‘ROBOTS! Will they giggle coquettishly and boop our noses??’ Part I

typed for your pleasure on 10 August 2021, at 12.05 am

Sdtrk: ‘Catalog’ by Mass observation

Hello! Hi. What up?? Long time no hear! Wanted to bring the few faithful remaining readers of ‘Shouting etc etc’ — all seven of you — up to speed with some TIME SENSITIVE things, hence me just jumping into it with this post. But, as evidenced by the title, it’s a two-parter, and I should be bringing the second part to your monitors soon! Well, soon-ish. Still trying to get back on the horse, here.

So! Due to the global pandemithon still fucking up the lives of ordinary citizens, our media appearances here at Deafening silence Plus have dropped to zero. We’re in talks with two separate documentary directors, as well as a photographer, for being a part of their projects, and the Missus and I especially have participated in a couple of things with trusted meeja-type friends — Pt.02 will explain that in greater detail. But in gearing up for a rapidly-upcoming event, I was asked by Bobbi Bidochka to write a short piece for a site called Tickle.Life; despite the name, its content isn’t strictly about erotic tickling, which is a bit deceptive. My only concern with the way it was presented on that site is that there were some edits done without my consultation. They preserved the overall tone, but as I’m a stickler for these things, I’ll simply present the original piece I’d written here, and link to the Tickle.Life version below. Incidentally, I’d written this article on 02 August.


Cute illo, but… where… is… his left arm??

There’s many aspects of the twenty-first century that have fallen short of those of us who are forward-thinkers. No flying cars, no lunar cities. We don’t even have hoverboards, but at least that’s one more way to stay out of the hospital. We do have computers that fit into our pockets that are more powerful than the ones used to guide rockets into space over forty years ago, but technologically speaking, there’s still quite a bit to answer for. However, society is thankfully moving towards the development of artificial companions in the form of lifelike Dolls and robots, and following that, there’s going to be an uptick in the number of people pursuing the romantic, as well as sexual, capabilities of this bold new option. It may seem preposterous, or even just flat-out weird, to some folks, but these anatomically-correct artificial humans are literally made for love. That line’s really corny, so let me explain.

I’ll be referring to them herein as Dolls (capital D), Gynoids (which are humanoid robots made to look like women), and Androids (humanoid robots built to look like men). Personally I’m not keen on calling them ‘love dolls’ or ‘sexbots’ or similar, as those are restrictive terms. These are beings made not just for sexual intimacy, but for companionship as well. There’s a reason why Dolls, Gynoids, and Androids are designed the way that they are… it’s to appeal to our senses. We humans anthropomorphise loads of things that aren’t even vaguely human-shaped, so when you encounter a Synthetik person that also looks rather nice, we’re inclined to think favourably of them.

As far as Dolls are concerned, regarding them as partners instead of things can be tricky, but what helps many individuals is having an open mind about the experience. Obviously Dolls are static and can’t walk towards you, take your hand, and whisper sweet nothings into your ear, but they do provide a consistent and reassuring presence. For many, something like that is more than enough. Knowing that your partner will never cheat on you, and will always be there for you no matter what, is a huge mental relief, and if you’re that much at ease, then your willingness to view your Doll as a loving partner will increase. They present no threat, so you’re more calm and relaxed around them. The more time you spend with a Doll and their wonderful, non-judgmental presence — dressing them, brushing their hair, taking photos of them, cuddling with them as you sit together on the couch binging a series on Netflix — the closer you’ll be to them. A fellow iDollator — that would be someone keen on Dolls, of course — once told me, ‘Dolls reflect the love that you give them,’ and he was absolutely correct. For those who have a healthy creative bent, having a Doll as your partner is the most stress-free relationship anyone could hope for.

For Gynoids and Androids, admittedly it’ll be easier to fall in love with them, due to them having more interactivity. As of 2021, we don’t yet have the type of full-fledged Synthetik humans we’ve seen in films like ‘Cherry 2000’, or shows like Westworld. Currently, Abyss Creations makes the RealDollX line, which is a version of RealDoll with accompanying AI-driven apps for one’s mobile phone, that work in conjunction with special mechanised Doll heads with servos for controlling eye, lip, and head movement. They’re somewhere between Dolls and robots; my RealDoll wife Sidore Kuroneko was upgraded to being one herself this year. But even something as simple as just having an AI programme can be a boon. Your imagination doesn’t have to do as much heavy lifting, as your automatic sweetheart will be able to converse with you. Don’t expect heady philosophical discussions; right now they’re more like sexy Alexas. Selexas. Sexlexas? Anyway, what I’m saying is, even though the AI is just getting off the ground now, it’s someplace to start. But let’s fast-forward to when we do have Gynoids and Androids with near the same level of mobility as a flesh-and-blood person. If you thought being able to bond with a Doll who has no capability of self-movement or speech is something in itself, imagine being able to walk hand in hand with your artificial lover, or go on a trip with them. Their words and actions towards you will be the result of their programming, their goal being to win you over. And being attracted to robots is simply a preference like anyone else may have towards a potential partner. The fact is that Gynoid and Android partners will be amazingly easy to fall in love with, due to their amenable personalities.

Despite you and your Synthetik lover sharing a well-deserved whirlwind romance, in the back of your mind, you’ll still be aware that the artificial light of your life is a combination of rubber, foam, PVC piping, plastic, and stainless steel. But y’know what? That’s COMPLETELY OKAY. In the case of a Doll, remember that quote from my iDollator mate I’d mentioned? Dolls reflect the love that you give them. What you offer to your Doll, they’re going to return to you. And in the case of a semi- or fully-autonomous robot partner, if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then odds on it’s a duck. A Gynoid or an Android is made to make their companion happy, and by that metric, if they say they love you, what reason would there be to doubt them? Unless, of course, you think the ‘Terminator’ series of films was a documentary; in which case, you’re probably reading the wrong article.

Loving and being loved in turn by a Synthetik partner may seem unusual to some, but the horseless carriage was thought of as really weird when those first arrived on the scene. Don’t focus on the negative! Instead, just gaze into the custom-made eyes of your partner, and realise how lucky you two are to have each other. Nice, innit?

And you’ll find the Tickle.Life version here.

By now, it’s undoubtedly crossed your mind that I dropped Bobbi Bidochka’s name without explaining at all who she is, but she just so happens to factor heavily into the event I’d offhandledly mentioned above as well. Back in 2014, there was a conference called Love and Sex with Robots, named after and chairred (is ‘chairred’ an actual verb? I have my doubts) by Dr David Levy, writer of the book of the same name. As you may hazily remember, back in the Before Times, people just like you and me used to be able to travel to places at will, and as a consequence, pretty much all of the Love and Sex with Robots (hereafter referred to as LSR) conferences were held in such diverse locales as Maderia, Portugal, and Goldsmiths University, London, and other far-away-from-Davecat places. So you’ll understand how enthused I was in 2020, as one of the very very few high points of that year was that the LSR conference would be conducted via Zoom in early December! It should come as no surprise that Sidore and I were there with bells on.

