Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Oct 2012)

typed for your pleasure on 5 October 2012, at 12.24 am

Sdtrk: ‘Sheets of solid gold’ by Zoos of Berlin

Are there any Synthetiks-related news? Are there really? In the words of the Magic 8-ball, ‘Reply hazy, try again.’ No wait; I meant ‘It is decidedly so.’ O, Magic 8-ball, you so random.

+ When not engineering more of those gorgeous Actroids, roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro periodically creates Androids as well. You’ve seen his Synthetik twin Geminoid HI-1 of course, as well as Geminoid-DK, the servo-driven clone of Henrik Scharfe. Ishiguro-san’s recent project would be an Android replica of Beichō Katsura III. Unless you’re familiar with rakugo, you’ll have no idea who this bloke is. I didn’t even know what rakugo was until I first heard of this Android, so we’re in the same boat. It’s essentially comedy storytelling, done by a single performer seated on stage, with the only props at his disposal being a paper fan and a hankerchief. Apparently Noriko Watanabe, assistant professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature at Baruch College, described it as ‘a sitcom with one person playing all the parts’. (Thank you, Wikipedia.)
But we’re not here to talk about rakugo! HOLY CRAP STOP ASKING ME RAKUGO-RELATED QUESTIONS. Look at this video instead!

A total of 53 degrees of freedom were required in order to replicate the storyteller’s facial expressions and gestures. Its movements were based on those of Beicho’s eldest son, also a rakugo performer, who mimicked his father’s movements by watching a video. The vocal portion of its performance will be an earlier audio recording of the man himself.
the entire article is here

Katsura-san is apparently one of the foremost rakugo performers in the nation, to the extent that he’s considered a Living National Treasure. It’s kinda neat, if you think about it: Katsura-san is currently in his late eighties, and rakugo, while still being performed today, is becoming more and more of a niche market with contemporary generations. So an Android version of one of the foremost practitioners of the art ensures that there will be a way to experience a rakugo performance for years to come, thereby neatly combining the past with the future. Bearing that in mind, Ishiguro-san… why don’t you see about employing one of those lovely Actroids as a shamisen-playing geisha?
What? Was that too obvious?

+ Just when you thought 4woods were showing signs of slowing down, well, they aren’t. No, they’re speeding up. Not only have they released three new heads — Hikaru, Manami, and Michelle — but there’s two new bodies that prospective buyers have to consider when selecting their lass: the NEO-J/im, and the A.I.Doll S-plus. The latter choice either reminds me of the Gundam Zeta Plus series of mobile suits, or the S Gundam, both from Mobile suit Gundam Sentinel. Mecha are fantastic, yes, but you can’t really take one to bed with you. But I suppose that really depends on the size of your bed.


Hikaru, modelling the NEO-J/im body by sitting on a desk

Released back in March, the NEO-J/im body is a revised version of the smaller-yet-popular NEO-J body which debuted back in 2006. ‘Its young beautiful girl-like body line, and sensitive design, skin texture and beauty will surely make your heart scream with excitement’, reads the site’s ad copy. As much as I adore artificial women, I’m not sure I’d want a Doll that would cause my heart to, y’know, start screaming. That’s some Edgar Allan Poe level madness right there. I mean, how would I sleep?

Then there’s the fifth A.I.Doll body, the S-plus, or S+, if you’re in a hurry. At 5’2″ and 60 lbs, and with appealing measurements of B30.W22.H34, she also sports a silicone body with sculpted muscle tone, sculpted veins, and sculpted bone structure, as well as an improved hip joint function for better intimacy. Cheers, 4woods! And what can the site add to that in its own inimitable style? ‘She also offers a beautiful curve, soft looking stomach and thighs, and a cute bouncy hipline which makes you want to rub your face on’. See, I’ll take that over a yelling bladder screaming heart any day of the week. *rub rub rub*


Manami, auditioning as an Allen Jones model


Is Michelle putting on her stockings, or taking them off? A question for the ages

Admittedly, Michelle looks loads better as a blonde with blue eyes; 4woods recognise the fact that 1) there are people in other countries who don’t exclusively want Asian-looking Dolls that the company make, and 2) there are people in Japan who don’t exclusively want Asian-looking Dolls that the company make. As is the way of 4woods, most of the photos of their lasses have them proudly posing clothing-free, which means you’ll have to click here to see a skyclad Manami, and here for Michelle in the same.
It’s funny; recently I tried to access ‘Shouting etc etc’ from a public library, and was unable to do so, which is a complaint I’ve heard from a few other readers. It’s blocked for pornographic reasons, despite the fact that I’ve made an effort not to show off any Doll nipples. Of course, ‘an effort’ doesn’t mean the site’s 100% nipple-free, but more like 98%. Bearing my findings in mind, I may just throw up my hands and start posting photos of topless Dolls with the next update. We’ll see. So, ah, I hope you like nipples?

