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The idea of the seductive sex robot is the stuff of myth, legend and science fiction. From the ancient Greeks to twenty-first century movies, robots in human form have captured our imagination, our hopes and our fears. But beyond the fantasies there are real and fundamental questions about our relationship with technology as it moves into the realm of robotics. Should we form intimate relationships with machines? Should robots be provided with a sexuality? How will it affect our everyday lives? Can we use them for therapy? Do they breach our laws on obscenity? Could they ever feel love?
Sexual activity is central to our very existence; it shapes how we think, how we act and how we live. It is deeply embedded in our society. With advances in technology come machines that may one day think independently. What will happen to us when we form close relationships with these intelligent systems? What, ultimately, does it means to be human in a future of machines?
Sex robots are here, and here to stay, and more are coming. This book explores how the emerging and future development of sexual companion robots might affect us, and the society in which we live. It explores the social changes arising from emerging technologies, and our relationships with the machines that may someday care for us and about us.
Chapter by chapter, this book will build on the science and the philosophy surrounding our most intimate relationship with technology. The scene is set with the history of the artificial sexual companion, then goes on to explore the 'modern' robot and the twentieth century sci-fi that promised us our own robot slaves. This is followed by an explanation of artificial intelligence and the urge to create sentient machines. It delves into our own psychology- how does desire affect our own behaviour, and can we become attached to an inanimate object? This then leads to a discussion of the good (robots making society a better place) and the bad (the potential for all to go wrong).