiction, some of the things discussed in the book are already becoming a reality e.g., the existence of primitive sex dolls, elderly people forming bonds with their robotic pets etc. The era of human-machine relations may not be as far off as we may think! In the coming weeks I will also be posting various reviews of the book along with interviews of David Levy from different sources.


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