Mark A. Carter

 

SEXBOTS, gynoids, fembots, and androids

World famous Canadian Science Fiction novelist Mark A. Carter pushes back against "The Campaigne Against Sex Robots."

The rage against the machine has hit a new low. No, I'm not talking about Luddites or the singing group RATM. I am speaking about "The Campaign Against Sex Robots. Yes, Virginia, there really is such a group. Dr. Kathleen Richardson, a Senior Research Fellow in the "Ethics of Robotics" at De Montford University in Leicester, is the leader of "The Campaign." She believes that sex robots objectify women. And we don't even have them yet. Nevertheless, she is esthetically offended, before the fact, by the notion of sex robots ever being developed.

Dr. Richardson is such a hypocrite. Firstly, she assumes that when sex robots are developed they will be solely female sex robots and not robots to satisfy both sexes. Secondly, let us turn a blind eye to how women have been pleasuring themselves for years by objectifying men or at least the vital parts of men. The colors, shapes, sizes, and variations of "butt plugs," "ben wa balls," and "dildos" that women use to satisfy themselves, in all of their polymorphous perversion, going by names like "fat man©," "cherry bomb©," and "glider©" are all fine and good. But when men want something to do the same, the cry of outrage is issued from the hilltop of one-sided moral judgment. Give me a break. If anything, the "pussy masturbator©," the "Mackenzie Lee Union Jack vagina©," and the "sexy flight attendant inflatable doll©" of old objectify women or at least the sexually satisfying bits of them, despite the vinyl squeaking. So, what the heck is Dr. Richardson complaining about? By the sounds of it, she is a man hater or just wants to make a name for herself.
 
Whereas we are currently nowhere near the android sophistication of Weyland Corporation's David in Ridley Scott's 2012 Science Fiction film Prometheus or Ava from Alex Garland's 2015 Sci-Fi film Ex Machina, production of rudimentary sex robots has begun. Call it free enterprise that fulfills a societal need.

 

In your dreams ... a custom designed sex robot

freshly delivered to your front door from the factory circa 2050.

In terms of android manufacture, at the moment, we are a few years away from anything convincing. But that hasn't stopped entrepreneurs from rushing out primitive, rubber companions, whether you call them fembots, gynoids, sexbots or synthoids. No matter what sex robots end up being called, anything is an improvement over the blow up "Diva Love Doll©." The True Companion Company is developing a sex robot called "Roxxxy©" later this year. Chief executive Douglas Hines believes there is a need. "We are not supplanting the wife or trying to replace a girlfriend. This is a solution for people who are between relationships or someone who has lost a spouse. People can find happiness and fulfilment other than via human interaction." He informed the BBC that "Roxxxy©" will eventually be equipped with a self-learning engine that is able to talk with her owner and to learn his preferences. Come on. I can't even get Microsoft's Cortana© to work right on my computer.
 

Assassin Replicant Zhora and her snake

from Bladerunner (1982)

We currently sit on the floor of the uncanny valley in terms of human looking robot design. We can produce what looks close to realistic creations. But they are slightly off and make us feel unsettled. Robot technical design has improved by leaps and bounds lately but no one has merged the two to create anything resembling a sex robot. If Boston Dynamics, the creator of Atlas©, was in the sex robot business, we would likely have a robot that runs like a lawnmower and spews carbon monoxide out its ass. And that ain't sexy. So, for the time being, sex robots remain more fiction than reality and little more than simple blow ups or plastic, stiff-jointed automatons.

But I predict that will change quickly. Like Ava from the 2013 Sci-fi film The Machine, directed by Caradog W. James, a military need exists to develop realistic robots indistinguishable from human beings. And that military need will push development. Unlike the clumsy, tactless, unidirectional, mission-oriented cyborg in the 1984 Sci-Fi film The Terminator, directed by James Cameron, a realistic looking, intelligent, android will be necessary for covert military missions of infiltration and assassination, as in The Machine. Robots used for the sex trade will be developmental fallout. I can well see covert android operatives, possessing artificial super-intelligence, who have lost their cutting edge being farmed out to the sex trade or becoming free agents. Yikes. That's a frightening thought. Hookers and whores of the world protest now. Your livelihoods are in danger of being taken over by automation. Of course, automation has always been part of the sex trade per se. Donovan wrote a song about it called "Mellow Yellow" back in 1966 where he sang: "E-lec-tri-cal banana"

The current so-called sex robot is little more than a homely, sexually equipped, cross between Mattel's Chatty Cathy© and Hasbro's original, articulated joint, twelve inch G.I. Joe.© I do not mean to disparage Mattel for their pull-string "talking doll" manufactured from 1959 to 1965 nor do I mean to disparage G.I. Joe©, which came out in 1964. I only mean to make the point that the current so-called sex robot is little more than "pull string" with joint articulation. Big deal. It is hardly a robot. It is actually more of an ankylotic, talking mannequin. And, as opposed to what Dr. Richardson argues, it does not deserve rights. It is not a human being.

My question is this: there are so many utterly beautiful mannequins out there; why haven't these so-called sex-robot designers modeled their robots after one of them? Aren't sex robots supposed to excite you visually? The Replicant basic pleasure model Pris was attractive in a whorish way, and the assassin Replicant Zhora was hot and sexy in a stripper way, in the 1982 Science Fiction film Bladerunner, based on the 1968 short story, written by Philip K. Dick entitled "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" Similarly, Ava from Ex Machina was also attractive. And that's the point. I say this because the sex robots I have seen are akin to plain faced, overweight, fifty year old women with wheat belly. Plutarch said, "When the candles are out all women are fair." But give me a break. With these so-called sex robots, you can't make the room dark enough.

And how would they feel and smell? They don't possess the human-like skin of Ava from The Machine, which is indistinguishable from human skin. They are covered in tough, slippery vinyl. Really? And vinyl smells like vinyl. It is a distinctively artificial smell that we associate with soft plastic. I have too many associations with the vinyl smell of my yellow, rubber ducky from childhood bath time to associate that smell with sensuality or sexuality. So yuck to both touch and smell.

You have to be caught up in a fantasy, as portrayed in the 1987 film Mannequin, directed by Michael Gottlieb, to be excited by these current inanimate objects passing as sex robots. But more likely you need to have no sense of smell, and be blind, have peripheral neuropathy, and be socially retarded, or suffering from psychotic delusion and hallucination to believe that they are anything resembling a woman. And any way you slice it, that doesn't equal satisfaction. Just sayin'.

Read: Anatomy of The Machine
Artificial Super-Intelligence
Can a machine think?
Create a New Universe
Ex Machina
Interstellar
Killer Robots
Robot Takeover
Why we need Nuclear War.

Now you know.

from the imagination of Mark A. Carter - novelist

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