It was bound to happen.
This link goes to Neatorama and footage of a quite realistic android in Japan. It moves, speaks, even mimics facial features. I find it interesting that the designers chose a female identity for it. Shouldn’t be a mystery as to why. One of the user comments at the bottom of the page probably sums up the true motivation: “Can I f**k it?”
That’s right. We’re just this close to having fembots around. I know that there are a few primitive models already in existence. I’ve heard mention of a lifelike pleasure robot in and there is of course Real Doll (that link is definitely NSFW) line of adult entertainment products. Those are a long way from something like Pris in Blade Runner, but it’s only a matter of time before men, and presumably women, will have their own artificial companions to service their “needs.”
Why do I say this? Just look at how much the sex industry has driven technology forward. The advent of the VCR was brought on so that porn could be watched at home as opposed to in a seedy theater in the bad part of town, interactive DVDs had their own prurient origins, and the influence of porn on the Internet is many storied. As for the fembots, the notion is really as old as Pygmalion, the mythical character who sculpted a woman to spec. Now Pygmalion, meet the cult of celebrity. Porn stars have molds cast of their…ahem, body parts and even duplications their whole likenesses in the case of a few Real Dolls. Is it that far of leap to say Britney Spears or Kim Kardashian might do the same? Come to think of it, those two are rather fembot-like as they are now.
Perhaps they wouldn’t license their likeness out for lewd or base activities, but it’s inevitable that models could be constructed that would be xenogenic enough as to avoid lawsuits. Admit it, this would play into the male fantasy of having a sex toy to boss around. You know, "servicing" a guy and then getting them coffee, folding their laundry, et. al.
Not sure I’d be into it. Even as tempted as I would be with fembot versions of Asia Carrera or Natalie Portman, I require a spark of conversation and interaction, not servitude. Honestly, I'm attracted to someone's mind more than anything else so there would need to be one helluva AI at work inside the fembot's cranium. Besides, the whole idea of keeping lifelike bodies around is sort of a ghoulish, serial killer motif, especially when the bots would have to shut down to recharge. I’m no Luddite, but this is one aspect of robotics I’ll take a pass on.
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