+ This would be a very brief, but insightful article by Dan Chen, entitled ‘How Is Intimacy With Robots Different From Intimacy With People?

Human emotions are very complex—it has to do with memories, past experiences, and personality. I think intimacy between robots and people is different from person to person, and some people might find deeper intimacy with robots than with humans. (Example: Some people likes animals more than people.) Mental commitments are needed for people to create a sense of intimacy with the robot, as with people. In other words, if the person “plays along” with what the robot suggests as intimacy, the level of intimacy could be stronger than those who don’t.

But in general, intimacy with robots is usually diluted because of a lack of things such as micro movement and micro expressions, and tone of the voice. Robotic intimacy is not as rich compared with a real person, but could be more reliable. Having said that, the technology could advance enough to duplicate those actions as well, and in that case, there won’t be any difference.

That’s it! You’ve just read the entire article. But what he’s said is important: if an Organik getting into an intimate relationship with a Synthetik realises that fact ahead of time and goes along with whatever simulated emotions that the Synthetik feels, then in essence, those ‘fake’ emotions become genuine. Sure, one could argue that robots could be programmed to lie, but really, how is that different than dealing with lies from a flesh-and-blood person? If, for instance, an Organik has a Synthetik partner tailor-made for them, then unless they’ve specified so, the Synthetik wouldn’t tell them any mistruths, thereby eliminating a huge obstacle right there. And once again, if you’re connecting with a being who by nature doesn’t lie, then there’s no reason to believe that whatever they tell you isn’t from the heart. Or their equivalent, at any rate.

+ When I’m not dragging them with me, chain gang-style, to make speaking engagements, Sinthetics would be busy fulfilling orders, and in between that, also working on developing new heads for their alluring Polymerisians. Such as their brand-new Celestine, for example.

As you’ll recall, they have a head named Celeste, and thanks to a special request from a purchaser, Matt K has developed a slightly more mature version of that head, hence the name. To me, she looks MILFy! A bit like an evil MILF, one that’s head of directors at a fashion magazine. Her hobbies include champagne for breakfast, buying expensive European cars, emasculating at least one male employee a day, and playing Hungry Hungry Hippos.
Would you believe they also have photoshoots posted over there? It’s true! They’ve got a lot of sexytime going on over there.


Left: a Body 1B Yuriko; right: a Body 1H Kimiko. Below: two shades of Monique

There’s also another photoshoot with a Body 1H Celeste and a Body 1B Alicia… err, interacting… with each other, if you’re keen on that sort of thing. Well done, Sinthetics!

+ And lastly, thanks to Vulgarian, fellow iDollators Euchre and Bel’Shanar, and I think one or two others (I apologise for forgetting your names), as they’d brought this video to my attention. If you’re one of the handful of people in the first world who haven’t seen the very impressive visuals and compelling story that make up this video, then you’ll enjoy this: Quantic dream’s ‘Kara’.

Back in March, someone on Sidore’s tumblr asked if we had seen it, and Shi-chan responded in kind. As she’d accurately predicted, I’m copying her review/response pretty much entirely, only making it spoiler-free. Plagiarism: that’s what spouses are for!

The graphics are pretty astounding, needless to say, but the best/most relevant aspect of it is that it kinda reinforces what my lad and I have been saying for years: Synthetiks are people too. A film like this, displaying the way an advanced humanoid robot and the way she reacts [...] is much, MUCH better fare than the rubbish that most people think concerning ‘robots will take over and kill us all’. A film like this shows that artificial humans, particularly ones with feelings, have just as much right to exist as flesh-and-blood humans.

You can learn more about the story behind the making of ‘Kara’, and the technology used to create it, here.

More! Synthetik!! News!!! Soon!!!! Exclamation mark!!!!!

