Thursday, October 29, 2009

Love and Sex with Robots

That's the title of a book I'm listening to right now, by David Levy.

I'm only about half-way through, but would like to share some thoughts I've got on the subject.

The book (so far) has spent a lot of time convincing the reader that relationships with robots will become as common as having a dogs as a companion. David goes to great lengths to make the point that we are quite capable of having feelings for non-human and non-living things. And that robotic mates could be better at making us happy than living mates because they can be programmed to do the things that we like.

Here is one of my beefs: WE don't even know what makes us happy. Sure... candy and warm baths make us feel good for a little while. But if all we had was candy and warm baths, or lives would be the sh!ts.

Levy mentions that some are concerned that if we let robots have a will of their own and reproduce, then they might become a threat to us. But it's OK, he puts that fear to rest by stating that all we have to do is make gentle robots. Ummm... that's not how evolution works. If aggressive behaviour helps them to produce more offspring, then that's the direction they'll evolve in. And we'll have a full-blown war on our hands. However, we'd probably kill them all off as soon as one of them showed signs of aggression (a.k.a. genecide).

And this brings me to my final point. OK, maybe loving a robot will hijack the appropriate circuits in our brains to make us truly happy... just like we're in love with our human soul mate. That's just hunky-dory... for a generation or two, until all the robot lovers die off without leaving any children behind. Who's left? The spawn of all those "archaic" types that chose to make it with other humans instead of robots.

Of course, the same could be said of gays. I love books that make me think.


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