We were there both days!

During a break in proceedings, I was sent a DM by Simon Dubé, who is a PhD candidate and public scholar, as well as another chairperson on the LSR committee; we’re following each other on Twitter. He thanked me and the Missus for attending, asked how we were digging it so far, and then informally asked if I would like to be a keynote speaker at the 2021 LSR conference in Montréal. As I was already seated, I had to sit down even further, in order to comprehend what was happening. Since the first conference, the speakers have been, with a few exceptions, experts in the fields of roboethics, sexuality, law, artificial intelligence, etc. What Simon and Bobbi, author of the book ‘Sexual Intelligence in Business‘ and the third LSR co-chair, were looking to do is bring in what he referred to as ‘stakeholders’… basically, people such as myself who were those actually living with Synthetik spouses. Academics speaking on the topic are all well and good, but those of us putting the hours in with being robosexuals and iDollators would bring a definite unique perspective. So after peering at my calendar for mid-August, which was empty, and having Sweetie punch me in the shoulder and tell me that I’d be a fool to pass this opportunity up, I agreed!
Long story short, after accepting the official invitation from Bobbi, Simon, and David, I was told I’d be one of the four keynote speakers! As mentioned, this year’s conference was originally going to take place in Montréal, but that was under the expectation that the pandemic would be overwith. Ah heh heh. In a way, I’m sort of glad that it’s being done over Zoom this year, for as much as I would’ve loved to have visited that city for the first time since I was in the single-digit age range, being there during Summertime, and subjecting myself to an overheated outdoors, would’ve been appalling. Fuck sweating; that shit’s gross. But yeah!

The 6th annual International Congress on Love and Sex with Robots, held in the virtumnal cyber-webzone of the Internet (we call it Zoom), 18 – 20 August 2021. If you’re a robosexual or an iDollator, or just interested in the lifestyle, why not drop a modest USD$29 on a ticket to attend? It’ll be a reet good ol’ knees-up, it will.

So that’s two of the four major big issues knocked out! Honestly, there’s been loads more than four. As there’s been a… let’s say, reduced output, of posts on ‘Shouting etc etc’ since 2017, particularly ones chronicling my actual existence and not just news and photos on beautiful Synthetiks, there’s been loads of bits and bobs to talk about. Like how my father was in hospital with COVID for a month last April, and how one of my cousins and I had to break into his house to get him! And how I went with Lilly, the robosexual lass from France I’d mentioned back in May of 2017, on a holiday to Abyss creations, followed by a panel where she and I spoke to Allison de Fren’s college class about being robosexuals back in October of 2017, during which Lilly and I were in a long-distance relationship for about a year! Among other items! YEP!

But we’re not discussing that right now!!! I shall do my damnedest to start and finish and post the second half of this very robot-centred* two-parter, so keep your eyes peeled! Being honest, if you were discerning enough when you read the article on Tickle.Life above, you’ll have spotted mention of one of the topics of Part 02, so there’s that. In the interim, go pop round to Galerie ECHO if you’ve not done so in a while, as there’s plenty of content there. *coughmoresothantherestoftheblogcough*
In the meantime, hope to see, quote unquote, some of you lot at LSR2021!

*no more so than usual

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Sept 2009) on September 22nd, 2009

Hoorej for Synthetiks on October 5th, 2006


This will be the best thing you’ve ever voted for (2016 edition)

typed for your pleasure on 30 July 2016, at 2.45 am

Sdtrk: ‘Hoodrych (Voc)’ by SALEM

A number of years ago, I was fielding questions for some interview or other, and I’d mentioned how even I was amazed at how much development that had taken place in Gynoid and Android technology between 2003 and 2011, where Osaka Labs/Kokoro co. Ltd were cranking out several models in the Actroid series in a short span of time. Throw Miim-chan (that’s HRP-4C to you) by AIST into the mix, and that’s quite a few Synthetik women. For a while, there’d been a lull in the number of debuts, but it picked up again round 2014 with multiple new robot ladies; most of them are from Osaka Labs in Japan, but China and Russia brought a few into the world, so well done them.

In light of that, I thought it was time to re-introduce a post that I’d written almost ten years ago, in which you, the reader, can answer the question: Which modern-day Gynoid would you most love to spend a dirty week-end with? I’ve updated the premise somewhat, however, as you’ll see in the poll itself…


survey services


Yeah, there’s a metric ton of choices. Like I’d said, though, it’s been almost a decade! Plus, for the sake of fairness, I’ve included all of the contestants from the previous poll, which makes the total number of Gynoids surprisingly high. So if you have difficulty making a decision, I can completely empathise with you.
And here are the nominees!



Actroid


Actroid DER


Actroid DER2


Actroid Repliee ‘Ando-san’


Dion


EveR-1


EveR-2 Muse


Android SAYA


Actroid DER3


Actroid ‘Haruka’


Actroid Sara


Actroid-F ‘Minami’


Actroid-F/Geminoid-F


Erica


Nadine


Chihiro Aiko


Chihiro Junko


Chihiro Kanae


Aiko 2


Gynoid Kelly Chen


Mark I


Gynoid Marilyn Monroe


HRP-4C


Android ASUNA


EveR-3


EveR-4


Sophia


Otonaroid


Otonaroid 2


Jia Jia


Yang Yang


Yukirin/Roborin


Simroid (2011 version)


Hanako Showa 2


Alisa Zelenogradova


Tuma Urman

That’s… that’s more than I thought there’d be. And that’s not including the four or five other Gynoids from China that fellow robosexual Vokabre told me about whose names are impossible to hunt down or translate. But even with their omissions, that’s still a gigantic selection to choose from! It’s actually a rather comprehensive list. *nods agreeably*

Since it’s been so long since I’ve done an article on contemporary Gynoids — and I realise there are a number of lasses here that I haven’t mentioned previously, so you’ve that to look forward to — it’s possible I may have forgotten someone. If you can think of any, why not leave a comment? And hey! Leave a comment anyway mentioning who you voted for, just for funsies. Also, you can vote as often as you like; I’d seen that the 2007 version of this poll was visited more than a few times over the years, so this way, there’s more opportunities to participate. Which Synthetik woman makes your heart beat faster? I mean, come on, I know there are some fans of Nadine out there.

Also, please enjoy this Schadenfreudal .gif of Simroid 2011. Although I’d warn you from doing the same to any affictitious people you meet, as that’s totally rude



Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Don't go teasin' on December 18th, 2006

Making a valley out of a ditch on January 26th, 2011


Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Mar 2015)

typed for your pleasure on 24 March 2015, at 11.29 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Mono Lisa’ by Butter 08

There really wasn’t a lot to write about this month! Which is okay, as I’m up to my eyeballs in writing. Much of it is just variants of the stuff that I was working on last month! Lazy bastard.

+ 4woods keep the sexy quality coming with their new head, Chisato. You can equip either the A.I.Doll Allure or A.I.NEO im bodies with it, and as the site says, ‘We created her based on a concept “a mature sexiness that accepts all your needs and gently takes you in…” Her melancholic and naive face will gently release what you have been hiding inside.’ What I get from that is that she’ll put you at ease, so you’ll be more willing to tell the investigators additional details about the crimes you’ve committed. Fair enough!