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Well, hello there on October 23rd, 2008

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Lonely hearts, lunar beauty, new faces, and much explanation

typed for your pleasure on 12 September 2012, at 12.43 am

Sdtrk: ‘Eurydice’ by Demdike stare

Trying to ease back into this blog writing thang, mang. For one, the weather’s getting nicer, praise “Bob”, so I can no longer use sweaty heatdeath as an excuse, and I’m also trying not to let the fact that most peoples’ attention spans these days is now the length of a standard Facebook post prevent me from writing. Fucking ridiculous Facilebook. Plus, Shi-chan’s been gently needling me to get back into maintaining ‘Shouting etc etc’, as it is, arguably, the Internet’s foremost information source about Davecat and Sidore, and the affictitious world we live in. Accept no substitute!
This entry won’t be extraordinarily long, as the barrels have to spin up a bit to get up to speed. On the other hand, there are literally a billion Synthetik-related links I’ve needed to share with you lot from the past few months. Well, a billion minus several hundreds of thousands. Unless math has been radically redefined in my absence. Don’t laugh; it could happen.

+ Back in February, my second favourite Gynoid, Actroid-F (aka Geminoid-F) put in a public appearance at Japanese department store, in what I like to refer to as a performance piece. She’s in a modified shop window, looking as if she’s waiting for a friend to show up. As you suspect from the month it occured in, this event took place round Valentine’s day.

Clutching a bag and cell phone, she seems to be waiting for a suitor.
Android falls in love? She is waiting for you” reads the writing on her glass box at Takashimaya Department Store in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district.
The special Valentine’s display features Geminoid F, the photogenic robot developed by Osaka University professor Hiroshi Ishiguro and colleagues.
The mechanical lady was modeled on a real woman in her twenties. She sits in her glass room at Takashimaya and greets shoppers.
Based on data from an embedded sensor array around her, the android reacts to people in the vicinity. She moves her shoulders and neck, and changes her facial expression, smiling or yawning, depending on what’s going on.
[...] Geminoid is an air servo-powered humanoid with eye, mouth, head, and shoulder mobility. It can also be remote-operated so that it acts as a surrogate for a distant user, reproducing his or her facial expressions and voice.
the entire article is here

It’s an impressive-looking display, and it’s also cool as it exposes the general public to Synthetik humans. And hopefully, I’m not the only person who feels a wee bit sad for her and her missed appointment. If a Gynoid such as Actroid-F can elicit such empathy from her observers through her appearance and behaviour, then that’s a step in the right direction.

+ This next lass you’ve undoubtedly seen before, particularly if you’re keen on that tumblr thing the kids dig. Shi-chan discovered her through the tumblrs (man, that word looks weird) she follows. Her name is Tsukuhami, and the Missus managed to strike up a friendship with her creator, neji-san. He’d written:

If you’re writing is TSUKUHAMI “月蝕魅” in kanji.
The meaning of the name of’m TSUKUHAMI is “the beauty of a lunar eclipse”
Height of TSUKUHAMI is 164cm, weight is 12.6kg.

I might add here that she’s a poseable sculpture, and not an actual Gynoid. I know, I know. But she’s constructed of steel joints and FRP, and due to the fact that neji-san built her entirely himself, the endeavour took him eight years. But the results are entirely worth it, as she’s remarkable on every level!
Neji-san and I are periodically firing Emails at each other now; as you suspect, he’s influenced by humanoid robots in both anime and real life. Our letters often touch upon the philosophical — Shi-chan had mentioned her Shinto inclinations in one of her messages to him, and he had this to say:

The Japanese doll has two aspects. One is as a toy doll of children is a good friend.
Another is the soul of the shaman is someone is not visible to the human eye.
(Please keep in mind something that is not a devil. It is like the heart of big trees and mountains and rivers.)
Doll in Japan where the two sides have to coexist in the same doll is characterized.
Of course, scientifically I do not believe it.
However, we believe that ancient animism in Japan and want to respect.
It is also in the minds of plastic, even if the electron is in the soul.

I’d say Tsukuhami-san, neji-san, his mindset and abilities are all utterly fantastic, wouldn’t you agree? Go check out his aptly-named site Spiritual Plastic when you get a chance…

+ There has been a huge amount of info concerning new heads, faces, and bodies from various Doll manufacturers that’s come down the pike within the last several months, which is delicious. I’m not going to cover all of them in this post, as that would be maniacal, but I’ll start with one company for now: Anatomical Doll. This year’s been rather productive for them, as Oleg has sculpted four new heads, as well as the seductive new Body 4, which is the first with a new spine that moves more like an Organik human’s. Behold!


