A. Clark-Flory, T. 2014
Salon, August 5
Largely cynical about the ‘future of sex’ in relation to teledildonics.
‘The coolest feature is that partners can use the blueMotion with Wi-Fi instead of Bluetooth to connect across long distances, although it requires a one-time in-app purchase of $4.99. Also, you have to use Google+ to do this and, alarmingly, the default setting is to make your OhMiBod activity public. In other words, get that part wrong and, presumably, anyone in your circles — including your boss and co-workers — could see just how often you masturbate.’
‘The sensations are entirely detached from the meaning of your partner’s words and the unique sound of his or her voice. In general, the vibration patterns seem crude at worst and random at best.’
She relates her experience of the reality of technological progress in sex and robotics to her revelations brought about by Damon Brown’s book ‘Porn and Pong’, where Brown details a history of sex and video games.
I flashed to visions of computers programmed to deliver the kind of perfectly engineered pleasure that no mere mortal could. People having sex with with robots. People preferring sex with robots. This will change everything, I thought.
Clark-Flory gives a superficial analysis of the potential of cybersex and robotics, but goes on further to give a more detailed history of talk of teledildonics and cybersex including the 1991 predictions of Howard Rheingold in “Virtual Reality” (that ‘telediddlers’ would be everywhere by 2020… nope) and the response from Mike Mosher in 1998 that, disappointingly, the speed and sensitivity of current body glove technology was not advanced enough to generate such an experience.
B. What Google Images Thinks CyberSex is…
C. Reality Pod article 2010
In a simultaneously scary and sad real-life reflection of the 2015 A.I. themed film Ex Machina, a robot named Kenji that who was developed at Toshiba’s Akimu Robotic Research Institute had to be shut down due to its extreme clingyness.
A lab assistant who was consistently observing, testing and updating the robot’s systems became the focus of Kenji’s ‘affections’ due to her constant presence. The assistant was alone in the laboratory one day and when she tried to leave, Kenji blocked her exit and began insistently hugging her repeatedly. It was only after she frantically telephoned other staff members that the robot could be powered down and she could exit the lab.
‘…each time Kenji is re-activated, he instantaneously bonds with the first technician to meet his gaze and rushes to embrace them with his two 100kg hydraulic arms. It doesn’t help that Kenji uses only pre-recorded dog and cat noises to communicate and is able to vocalize his love through a 20 watt speaker in his chest.’
After several instances of this (dangerous) behaviour, spokesperson Dr. Takahashi suggested that Kenji would have to be decommissioned due to his ‘irrational’ behaviour. Do we have the right to judge that Kenji’s behaviour is inappropriate? Is this right determined by our creation of the machine, or our decision to judge resulting behaviours against our moral, ethical or physical expectations of other ‘beings’?
“This is only a minor setback. I have full faith that we will one day live side by side with, and eventually love and be loved by, robots,” he said.
D. VICE documents the evolving Mobile Love Industry
Mediated by distance, what you have in common, who you like to have sex with, who you think is visually appealing… there are so many cyber relationship experiences one can pursue, assisted by a variety of specialised apps.