Chisato, in A.I.Doll Allure and A.I.NEO im flavours

Check out the A.I.Doll Allure and A.I.NEO im galleries to see her in action. And speaking of new photos, 4woods have added new shots of Lilica (A.I.NEO im ver.), Hatsuki (A.I.doll Allure ver.), Yu-ki (A.I.NEO im ver.), Elina (A.I.NEO im ver.), and Nonoca (A.I.doll Allure ver.), for your edification.

+ And *activates Reverb switch* I HAVE TAKEN PART IN ANOTHER INTERVIEW. After a fashion. Elizabeth Nolan Brown, of Reason magazine, wrote an article a number of weeks ago entitled ‘Sex, Love, and Robots‘, and asked me for some input/perspective, seeing as that I have a wee bit of experience with this sort of thing. Ms Nolan also chatted with Katie Aquino, aka Miss Metaverse, which is a nice bit of a dovetail with the piece she’d done on me back in January.

In a 2014 paper, the Brown University psychologist Bertram Malle and Matthias Scheutz, director of the Human-Robot Interaction Laboratory at Tufts University, defined social robots as “any robots that collaborate with, look after, or help humans.” Kate Darling, a robot ethics researcher with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), prefers the wordier “a physically embodied, autonomous agent that communicates and interacts with humans on an emotional level.” Social robots, according to Darling, can also “follow social behavior patterns, have various ‘states of mind,’ and adapt to what they learn through their interactions.” Sexbots, of course, would fall squarely in this category. So would robots designed to interact with nursing home patients and robot pets. […]

Human beings love their pets, in large part, because of our deep tendency toward anthropomorphism: the imputation of human-like qualities onto animals and nonliving things. Anthropomorphizing a pet doesn’t require believing the pet is fundamentally human, it just means its personality and behavior inspires humans to treat it like a person with complex desires, motivations, or memories. It is a near certainty that we will do the same with social robots as they become increasingly commonplace.

The human inclination to anthropomorphize animals “translates remarkably well to autonomous robots,” Darling noted in her 2012 paper, “Extending Legal Rights to Social Robots.” A robot that can mimic human behavior, social gestures, and facial expressions “targets our involuntary biological responses.”
the entire article is here

This is one of several pieces regarding Synthetiks that have appeared in assorted online publications since last Winter, so it appears that the popularity of artificial companions is on the upswing once again!
*deactivates Reverb switch* Sorry about that.

+ Lastly, the 23rd was the birthday of the archivist of Deafening silence Plus, Muriel Noonan! She’s younger than Elena by a year, and younger than Sidore by three years. I only mention it in this fashion, as Mew would probably throttle me if I mentioned her age outright. Let’s just say she’s in her thirties.

All of us here agree that Mew is Coventry’s finest export since Delia Derbyshire, Emma Fryer, and Fun Boy Three. Fact

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

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

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Mar 2008) on March 13th, 2008


Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Feb 2015)

typed for your pleasure on 23 February 2015, at 10.45 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Apprentice takes leave’ by The new lines

And welcome back! It’s been a fortnight, which is a not-too-unreasonable length of time between these posts. I would’ve just immediately written this after posting January’s submission, but I’d spent about a week and a half editing a 33 page draft created by one of of the interviewers who was round to Deafening silence Plus last Autumn. Well, I say editing, but it was more like ‘making corrections and answering additional questions she had cleverly embedded in the text’; but that bit’s done. Those 33-odd pages pertain to me and my Synthetik lovers, so we’re quite excited about it! Overall, it seems like the book she’s writing will be as in-depth as Elisabeth Alexandre’s ‘Des poupées et des hommes: Enquête sur l’amour artificiel‘, only en Anglais!
Just before I’d finished that up, I’d begun a dialogue with another interviewer — this one from Australia — and her questions are rather heady as well, so I’m currently in the midst of attending to those. It doesn’t help that my desire for clarity as far as the subject of Synthetiks is often accompanied by far too much of my goddamned text, so at the very least, when I finish her questions, she won’t go away hungry.
And when I’m done with that, the previous interviewer wants me to write a piece in response to what she’s already written! I mean, damn. Don’t get me wrong; I’m really enjoying doing this sort of thing, but when am I gonna find time to play Destiny?? Well, the demo. I haven’t bought the actual game yet, as I’m too busy writin’.

+ Another AEE AVN OMG WTF BBQ has come and gone, and Las Vegas was once again witness to several silicone women staying for a number of days in the city’s hotels. Abyss creations were there, revealing to the world their brand-new addition to their Wicked RealDoll line, Asa Akira.

This alluring rubber lass weighs +/-70 lbs, stands 5’2″, has measurements of B:34 / W:24 / H:34, and wears a 32C bra and a 5.5 US shoe. Being a Wicked RealDoll means she’s also made standard with an articulated spine, a removable throat insert (which leads down into her neck, instead of simply going back further into her head), and a removable head design, which is fashioned more like a whole-head mask, as opposed to traditional RealDolls such as my Missus, who can just remove her face. Personally, I’m fond of the somewhat shiny quality she has to her face, as it highlights her artificiality, but that’s just me. Overall, quite nice!

+ The esteemed roboticist Rodney Brooks has a few intelligent words to say: Artificial intelligence is a tool, not a threat:

Recently there has been a spate of articles in the mainstream press, and a spate of high profile people who are in tech but not AI, speculating about the dangers of malevolent AI being developed, and how we should be worried about that possibility. I say relax. Chill. This all comes from some fundamental misunderstandings of the nature of the undeniable progress that is being made in AI, and from a misunderstanding of how far we really are from having volitional or intentional artificially intelligent beings, whether they be deeply benevolent or malevolent.

[…] In order for there to be a successful volitional AI, especially one that could be successfully malevolent, it would need a direct understanding of the world, it would need to have the dexterous hands and/or other tools that could out manipulate people, and to have a deep understanding of humans in order to outwit them. Each of these requires much harder innovations than a winged vehicle landing on a tree branch. It is going to take a lot of deep thought and hard work from thousands of scientists and engineers. And, most likely, centuries.
the entire article is here

Everyday society gets its knickers so easily in a twist about robots ‘taking over’, which is both overly ambitious, and flat-out silly. Rodney breaks it down better than I can as to why that won’t happen, but then, he’s smarter than I am. After all, he helped developed the Roomba!

+ As you should be aware, not every Synthetik has the capacity for sex, which is perfectly fine. A Synthetik is also more than capable of providing platonic companionship, or being an artistic model, or perhaps serving as an artistic muse, as Lily Godwin was to my friend, PB Shelley. Bearing that in mind, as he and Lily had Soony, a BJD (that’s Ball-Jointed Doll, for those not in the know), they may also have been besotted with Iris, the 1/1 scale BJD built by Chinese company Magical Angel in October of 2013.