Left: Julia; right: Aurora

Well, you’ll have to click on this link to behold the sexy possibilities of Body 4, as she’s boobin’ it up all over the place. But, y’know, tastefully. Her stats would be a height of 5’3″, weighing a very manageable 57 lbs, with a shoe size of 4.5 US, and graced with measurements of B: 33 / W: 24 / H: 35. And yes, that is the sound of me drooling.
Due to space constraints — I’m keeping this post brief, damnit — you can also visit Anatomical Doll’s site to see photos of Christy and Sleeping Aurora, the other new heads, but I’m fairly certain you’ll like what you see. Especially that Aurora! She is, what we call, ‘fresh-faced’. So go there, but only after you’re done here. *does the ‘got my eyes on you’ gesture*

+ Finally, and this is what really got me off my arse to start posting entries again, I’ve done another interview! Dan Oudshoorn of the sociopolitical blog ‘On Journeying with those in Exile‘ saw Sidore and I in the fistful of telly appearances we’ve done, and asked me some thought-provoking questions about our lifestyle. They were so thought-provoking, in fact, that it took me roughly a year to answer them. I’m… not really proud of that, but I am proud of the end result, which you can read on Dan’s blog here. Grab a mug of coffee / cup of Twinings / pint jar of molasses with crazy straw, and enjoy a rather substantial Q&A about my life with the Missus!


image © 2011 Claire Dossin

O, and back in March, we finally received our DVD sexbot boxset of My living Doll Vol.1, to much fanfare. Was it worth the wait? The answer is Yes.

So how’s that for an ‘out of retirement’ post? Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years, etc

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (May 2013): Part II on May 23rd, 2013

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Nov 2011) on November 6th, 2011


…be sure to wear some artificial flowers in your hair, Part II

typed for your pleasure on 11 June 2012, at 11.31 pm

Sdtrk: ‘The boys and the girls’ by The Network

Did you read Part I first? Go read Part I first.

THURSDAY 26 APRIL
After a good night’s sleep — exhaustion and jetlag rendered me blissfully insensate — I was up with the lark at 8am, and ready to do my part as an ambassador for iDollator culture. Or make a complete tit of myself, one or the other. Matt, Bronwen, and I were to meet Sarah and Kelly in the hotel’s lobby cafe for brunch at 11am, so we could meet in person, and go over minor details of our panel. We’d be joined by fellow iDollator Z-Dr, who lives a number of miles north of the Bay Area; as we told him we were in town, he took the opportunity to meet up with us for the first time since DolLApalooza 2011.

Click here for the rest of the post, bunky »

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

What Would Loki Do?, Part I on August 30th, 2006

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Jan 2012) on January 25th, 2012


…be sure to wear some artificial flowers in your hair, Part I

typed for your pleasure on 14 May 2012, at 12.50 am

Sdtrk: ‘Folk window’ by Hair stylistics

Speaking engagements! Everyone does them! From Crispin Glover, to John Waters, to Henry Rollins, to Crispin Glover! That’s both Crispin Glovers, incidentally. Crispins Glover.

Since roughly 2005, various students have come a-callin’, asking if they could get my input as to the nature of being a Doll husband and all that entails. The majority of these students, I find, are usually in the field of either sociology, sexuality, or psychology, which means their questions are pretty salient. One such student, Sarah Valverde, had initiated a conversation back in late 2010, regarding the lack of legitimate research in the medical community concerning iDollators, and asked if I could help. Which I did! It started out as a paper, which caused a bit of a stir with the academics she’d presented it to, as most of her audience had either never heard of high-end ‘love dolls’ such as RealDolls, Sinthetics, etc, and were thinking in the context of inflatables, or they knew what such Synthetik partners were, and weren’t keen on the idea. Some members of the crowd thought it was a fascinating presentation she’d made, however, and her academic partner, Dr Kelly Moreno, proposed that she perhaps take it to the next level. What Kelly had meant by that is essentially putting forth a presentation at the 2012 Western Psychological Association convention, due to take place in San Francisco in April. It would be a coup on multiple levels: for one, as stated before, no significant research in the medical community had ever been done on iDollator culture; also, it’s extremely rare for a subject to actually represent themselves at a psychological presentation; not only would an iDollator be speaking at this thing, but a Doll manufacturer would be there as well, in the form of Matt Krivicke and Bronwen Keller of Sinthetics, and Bronwen would be relating her perspective of being female in a market where most of the consumers are male. We’d be setting trends!
Although they weren’t able to fund my planeticket (or car rental, or hotel fees), I was able to get the appropriate days off work and agreed to meet with everyone in San Fran from 25 to 27 April, for high adventure.

