Love and Sex with Robots

Love and Sex with Robots

The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships

By David Levy

Harper, Hardcover, 9780061359750, 352pp.

Publication Date: November 1, 2007

Love, marriage, and sex with robots? Not in a million years? Maybe a whole lot sooner.From a leading expert in artificial intelligence comes an eye-opening, superbly argued book that explores a new level of human intimacy and relationships--with robots.

From Pygmalion falling for his chiseled Galatea to Dr. Frankenstein marveling at his "modern Prometheus" to the man-meets-machine fiction of Philip K. Dick and Michael Crichton, humans have been enthralled by the possibilities of emotional relationships with their technological creations. Synthesizing cutting-edge research in robotics with the cultural history and psychology of artificial intelligence, Love and Sex with Robots explores this fascination and its far-reaching implications.

Using examples drawn from around the world, David Levy shows how automata have evolved from the mechanical marvels of centuries past to the electronic androids of the modern age, and how human interactions with technology have changed over the years. Along the way, Levy explores many aspects of human relationships--the reasons we fall in love, why we form emotional attachments to animals and to virtual pets such as the Tamagotchi, and why these same attachments could extend to love for robots. He also examines the needs we seek to fulfill through sexual relationships, tracking the development of life-sized dolls, machines, and other sexual devices, and demonstrating how society's ideas about what constitutes normal sex have changed--and will continue to change--as sexual technology becomes increasingly sophisticated.

Shocking but utterly convincing, Love and Sex with Robots provides insights that are surprisingly relevant to our everyday interactions with technology. This is science brought to life, and Levy makes a compelling and titillating case that the entities we once deemed cold and mechanical will soon become the objects of real companionship and human desire. Anyone reading the book with an open mind will find a wealth of fascinating material on this important new direction of intimate relationships, a direction that, before long, will be regarded as perfectly normal.