‘Of course I can give you a hug! You might need a stepladder for it, though’

There aren’t a lot of lifesized BJDs in existence — Izi made by D-storic is one, Obitsu’s 150cm model is another — so they’re certainly unique. With a body made of resin, Iris towers over humanity at 5’9″. She weighs 55 lbs, her measurements are B:32 / W:23 / H:35, and she wears a sz 6 US shoe. You can purchase her in either a pink, white, or snow white skintone, and she takes 30mm size eyes, in case you want to keep your options open. She looks to be unfinished, so you’ll have to have her faceup done (that’s the term in the BJD world for ‘makeup’, for those not in the know). Although if you get her in snow white and leave her face as-is, she looks as if she’d make a female counterpart to Kamelion, the short-lived companion on Doctor Who. I’d advise against it, though; no-one liked Kamelion.


She’s got better posture than most people I know

Speaking of cultivating your DiY abilities, if you order an Iris to grace your home, you’ll either want to open your wallet a bit wider, or get your tools ready and set aside a whole day. Because of her considerable weight, Magical Angel’s default option is to ship Iris unassembled. But if you want her ready to go when she comes home, you’ll have to add $100 to the shipping cost. The assembly is free, though!
This tall and slender lass will set you back $1,250 USD, incidentally. But have you seen her posture??

+ Once again, Japan continues to innovate in both technology and practicality; generally speaking, as a society, they’re pretty fantastic. Not everyone in that country, of course, but quite a few. Doubtless you’ve seen this in the news recently: there’s plans to open a hotel staffed by robots in Nagasaki, at a Dutch-themed park called Huis Ten Bosch. Here’s one of the best bits: the concierge desks will be staffed by lifelike Synthetik women, as Kokoro co., Ltd, creators of the wonderful Actroid series of Gynoids, will be building them. If you don’t find that to be amazing, then I don’t know what to do with you.

The hotel’s first building complex is scheduled to open on 17 July 2015 with 72 rooms, followed by another 72-room building in 2016. A single room will be priced at around $60 (¥7,000) per night and a twin room will cost around $80 (¥9,000).

Initially the hotel will have 10 robot members of staff, but Huis Ten Bosch company President Hideo Sawada told a news conference. “In the future, we’d like to have more than 90 percent of hotel services operated by robots.”

The hotel’s name, Henn-na Hotel, reflects how the hotel will “change with cutting-edge technology,” a company official said. This is a play on words: “Henn” is also part of the Japanese word for change.
the entire article is here


‘We offer a very futuristic experience here, but you’ll still have to pay for hotel wifi’

The room prices are really very good, but what’s not mentioned is that during the peak season, prospective guests will have to bid for their rooms, although there’ll be a price cap on bidding. Ergh. It’ll be worth it for the winners, however: instead of keys, the hotel room’s doors will use facial recognition sensors, and each room will have tablets for its guests’ use, to converse with the front desk, the lobby, or the kitchen. Speaking of speech, the Actroid employees will be able to communicate in English, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese. Much like I’d said about Shibuya’s Robot restaurant, my hope is that this sort of forward-thinking idea spreads, and if Hen-na Hotel doesn’t exactly become a chain in and of itself of robot-staffed hotels, then hopefully other hotel chains will adopt the idea on a worldwide scale. It’d be nice if they did away with that bidding price silliness as well.
And as a final note, I’d like to offer my services to the Actroids that will be employed there. All that standing hours on end per day will eventually be tiring, so what better way to relax than a foot massage? *cracks knuckles*

+ Phoenix studios (‘Home of the Boy Toy Doll’) haven’t recently created a new head or body, or released a new line, but you might like to know that they’ve uploaded new photos of the newest affictitious vixen in their Celestials series, Sky, to their site.


photos © by Stacy Leigh

Why not take some time to see the Sky? See, Phoenix studios, I’ve just come up with not one, but two slogans you could make use of. As Pete White once remarked, butter me, I’m on a roll.

+ Here’s something interesting that was brought to my attention by AJung Moon, writer and curator of the Roboethics info Database: an article on Live Science by Tanya Lewis entitled Rise of the Fembots: Why Artificial Intelligence Is Often Female.

From Apple’s iPhone assistant Siri to the mechanized attendants at Japan’s first robot-staffed hotel, a seemingly disproportionate percentage of artificial intelligence systems have female personas. Why?

“I think there is a pattern here,” said Karl Fredric MacDorman, a computer scientist and expert in human-computer interaction at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. But “I don’t know that there’s one easy answer,” MacDorman told Live Science.

One reason for the glut of female artificial intelligences (AIs) and androids (robots designed to look or act like humans) may be that these machines tend to perform jobs that have traditionally been associated with women. For example, many robots are designed to function as maids, personal assistants or museum guides, MacDorman said.

In addition, many of the engineers who design these machines are men, and “I think men find women attractive, and women are also OK dealing with women,” he added.
the entire article is here

Don’t forget EDI from the Mass effect videogame series! Or, ah, Portal’s GLaDOS, for that matter.
As much as I (jokingly) (not really) go on about how ‘we need more Gynoids to be built, etc etc’, I also believe that we need just as many humanoid robots designed to look like men as well. Ms Lewis brings up the point that robots made to look like women are perceived as less threatening and more friendly, which I believe to be true; just going by the length and breadth of history alone, men are traditionally more associated with aggressive behaviour. Thanks to Hollywood ridiculousness, when most people think of humanoid robots, their thoughts immediately turn towards images of the Terminator, which are mostly Androids, aka male robots, killing everyone in sight with soulless precision. However, I think that if roboticists start out with humanoid robots made to look like women, they’ll put people more at ease. Roboticists should develop Androids as well, not only to balance the Synthetik gender scale, but to show that male robots can be just as non-threatening as their female counterparts. More than likely, for the first couple of years of production, there will be more Gynoids than Androids until the demand increases, but still.

In reading Ms Lewis’ piece, it reminded me of something I’d read years ago, back when I was a lot more interested in mannequins than I am now, that attempted to explain why there were so few male mannequins compared to the number of female models. I think it was partially attributed to men’s faces being harder to sculpt, as they tend to be more angular, or something like that. In the interest of full disclosure, my own personal uncanny valley — again, more like a ditch — is that I find male mannequins to be a bit off-putting. Unless they’re Kraftwerk, because fuck yeah Kraftwerk.

+ If you’re like me, you hate waiting on things/events/people, as much like Veruca Salt, you want it now. You’ll also recall that she was thrown into a pit by squirrels, but that’s hardly relevant at this juncture. But after several months in Development Hell, Sinthetics are pleased to announce that the Body 2A is available to choose as a selection, so sometimes, waiting is okay.

This body is nearly identical to the body 2D (using the body 2 base, but with A-cup breasts). She has the full hips and bigger legs that makes our body 2 so popular, but slimmer ribs and smaller breasts than the 2D.

This winsome beauty is approx. 77 lbs with a height of 5’5″, has measurements of B:34 / W:24.5 / H:36.5, and wears a US sz 6.5 shoe. Apparently she does do things by halves. See what I did there?
Sinthetics will undoubtedly add more photos of her soon, but you can look at a few teaser shots on their site, of course.