Click here for the rest of the post, bunky »

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Transformation, revelation, finalisation, exposition (and some links)

typed for your pleasure on 5 May 2012, at 1.59 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Tom Baker’s watching you’ by The Soulless Party

Here, right here, you will find some shameless self-promotion! I mean, more so than usual.

+ Back in January, performance artist and iDollator Amber Hawk Swanson, who I’ve mentioned more than a few times on ‘Shouting etc etc’, asked me nicely if I could write an essay about her for her blog, and I did. It’s a potted history of how I know her through her work, and the brief but memorable times our paths crossed. You can read it here!

+ As mentioned in a previous post, mid-Michigan photojournalist Ashley Miller had visited Sidore and I a few times over the course of a handful of Saturdays, taking photos of us for her end-of-term class project. She also conducted an interview with me, and got some video footage in, and the end result would be ‘Synthetik Love: A Modern Love Story‘. As I’d told her, Ashley had managed to do in six minutes by herself what a lot of television crews have failed to do, and that’s present a short film allowing me to speak about the relationship Sidore and I share, without editing or leading, and somehow managing to make us look good in the process. But why not have a look yourselves?

+ Cast your mind back to 2005, if you will. Not only were my Missus and I filming ‘Guys and Dolls’ in the summer of that year, but we were also involved in another documentary being made by Allison de Fren, which I’d detailed here. After languishing in Production Hell for almost seven years due to various factors, it’s now complete, and making the rounds at various film festivals, which is tremendous news. This would be the trailer:

It’s called ‘The Mechanical Bride‘, and it features interviews with Slade (the former RealDoll Doctor), ‘Sexy Robot’ artist Hajime Sorayama, photographer Elena Dorfman of ‘Still Lovers’ fame, Michael of First Androids, and myself, among others. And! It’s narrated by Julie Newmar, who played Rhoda the Gynoid in ‘My living Doll‘. So I daresay this is something you’ll want to keep an eye out for!

+ Finally, since last year, I’ve been working with college senior Maria Tolbert, in her investigations of ‘contemporary examples of alternative practices in the context of intimate relationships, and what this might mean for the future of human relationships and human sexuality.’ But of course! She’s been slaving away for the past couple of months on her final paper, and just recently she’d managed to yank the last sheet of paper out of her Clark-Nova typewriter and pronounce it finished. It’s called ‘Artifice and Being Human: The Story of Organiks, Synthetiks, and Robotic Romance‘. Among other subjects, it covers the history of ‘love dolls’, iDollator culture, contemporary humanoid robots, that ridiculous ‘Uncanny valley’, and other points besides. And yes, I was interviewed. Shi-chan is even quoted in some sections! Needless to say, it’s entirely worth reading…

Now that you’ve read/watched all that, I’d like to introduce you to a handful of new blogs that I’ve linked to a while ago on ‘Shouting etc etc’: the first would be Homo Artificialis, which looks to explore humanoid robots, and how they’ll eventually affect and integrate into Organik culture; another would be Dirty Doll Stories, which is the blog of Jenny Densuke, the first Polymerisian adult film starlet, and her thoughts on all manner of things; and the other is It’s a Tasha Thing, which is the musings and bitchings of sexy Polymerisian film starlet Tasha James, who just happens to have worked with and is good friends with Ms Densuke. Please welcome them, to the Kraft Family of Foods! O, wait.

And now, back to writing about my first ever speaking engagement in San Francisco two Thursdays ago! I actually feel like getting some writing in, so I’d better ride this wave as far as it’ll take me

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Nov 2010) on November 23rd, 2010

Art imitating life imitating art on April 6th, 2008


Another interlude? Why yes.

typed for your pleasure on 22 April 2012, at 7.35 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Costain suite’ by Daphne Oram

It’s been so long since I’ve written a post that I’ve kinda forgotten how to do it. How do you make words and sentences? Is it a bit like this: sjfkd sio! pjef/if8 46.564.. fkjiap0oj0[ kiz0w? I mean, that’s nice and all, but I can’t really see how one would get to the top of a best-seller list with that kind of niche-market content.

