thou shalt not have sex with robots? - [ weird things ]

thou shalt not have sex with robots?

A look inside the secret plot to use porn to... help replace human women with sex bots because reasons?
woman kissing machine

Granted, it’s been a while since I read the Bible and my education in theology consisted of alternative religions and comparative studies. However, I’m pretty sure that there’s no commandment about laying with robots as one would with a spouse or a cautionary parable about a city of technophillic fornicators who incur the brunt of God’s wrath. But that didn’t stop Rich Deem who runs a fundamentalist anti-science site, from writing a long column that warns us about the immortality of sex with machines while heavily borrowing from retro sci-fi novels and anime with techno-romantic overtones. And along the way, Deem drops the kind of technobabble that would be really funny if you forgot for a moment that he was being completely serious in his ravings.

From the summary of the future given to us over the first half of the article, it becomes abundantly clear that the writer knows pretty much nothing about computers or robotics, casually adding artificial intelligence to future androids, making them out of materials that won’t be anywhere close to being ready for mass market use by the time he predicts, and dropping gems of technical incompetence like this…

Besides, the new FACAs were much more realistic than the old ones, since the technology had developed to provide cooling to all the internal computers and simultaneously make the robot warm to the touch by providing fluidics through the computers to dissipate heat through a network of “capillaries” located just under the “skin.”

How exactly would the same fluid intended to cool the internal computers simultaneously make a robot warm to the touch? Clearly the principles of thermodynamics don’t apply in Deem’s universe, which is odd because his inability to understand the difference between warm and cold makes you wonder how much research and scholarship went into his articles about the proof for God’s existence and refutation of evolution. Generally, if you can’t do arithmetic, you shouldn’t be lecturing people on calculus. Oh and could somebody tell me why in the world would fluidics be necessary in a machine that relies on digital signals in the first place?

Deem’s description of the sex bots makes me think that he just read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? or watched the movie Bladerunner, got all excited about the love scene between Rick and Rachel, then decided to type out his cautionary parable and tie it to something else he finds scintillating, but forbidding and immoral in the extreme. To answer the question of who would develop androids wired for sex with humans, he re-casts a reliable old villain into a mad inventor hell bent on profit by any means necessary…

Not content with merely an online presence, the adult entertainment industry soon realized that androids, properly constructed, could earn them billions of dollars in additional revenue. Top programmers and engineers were hired away from the automakers and computer companies with offers of up to ten times their average salaries, similar to what had been done with their movie businesses in the late 2010’s, when they had hired away Hollywood’s best CG programmers to turn out realistic-looking virtual pornography movies.

Ah, so it was all a big porn conspiracy! Ok, I see what he’s doing here. After giving us a science fiction parable infused with all the creativity and originality of the fine print for credit card privacy statements, Deem descends into a stereotypical rant against pornography and our gall to tolerate it as an acceptable form of entertainment for adults. If we disagree, he has a laundry list of nine hackneyed and factually incorrect charges against porn based on nothing more than what’s already thrown out there by groups that want to control our sexuality. And again, painful bursts of woeful ignorance come at you from every line of his screed.

Why in the world would adult video outfits, the vast majority of which operate on a small budget and run a tight ship, possibly pay more than ten times the average salary of an expert programmer or a graphic artist (which would come to about $1 million per year) to create photorealistic renders of something for which they have no lack of volunteers already? Today, you can take a small group of erm… actors, film them having sex, edit it in a few days and have a video out by the end of the week. Meanwhile, recreating this in CG would require a major server farm, millions of dollars of equipment and about a year of production and rendering. Again, we’re sitting in a calculus lecture by someone who doesn’t know how to add two and two. And just to complete this unique mix of technophobia, ignorance and self-righteousness, Deem displays what we’re all supposed to take as a dire warning to go along with this article…

This page is going to seem rather far out and unrealistic, given today’s moral standards. However, the standards are rapidly changing, and within a few years the human race will be in a position in which sexual immorality could exist on a widespread scale.

No Rich, it’s going to seem far out and unrealistic because you haven’t the slightest grasp of the technology or the economics involved and your porn-will-make-you-have-sex-with-robots theory is totally asinine at best and raises all sorts of Freudian questions about the author. If all the sex toys in the world can’t replace a person, a few hundred pounds of heavy machinery with a very rudimentary pretence of AI sure isn’t going to be the death knell to human sexuality as we know it. And if you really think that any of this is feasible, you really need to get out more or find a hobby. Preferably one that doesn’t involve robots and computers. Just in case…

[ story via PZ Myers ]

# tech // android / asexuality / fundamentalists

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