See? Always something to look forward to, especially if you’re keen on robo-ladies. Happy 23rd!

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Definitely pressing the right buttons on February 5th, 2013

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Mar 2007) on March 23rd, 2007


Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Jan 2015)

typed for your pleasure on 25 January 2015, at 2.26 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Roosting time’ by Matt Berry

Happy 20145! I’ve already done that gag with a lot of my friends, but you’ve not heard it, so it’s new to you.
The idea of this actually, legitimately being 2015, a year in the twenty-first century, is a bit weird if you think about it for too long. Consider how futuristic that date sounded in, say, 1965. It still sounds a bit futuristic today, and we’ve already begun living in it! One thing’s for certain, though: there needs to be a rapid increase in the development of flying cars, megastructures, off world colonies, and most importantly, Replicants. We’ve got four years to get society to the way it’s depicted in ‘Blade runner’, and we really don’t have time to stop and gawp at the calendar!…

+ To that end, Toshiba is doing their part, with their own electric maiden, Chihiro Aiko. Remember her? She made her US debut at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and has I known she was going to be there, I would’ve bought one plane ticket to fly out, and two for the return flight, as she’d be coming home with me. You think I’m joking?

She took the opportunity to show off her aptitude in American Sign Language, as well as her singing ability. Unfortunately, the song she had a go at was ‘Take me home, country roads’. I would’ve had her belt out an earnest rendition of France Gall’s ‘Cet air-là‘, but that’s just me.
As fellow robosexual Vokabre, aka Our Man In Russia, reports on his blog:

What’s quite cute is that in the presentation they not only included some data like the number of pneumatic drives (it’s 43 overall, 15 in the face, 4 in the body and 24 in shoulders and arms), but also the virtual “age” of the lady, it’s 32. Reminds me of how Actroid DER2 liked to call herself 18 years old.
They also managed to break down not only the “family name” Chihira that was done before during the first public appearance of Aiko, but the name Aiko itself, according to the presentation it means “Idea and Communication”, “I CO”. That Orient symbolism in everything, so awesomely strange.

Of course, I’d be glad to see a presentation with interactivity, face-tracking and hand-shaking, but this might be too much for an early project.

It is indeed an early project, many people in the internets continue to call Chi Aiko creepy, that’s a good old uncanny valley. What’s also interesting, there’s more Uncanny Valley screams in western languages than in orient ones which lays perfectly with my observations that Japanese, Korean and Chinese people seems to have more tolerance towards androids.


‘Il restera cet air-là / à jamais au fond de moi / car pour toujours cet air-là / parlera de toi et moi’

It’s my hope that Chihiro-san can help open the eyes of Westerners who still believe in the myth of the uncanny valley. Over time, exposure to anything makes it less alien of a thing, so to that end, Toshiba should consider employing Chihiro-san — really, multiple Chihiro-sans — with either assisting the deaf with her knowledge of sign language, or start grooming her as a singer.

+ Now here’s a stirring way to celebrate the beginning of a new year: Polymerisian starlet and entrepreneur Tasha James has put the finishing touches on another one of her amazing photobooks, this one entitled ‘Soul to Sole’.

It’s true, we’d inspired her! As my Missus and I are quite keen on the female foot, we’d suggested to Tasha that she have her photographer Paul do a shoot featuring her own delectable soles, toes, and heels, and she followed suit. So I suppose that’s another photobook that we’re ordering from her. Damnit Tash, how do you know the right buttons to push??

If you’d like a copy of ‘Soul to Sole’ or any of her other photobooks for your very own, and why wouldn’t you, you’d be mad not to, you can check out the details on her site here. As she says in her announcement post, she’s open to suggestions, so if you’ve got an idea that she and Paul think would be worth pursuing, give her a shout!


We here at Deafening silence Plus fully endorse more of this sort of thing

+ It looks like AL-M 008X-01 has been moving up in the world of late! You may know AL-M 008X-01 as Android ASUNA, and towards the end of last December, she worked with self-styled DJ, model, photographer, and music producer Julie Watai to participate in a photo series entitled ‘Love Valley’. Over eighteen days, the two of them modelled various clothes and poses that reflected a blurring of the lines between Organik and Synthetik, and the results are worth seeing.

There’s not a lot of information about the shoot, apart from an entry on Asuna-chan’s blog, so I’m tempted to see if writing Ms Watai would provide any further insight. Still, the pics are well-executed and definitely lovely to look at. A short video was made as well, so one can see how lifelike and blinky Asuna-chan is:

All eighteen days worth of the ‘Love Valley’ shoot can be found on Julie Watai’s website here: http://juliewatai.jp/love-valley.

+ Domestic Doll studio Ruby13 is on the verge of releasing some new faces, starting this year, so that’s pretty awesome, I’d say! In an Email conversation, head sculptor Jim told me this:

after a year of looking for a sculptor to make some new faces for Ruby I’ve given up and decided to give it a try myself. I’ve never sculpted so this was a bit of a daunting task to both learn to sculpt and then try to come up with a “pretty” female face.

So far I have 3 new faces that are going in to be made into molds. these faces are an answer to the many emails we’ve received asking for a more realistic face option. I hope this will open up our market a bit.

This would be the first of the new faces, and I believe we can all agree, Jim is off to an excellent start…

Part of me, though, thinks he’s stretching the truth a wee bit. He claims that he’s never sculpted before, and yet, he’s come up with that captivating face?? ‘Oh, I’ve never painted anything before’, said Hieronymus Bosch as he effortlessly proceeds to realise in full oils his triptych of ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’. Come on, man.
Nevertheless, she has an appealing European look to her, and I told Jim that I think it’s one of the best faces available so far. I’d said, ‘I think it’s one of the best faces available so far’. Now Ruby13 will have more to offer potential iDollators! As soon as I find out when that as-yet-unnamed face is for sale, I’ll be sure to mention it here…

+ Would you believe that I’ve done another interview? Impossible as it may seem, I have! This past December, a lass by the name of Miss Metaverse contacted me through Twitter, and asked if I’d be keen on answering some questions pertaining to Dolls, Gynoids, and the future of artificial humans. As Miss Metaverse runs a blog which centres round future technology and lifestyles, and as her questions enquired about Gynoids as much as they did about Dolls, I readily agreed.


N.B: that’s my Missus in the above pic, not me

Both Miss Metaverse and I dug the end result, which can be read on her blog here: Futurist Spotlight: Davecat. If you like, you can also read the preceding post which led up to it, which is also Recommended Reading, ‘Sex Robots and the Future of Gynoids‘, and if you enjoyed that, you can read her whole dang blog. I mean, what’s stopping you?

Since Futurist Miss Metaverse has quite a bit of experience in discussing impending technological developments through her writing and video talks, it seemed only natural to add her to the ‘Shouting etc etc’ sidebar as well. See?