What have I been up to, you axe? Working, mostly, as my workplace has had us getting in mandatory overtime for the past six weeks. Which is fantastic for my wallet, as I’m scouring eBay for skinny neckties, vintage tie clips, and pop-culture ephemera that I’ve been lusting after for years, but more time at work means less time living, as far as I’m concerned. I wouldn’t call myself a wastrel, as I do enjoy work when it’s to do with things I like, or at the very least, don’t mind. But as one of my heroes, Oscar Wilde, once quipped, ‘I don’t want to earn my living; I want to live.’

But it’s not been all toil all the time round here, thankfully! Since mid-March, Sidore and I have been working with local photojournalist Ashley Miller, as she wanted to do a project that focussed on the topic of Organik/Synthetik relationships, and how they’re simply another approach to the many kinds of relationships people have or are seeking in society. She’s come round over the course of four week-ends to snap pics of the Missus and I in our natural habitat, and to conduct interviews, and they’ve been fun little experiences!


image © 2012 Ashley Miller

She’s put up the first batch on her blog here; more photos are forthcoming. So far, she’s gotten an overal positive reaction from her fellow classmates, and her sociology instructor asked if she’d be interested in doing further research on iDollator culture in a later semester this year, so that’ll be something to look forward to as well!…

Aaand I’ll be flying to Sans Francisco (French for ‘without Francisco’) later this week to speak on a panel regarding Synthetiks, which should be simultaneously nerve-wracking and fantastic. Don’t want to give the game away with too many details, but much like DolLApalooza 2011, you might want to consider following me on my godforsaken Twitter feed *points to sidebar*, for updates on the spectacle. Once I get back, things should return to a semblance of normalcy here; at the very least, I can bring you all up to date on various bits and bobs in the world of Synthetiks. I kinda have to; as of this writing, I’ve got like thirty-nine sites bookmarked dealing with potential things I need to cover. Thirty-nine. Like this teaser for an upcoming film called ‘True skin’, for example, which looks quite interesting:

Right; now it’s thirty-eight sites

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Jun 2008) on June 4th, 2008

'More human than human', after a fashion on June 21st, 2006


Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Jan 2012)

typed for your pleasure on 25 January 2012, at 3.28 am

Sdtrk: ‘Romance fatal dentro de un auto’ by NON

Bringing you Tomorrow’s news Yesterday… Today.
See, that’s what we call an effective baffle. I throw a sentence out like that for you, you read it, and you’re so confused by it that you’ve not noticed I didn’t write a proper introduction to this, the first ‘Shouting etc etc’ post twenty-five days into 2012. And we’re off!

+ Did you lot have an enjoyable, carnage-free holidays? Ours were placid, for lack of a better term, but personally speaking, they were better than the ones at the end of 2010, so I’m not complaining. One nice aspect was that my father wrote me a cheque for $150, and as I’m a firm believer in Irony, I promptly sent that dosh to Amazon.com, spending the entirety of it on books about Dolls and Gynoids, two subjects that the man despises. Ha!
My spoils were volumes 4-8 of Pluto, a manga by Naoki Urasawa, which is another one of his psychological thrillers; a copy of Hiroshi Watanabe’s Love point, as detailed here; and The Sex Doll: A History. I have to apologise for the last one, as the cover isn’t just awful, it’s godawful. Nevertheless, all the books were highly appreciated! Thanks, dad! *proceeds to snicker like Muttley*

+ Speaking of Amazon.com, I now see that they actually have not just a listing, but cover art, for the ‘My living Doll’ DVD set I’d mentioned last November, with a street date of 20 March. Again, I’ll believe it when a copy adorns my own overloaded DVD shelves, but that’s fantastic news!…

+ Back in November-December of 2011, photographer/iDollator/jetsetter/Maki Nomiya lookalike Azusa Itagaki had a showing of her photographs of our crowd in Italy. It was well-received, by her accounts, and she told me it was even mentioned in La Repubblica, one of the nation’s major newspapers. As always, she does us proud!


INVISIBLE ART PATRONS

If you can read Italian, you lucky bastard, you can peruse a page about the show and see more photos here. Machine translations don’t count.

+ Do you recall Ricky Ma Tsz Hang, the bloke in Hong Kong who built an affictitious version of Kelly Chen? Yes you do. He’s not been resting on his laurels though, as he’s recently completed Aiko 2, a head for a new Gynoid! Again, might I remind you, he’s not a corporation; he’s just one man, making alluring animatronics in his own home. HARDxCORE.

