Saturday, December 01, 2007

Love Toys

David Levy, president of the International Computer Games Association and author of “Love and Sex with Robots,” claims that by the middle of this century, people will cultivate lasting relationships with robots.

Who is David Levy and why should we believe him?

David Levy has worked in the field of Artificial Intelligence since graduating from St. Andrews University, Scotland, in 1967. He led the team that won the 1997 Loebner Prize in Artificial Intelligence in New York. In 1968 Levy (who is an International Master and expert in computer chess) challenged four Artificial Intelligence luminaries to develop a computer program that could beat him at chess within ten years (he won the bet in 1978, but was eventually defeated in 1989). He has also authored “Robots Unlimited: Life in a Virtual Age” in 2005.

Love and Sex with Robots: The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships is not as far fetched as one would imagine. My first thought was that this sounds like something from Star Trek: The Next Generation. If you recall LTC Data was an anatomically correct android and at one point in the series began to develop emotional bonds with his fellow crew members. I believe that he even had sex with one of them. Is this purely science fiction?

Its concept reminds me of two movies. The first movie Cherry 2000 stars Melanie Griffith as tracker trying to find a love robot for a lovesick guy that has broken his female robot. If you haven’t seen it, don’t bother. The second is Artificial Intelligence – AI by Director Steven Spielberg. If you haven’t seen this movie; shame on you.

Now David Levy tells us that not only will this be possible it will be probable. This is a great concept. Not only would it save a lot of money and heartache in divorce proceedings, but it would also reduce the world’s population. Unfortunately it will not occur in my lifetime. I was born about 40 years too early to reap the benefits of having a robotic lover.

But as my friend Mr. Richard Feder from Fort Lee sez; “Why worry about the future, the world as we know it will be ending in December 2012 (the end of the Mayan Calendar).

The Beach Bum

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