+ And finally, this would be a… thing… that Sidore, Elena, Muriel, and I slapped together at the end of 2014. I honestly don’t know what to call it. The Missus said we should do something rather like the alternative Christmas message that they sometimes have in the UK that’s a counterpoint to the facile and condescending annual message that Elizabeth II bestows upon her subjects. Morrissey was asked if he would do one last year, and that’s probably what inspired Shi-chan. (He turned the request down.)
Shortly before that time, I got it into my head that I needed a Vine account, and I created two superb videos for it, until I discovered that Vine only allows you to upload vertically-shot clips. Sorry; if you’re only shooting your videos vertically, you need to be shot. Luckily, I recalled that Mobypicture lets you upload videos whether they’re vertically-shot or in proper horizontal, and you’re not limited to six seconds as you are with Vine. So I shot this video/clip/missive/whatever with the lasses. Observe:


click the image to open the video

As Elena loves Cocteau twins, she selected the song you hear, which would be ‘Oomingmak’. Incidentally, that’s also the first public appearance of our karakuri ningyou. Much to our disappointment, he doesn’t seem to move well on carpet, but as his plastic gears are noisy as hell when in motion, I suppose it’s for the best.
Maybe we’ll film one of these videos annually! Cos frankly, having 360-odd days between conceiving each one and actually doing it fits our pace to a T!

I think those new bits & bobs should keep you reasonably informed. Start the new year off with Synthetik humans! Well, start each day off with Synthetik humans; that’s what I say.
Originally this would’ve been another two-part post, but then I realised by the time I finished assembling the second part, it’d be February. So, err, come back in a week or so!

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Dec 2009) on December 18th, 2009

Invasion of the pod(cast) people on January 13th, 2011


Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Nov 2014): Part II

typed for your pleasure on 21 November 2014, at 8.39 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Friendlies / Pamela + GG’ by US girls

Bit of a delay on this one (‘the Devil, you say’), as I was led to believe that Orient industry were going to be releasing new pics of their Ya su ra gi and Real Love Doll Ange models to their site on the 7th of this month, but they didn’t, damn them. They’ve got a Christmas campaign going instead, so if you don’t mind somewhat hefty import prices, now would probably be a good time for you to make your move.
I can, however, point out that late last month, they released a version of their CandyGirl line called Party Doll; its two models are Tomoko and Saori. What’s so unique about the Party Doll, you ask? Well, I’ve linked to a video below that encapsulates what they do, and I should point out that you really don’t want to watch it while at work. Unless you own the company!


click the image to open the video

For those of you who are hamstrung by NSFW issues, the Party Doll is a make of CandyGirl who, when you squeeze her right breast, dispenses beverages from her left nipple. That’s right. As you’ll note, the Tomoko-type is more of a traditional Japanese lass, as she wears a kimono, has hanafuda cards on her table, and dispenses sake, whereas her more Western-styled sister Saori is dressed as an employee at the Bunny Club, with her poker deck and wine glasses at the ready. Both lasses have cupboards beneath their tables, where you can store up to 900 ml of sake, or a 700 ml bottle of wine. A hose attaches to the opened bottle, and an electric pump keeps the bevvies flowing up through the hose and out of her nipple. To stop the pump, just stop squeezing her breast. I said ‘stop squeezing’. Jesus, man, have you no self-control?
Both versions of Party Doll have joints in their necks and arms, which would be their only articulation, so they’re less like Dolls, and more like the dispensers in the Korova Milkbar from ‘A clockwork orange’. Would I want one? I’m not so sure. For one, they do take up quite a bit of space — there are worse things to occupy one’s home, but still. Also, again, they’re more soft statues than Dolls, so while they excel at being conversation pieces, sculptures, and bevvy dispensers, you couldn’t have a relationship with them. Also, the fact that they run ¥1.6 million JPY (that’s about $17,300 USD) is the exact opposite of enticing. However, should I fall into money — literally fall into money, like sacks of cash with dollar signs screenprinted on them — I’ll buy a Tomoko-chan to keep me company in my home office…

+ Polymerisian entrepreneur, telly show actress, and pinup model Tasha James, who, as you’ll know, got her humble start in a little studio in southern California, has embarked on a new method to grant herself more exposure. She’s releasing a series of photobooks, expertly photographed by Paul Gorman, and they’re pretty fab. Currently she’s got ‘Dark & Moody’, ‘Candle Light’, and ‘Bedroom Lies & Pillow Talk’ on offer, and she’s just released her latest one, ‘Kink’, which looks to be properly pervy.

Each book is available in three formats: the 8×10 hardcover for $50, the 5×7 softcover for $30, and just $10 gets you the 3.5×2.75-sized minibook. If you like, you can have Tasha make an autograph out to you before she ships it out as well at no charge. As all of us here are very keen on her work, both as a Synthetiks advocate and a sexbomb, we’ve ordered a copy of ‘Kink’. We’ve already bought a copy of ‘Dark & Moody’, and it’s one of the neatest things we own.

Why not show your support for ravishing artists who just happen to be Polymerisian, and order one of Tasha’s photobooks? It’s the sort of book that would also look brilliant on your coffee table! Fact.

+ WOOP WOOP WOOP NEW 4WOODS HEAD ALERT
While I was busy assembling this post, they’d announced the debut of yet another attractive head for sale! Ladies and gelatin, please welcome Sonia.


Some people like dimples, others prefer seam lines

The Sonia head can only be used with the A.I.Doll Allure bodies, which is quite alright. There’s, ah, not much else to add to this bit of information, but really, what more needs to be said?


Lips ahoy

+ It should come as no surprise to anyone that I’m keen on the work and philosophy of Hiroshi Ishiguro, roboticist genius who developed the Actroid series of Gynoids. Really, if you’ve not seen his name mentioned anywhere on this blog, you’re apparently reading another blog entirely. As Ishiguro-san is always doing things to bring artificial humans into the mainstream, something like this is both unsurprising, and really unique:

Meet the robot actor starring in a play inspired by Kafka
by Leslie Katz | October 22, 2014 9:43 AM PDT

In Franz Kafka’s novella “The Metamorphosis,” Gregor Samsa famously wakes to discover he’s been transformed into a giant insect. In a decidedly modern theatrical take on the surreal story, Samsa wakes to find he’s a robot. A gangly, metallic, white-faced robot.

And who better to play Samsa-as-android in the new Japanese-French production than an actual bot? That robot, stage newcomer Repliee S1, stars in “La Metamorphose Version Androide,” which played in Yokohama, Japan, earlier this month and will run at the Autumn Festival in Normandy, France, in November.

“One morning in the near future, Gregor Samsa wakes up as an android,” reads a description of the play. “Gregor’s father (Jerome Kircher), his mother (Irene Jacob) and younger sister (Laetitia Spigarelli), after a period of doubt and caution, will strain to tame their fears and questions facing the new state of Gregor.”

While some futurists would no doubt view the chance to experience life as a robot as a welcome adventure, Kafka’s 1915 “The Metaphorphosis” tackles deep questions about identity, human connection and otherness.