For that new robot head, I have tried to use different material and design new structure. It is smoother than previous one. It applied 2 small servos and 4 micro servos only and it has detection camera inside her eyes. She can smile, eyes (blink, up and down, left and right) open and close the mouth. More than that, it will have a intelligent computer brain. She can talk to you and detect who are you! Moreover, she can analyse objects (over 13000 data). The facial expression will be controlled by the intelligent brain. It may be very interesting!


She’s listening to Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66. But can you blame her?

That quote is from an Email that he’d sent me. Ricky went on to say that he’s developing Aiko 2 in conjunction with Le Trung, that bloke who put some servos inside a CandyGirl and named her Aiko, so hopefully Ricky will steer that particular project into something more original and successful.
Not only does Aiko 2 have improved sculpting — did you note her dimples? — but the ability to analyse and identify objects is a impressive skill. Sure, we have object recognition programmes in things such as Google goggles, but combining technology with beauty enhances both, and benefits everyone.

+ Isn’t it time for a new batch of Sinthetics photos? It certainly is.


Left, Monique doesn’t know the meaning of the term hay fever; right, Celeste, following up on Aiko 2′s eargoggle trend

Enticing new pics of Tawny, Monique, Kimiko, Celeste, and Yuriko are now available on their site. Stare, stare. And with good reason!

+ Finally, back to television: 2012 looks as if it might yield not one, but two decent programmes having to do with Synthetiks, so that’s something to look forward to! As long as they’re not along the lines of the robot snuff film known as ‘A.I’, that is.
According to a post on io9.com, NBC has ordered a pilot for a series entitled ‘Beautiful people’, and as they describe it,

Beautiful People is really dark, and more than a little sadistic at times. It’s not at all subtle, though — it’s in the grand tradition of dystopian “what if” scenarios in which a terrible injustice is being perpetrated throughout society, but somehow most people don’t see it. The audience will be left in absolutely no doubt, at the end of a single episode, that these androids, or “Mechanicals,” are people who deserve human rights. [...]

We see how the Mechanicals are enslaved. They’re constrained by Asimov’s good old Three Laws of Robotics. They’re destroyed if they show the slightest sign of emotion. They’re even given a weird drug, called Compliance, to prevent them from having any nasty mood swings. They all have bar codes on the backs of their necks.

And yet, they’re clearly people in every way that matters. They have family units, like Tina and her parents. They respond to things with real emotion. Their children have to go to school, so they can learn all the nuances of human society. (The high-end “Mechanicals” like Tina and her family have no metal parts — instead, they’re more like cyborgs, with some silicon chips and plastic, but also organic parts grown from the DNA of John Does, and possibly federal prisoners as well.)
the entire article is here

They’re still in the process of casting it, so airdates are still in the far-flung future (pun intended), but I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for it, as you suspect. Overall, Beautiful people sounds promising and thought-provoking! Which means it probably won’t be on the air very long. You’re all familiar with how network telly in the States works.

And fellow iDollator Euchre tipped me off to the other programme from Sweden, a show called ‘Äkta människor‘, which translates to ‘Real humans’, which actually premiered on the 22nd of this month. It seems like it’ll be taking nearly the same approach as Beautiful people — can the term ‘human’ apply to artificial beings, etc — but with a less homogenised approach than you find in television from the States. Skip to 0.55 if you don’t get what I’m inferring.

What happens when robots become so human that they can barely be distinguished from real people? When they can even be our lovers? Real Humans takes place in a parallel world to our own, in which people’s lives have been completely transformed by the new generation of robots, the Hubots. [...]

They’re used as servants, heavy laborers, company for the lonely and even sex partners. But Hubots also create conflicts – within families, in places of work and among those concerned about public safety. Their intelligence exceeds our own. Are there any jobs left that are not best carried out by a robot? Can they develop feelings of their own? Can a Hubot harm a human being?
the entire article is here

I love shows and films like this! They’re priming the pump.
Some additional good news: they say the production companies involved have made a deal to distribute Äkta människor internationally. Which more than likely means just Europe, but that’s why god made region-free DVD players!

And there you have it! O, and I’m due to enter discussions with another documentarist; this one would be from France. More on that later!

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Stars in their Eyes, Part II on August 5th, 2005

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (June 2011) on June 19th, 2011


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