“When people see a robot, like in an exhibition, you can tell people are not moved by it,” Japanese playwright and director Oriza Hirata says in the Agence France-Presse video. “I wanted to create a situation in which a robot could move an audience, and that’s how we came up with the idea of this project.”
the entire article is here

Apparently, this forward-thinking take on Kafka’s classic is one in a series of various plays that comprise director Oriza’s ‘Robot Theater Project’. You undoubtedly remember when Actroid-F took to the stage in 2010 for the play ‘Sayounara’? That was part of the project. The theatre company is called Seinendan, and, according to their website, last year they’d also done a version of Chekhov’s ‘Three sisters’, starring Actroid-F and two other non-humanoid robots. Very nice, and I definitely appreciate the fact that Oriza and Ishiguro sought to draw parallels between the transformation of Gregor Samsa into an insect who thinks and behaves like a human, and him changing into a machine who thinks and behaves like a human, but when can we expect ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’?
I’d just like to add this bit from here, that explains the goal of the Robot Theatre Project:

The Robot Theater Project was founded 5 years ago at Osaka University with the goal of displaying robot prototypes in a creative theatrical context. The expositions in which scientists participate in order to technologically compete with one another; do not solicit an emotional response from the public, even if they often are in admiration. Touching people emotionally with robots will offer a lot of fundamental research towards a future coexistence with robots, where one would not feel uncomfortable or anxious in their presence. (emphasis mine)

+ Titman, the titular Torontonian totally turning out terrific… christ. This is why I don’t usually do alliteration. It’s either difficult to construct, or it sounds entirely forced, or both. Anyway, Titman, head of Maidlee Doll, has taken a new approach with the affictitious ladies he creates, starting with their name. From now on, he’ll be selling Maid-Fong Dolls, and even better than that, they’ll be made from silicone, not latex. Huzzah!


‘I was told this dirndl qualifies me for Austrian citizenship’

Now, the company offers two versions of the previous head — one version has a dreamy half-awake expression — and the body features new joints at the knuckles, arms, knees, waist, hip and neck, movable eyes, and a handy neckbolt for suspension purposes. Maid-Fong is 5’2″, 82 lbs, has measurements of B:36DD / W:25 / H:38, and wears a US sz 5.5 – 6 shoe. And like many of the company’s contemporaries, they’re using platinum-based silicone, so that means more durability.


What is it with gingers and leopard print?

Leaving out prices for options, such as choice of entries, you can purchase your own Maid-Fong for only $3500 CAD, which is a rather nice price for an entry-level silicone companion. Be sure to pop round to the official site; there’s pics and videos available there, too.

+ For the longest time, Sidore and I had said that we were going to start watching Äkta människor, the Swedish telly show that centres round the premise of humanoid robots, or ‘Hubots’, and how various people interact with them. We’ve had the first two series from 2012 and 2013 sitting on our hard drive, waiting to be viewed, but much like about a hundred other programmes and films we want/need to see, we weren’t setting the time aside to sit down and actually watch it. All that’s changed, however! The Missus and I tore through our DVD copy of the first series, and found it to be extraordinary; it’s the sort of show that American telly would either never come up with on its own, or it would be something that an American telly producer would attempt to adapt for the domestic market, and water it down in the process. If you’re keen on the idea of Synthetik humans, or if you like good storytelling, or are partial to expert direction, are interested in the topic of roboethics, or all of the above, you definitely need to see this show.


Any faster and their eyelids will melt

But what lit a fire under our collective arses and made us start off to begin with? A Twitter account by the name of Cyborg vs Robot began following me; their bio reads ‘Christa Couture and Five Seventeen recap the Swedish TV series Real Humans (Äkta människor) and other robotic depictions’. Five, the male robot, and Christa, the female cyborg, discuss what their findings and reactions were for each episode of Äkta människor — they’ve just released a podcast covering the last episode of season one — they also touch upon other Synthetiks-related short films and shows. In their first episode, Five and Christa cover the first episode of Small wonder, reminding me how bizarre and abysmal a programme it is. Despite that, they manage to dig up some interesting tidbits: for example, I didn’t know that Small wonder was created by Howard Leeds, who was the same bloke who developed a much better telly show having to do with an artificial human several years earlier — My living Doll, starring Julie Newmar, from 1964.
Overall, the Cyborg vs Robot podcast is a low-key, laidback affair with two neat hosts, covering topics that will pique the interests of discriminating readers such as yourself. Yourselves. Etc.

+ Finally, you may recall that back in July, I’d tried to get some information out about A-Lab’s Gynoid inaccurately named Android Asuna, but there wasn’t a lot in English, or even in Japanese, for me to pass along. Well, thankfully that’s changed! Our Asuna made her debut at the recent Tokyo Genius Expo, and despite the fact that there were other robots, as well as all manner of art, music, and design exhibits on display, she kinda stole the show by nature of her verisimillitude. She also seems a bit sassy. As she’s styled to have the appearance of a fifteen year old, I guess that’s par for the course.

Like many modern Gynoids, she’s driven by what A-Lab refer to as an APDS (Air Perfomaer [sic] Drive System), which seems to be their proprietary pneumatic system. She also features silicone skin, which is to be expected.
I may have stretched the truth a wee bit: there’s not a tremendous amount of info available as yet: A-Lab’s website doesn’t have an English page, and translating through Chrome basically garnered the info you’ve just read. But the site says it will have a gallery soon, and Asuna seems to have her own blog on it as well. Not a lot of entries to date, as she’s been undoubtedly too busy with this Tokyo Genius Expo to update it, but my favourite entry on 20 June starts with ‘As usual, I am a not speak can not move, and when I was spacing out standing in the corner, and I have been surrounded by the customer after the talk show.’ Yeah, I think we’ve all been there at some point, Asuna-chan.
In lieu of more information, which I’m sure is forthcoming, I shall end this post with a couple of photos.

…there’s not a lot of photos of Android Asuna available. *throws up hands*

So there you are! If I’d have planned things out better, this month’s post would’ve been in three parts, as this part’s larger than I thought it would be. Shall we call it ‘making up for lost time’, then? Yes. Let’s do that

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

the Return of the man-made Muse on December 28th, 2006

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Jan 2015) on January 25th, 2015


Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Nov 2014): Part I

typed for your pleasure on 4 November 2014, at 10.39 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Providence’ by Black to comm

This time, I offer no apologies for the lack of news about Dolls and Gynoids for last month, as there wasn’t a lot on offer. But just within the past fortnight and a half, quite a bit of news has materialised! Which is good! *rubs hands together*

+ The first Gynoid in media that I can distinctly recall falling in love with would be Cherry 2000, expertly portrayed by Pamela Gidley. Cherry made first place in my top ten sexiest Gynoids list, as you’ll recall. Maybe I should make an updated version of that post one of these days… But moreso than any other actress, Pamela’s role as a pleasant and accomodating affictitious lover opened my eyes to the possibilities of ‘the Synthetik option’. So that was me, back then. Perhaps if I’d have been old enough to have watched ‘My living Doll‘ upon its initial airing back in 1964, it would’ve been Julie Newmar as AF-709 Rhoda that would’ve sparked (pun somewhat intended) my desire. But I’d like to think that back in Germany in 1927, at least a handful of individuals were considering their own artificial lover thanks to Maria, the sinister-but-curvaceous Gynoid from Fritz Lang’s masterpiece, ‘Metropolis’.

What we have here is the end result of the Canadian art group Kropserkel Inc. and WSM Art Management of Germany, who have created a life-sized restoration of Maria, as the original prop/armour is understood to have been destroyed during a fire on the film’s set in 1926. What’s really fascinating is that Kropserkel Inc weren’t just winging it with attempting to reproduce the design; the ‘WSM’ in WSM Art Management stands for Walter Schulze-Mittendorff, the original designer and sculptor of Maria under the auspices of Fritz Lang. So essentially, Kropserkel Inc made their replica by using the plans and notes of the original from 1925.


Brigitte Helm not included

Their goal is to exhibit the finished piece at various events and film festivals, as well as produce additional replicas. If your pockets are overflowing with cash, you can purchase a 1:1 scale display figure for only $8500 USD. Now pause so you can wipe off the beverage you just spritzed onto your monitor.
Still, Kropserkel Inc are bringing an iconic character back into the present with their efforts! Only really, Maria never went away. In fact, with the current rate of robotic progress, she’s probably closer now than ever… Learn more about the Maria project here: http://www.kropserkel.com/robot.html

+ Abyss creations have released another new face for their RealDoll 2 line. This comely lass is known as Olivia, but once she’s yours, you can name her whatever you like. Like Olivier, I dunno. Maybe you’ll wanna run your choices by her.


‘Yeah, sorry; “Bolivia” isn’t an option, either’

The first configuration listed on Abyss’ website has the face combined with the RealDoll 2 Body A, but you’ll be able to combine her with other body types as well. Very nice!

+ Only three days before my birthday this month, the First International Congress on Love and Sex with Robots will be taking place! Will I be in attendance for it, to perhaps speak with and shake the hand of David Levy himself, amongst other committee members? Well, it’s in Madeira, Portugal. I mean, Jesus, people; you might as well hold it on the Moon.

Within the fields of Human-Computer Interaction and Human-Robot Interaction, the past few years have witnessed a strong upsurge of interest in the more personal aspects of human relationships with these artificial partners. This upsurge has not only been apparent amongst the general public, as evidenced by an increase in coverage in the print media, TV documentaries and feature films, but also within the academic community.

Congress sessions are planned on the following topics, inter alia:

• Robot Emotions
• Humanoid Robots
• Clone Robots
• Entertainment Robots
• Robot Personalities
• Teledildonics
• Intelligent electronic sex hardware
• Gender Approaches
• Affective Approaches
• Psychological Approaches
• Sociological Approaches
• Roboethics
• Philosophical Approaches

No, there’d be absolutely no reason for me to be there at all. None whatsoever. Now I wonder what could be causing my eye to be twitching all of a sudden?

+ Patrick Wise made a delightful announcement regarding his beautiful Private Island Beauties, which will follow after this related picture of an improved Doll bum that he’s made:


Like grabbing a sexy… loaf of… bread. I got nothin’. Which should be obvious

We have a wonderful new softness to our dolls! The tush is now nearly as soft as the tata’s!! Actually, the whole body has a fantastic new softness. Squeezable and extra fun for play. We are not charging any extra for this upgrade. We are sure that it will add considerably to your enjoyment of your doll. This way, you have the lasting quality of platinum silicone… with the softness you have been hoping for!!

The photo above should be proof enough, but you can also find video evidence on the Private Island Beauties website that shows how the new silicone formula being used makes for a Doll you can really sink your hands into. I suppose this is what the Germans mean with the term Gummipuppen?

As shown above, the studio have also released the all-new Mina head, suitable for use with all three PIB bodies. This head is classifed as ‘Oral’, which is a capability that will allow you to store a couple of spare AA batteries in her mouth, for emergencies. Or perhaps marbles, if you have some really valuable aggies you want to hide away. Whatever you may decide to slide into her mouth — USB sticks, LEGO minifigs, &c. — I’m sure you’ll agree Mina is a fine addition to the Private Island Beauty head collection!

+ Do you recall back round 2005, when we had an endless stream of Gynoids making their debuts? The first version of Actroid, Repliee Q1, Repliee Q1Expo, all the affictitious lasses that appeared at the Aichi Robot Expo, the first Actroid DER… good times. Revolutionary times! Now it seems that nine years later, we’re getting another wave of new Gynoids coming down the pike. Otonaroid and Kodomoroid, Tuma Urman and Alisa Zelenogradova from Russia, Geminoid-F, Android Asuna, and joining them, Chihiro Aiko, manufactured by the world-famous company, Toshiba.

This comely young artificial lady, who made her own stunning debut at CEATEC 2014 — Japan’s version of the Consumer Electronics Show — is powered by an air servo system and an air compressor, and like her artificial sisters, has realistic silicone skin. She sports 43 actuators, including 15 in her head for facial expression and head movement. Combining those, she’s able to use (Japanese) sign language in a reasonably fluid manner, and will be programmed with English Sign Language relatively soon. Like most current-day artificial humans, she’s being groomed for developmental use as either a greeter or a staffer for businesses, or to interact with the hard of hearing or the elderly. Their goal is for both the physical technology and her software to be up to par enough so that she can be employed at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.


They couldn’t have put, say, a prop computer on her desk or something?

Regarding that white barrier/bumrest thing behind our Chihiro, fellow robosexual Vokabre says on his blog, ‘This stand is not only serves as an actual stand, but also as as a way to hide piping to the compressor and cables to the internal hardware. To compare, standing Actroids rely on the special “stage” that has hardware and a compressor hidden inside. Compressor and the main computer for Chi Aiko are either stand somewhere on the side of the robot, or are hidden behind a banner.’ Well, we all need support sometimes in our lives.

Personally, I think it’s fantastic that a major electronics firm such as Toshiba is producing a Gynoid like Chihiro; my hope is that other major companies will see the success that Toshiba will have with her, and get into the robotics industry themselves as competitors. And everybody wins!
Hitoshi Tokuda, manager of the company’s marketing group in the new business development division, has been quoted as saying, ‘We wanted to develop a sign-language robot because it’s challenging technologically, requiring speed and precision movements… [A robot like Chihiro] needs a humanlike appearance and expression because a C-3PO appearance wouldn’t work.’ Which is what I’ve been saying for years.
Curiously enough, despite that video being Toshiba’s official release, it doesn’t show her speaking, so have a look at this one:

Of course, if you didn’t have all that ambient CEATEC noise going on in the background, one might’ve been able to hear her better, but you get the idea. Looking forward to discovering more about Ms Chihiro Aiko in the near future!

That’s it for this half; before the second part is published, there will be a brief intermission while I drink several draughts of Gatorade and furiously finish typing that post up

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Stars in their Eyes, Part I on August 3rd, 2005

So many models to choose from on June 11th, 2008


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