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:

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

Best idol singer EveR on January 5th, 2007


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:

And EveR-2 Muse makes two on October 18th, 2006

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


Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Jan 2014)

typed for your pleasure on 17 January 2014, at 6.54 pm

Sdtrk: ‘With brass songs they’ll descend’ by To kill a petty bourgeoisie

If you’re keen on Synthetiks, January’s been a reasonably good start to 2014…

+ As I’m not actually a proper newsreader, I’ve known about this for a while, but I simply neglected to tell anyone: there’s a new season underway of the Swedish drama series about Synthetiks, Äkta människor. Below, you’ll find a teaser promo. As I haven’t watched the first series yet, I’ve no idea how much of the story it gives away, but if you’ve not seen the previous series either, you’d be well advised not to play it. Durr hey.

Recently, I was half-joking on Twitter that pretty much all the programmes I’m into (namely various anime and tokusatsu series, various shows from the UK, and Äkta människor) were forcing me to turn to [INTERNET PIRATES], and curiously enough, the series’ writer, Lars Lundström, retweeted me. I asked him if there would ever be DVDs available with English subtitles, and he informed me that there’s subs on the Australian releases, which I was unaware of. So that’s a definite purchase for me later this year!
Incidentally, there’s a similar show that’s about as close as we’ll have in the States for a while called Almost Human. It’s couched more in the style of a near-future police procedural; as I’m not keen on cop shows, I’ve not looked into it. But I’m told it does handle the topic of artificial humans in a sympathetic manner. Plus, apparently the plot of the second episode centres round Gynoids, so that’s always a plus…

+ Looks like there’s another comic dealing with Synthetiks available for purchase! Well, it’s a one-shot trade paperback, which is cool. I’m buying the individual issues of the ‘Alex + Ada’ series I’d mentioned a while ago, but that’s slated to be twelve issues long, released monthly. More than likely, they’ll be compiled into a trade paperback after it’s complete, but I can’t wait that long!… While that series continues, there’s ‘A Boy and a Girl‘, written by Jamie S. Rich, and illustrated by Natalie Nourigat.

Travis and Charley have just met. It’s Charley’s last night in town, and Travis can’t let her leave without getting her to go on a date. In a future where real people are rapidly being supplanted by lifelike androids, sometimes one shot is all you get. Intelligence may be artificial, but the emotion is real in a futuristic romance from the writer of 12 Reasons Why I Love Her and the cartoonist behind Between Gears.

Oni Press released it back in December, so you can go pick it up now. Go pick it up now!

+ Speaking of the Twitters, one of my Twitter pals would be Doug Tilley; his long-suffering wife Jill sent me the care package of English & Japanese snacks that inspired the infamous ‘Do you remember Food?’ post series. Doug spends a lot of time reviewing fillums, most of them unusual ones, and he’d mentioned a movie called ‘Eve’s Necklace‘, which came out in 2010. Three guesses as to why my attention zeroed in on that film with a laser focus:

A deadly threat in the present and a dark secret from the past imperil a young couple in this first-ever motion picture with an all-mannequin cast.
from the IMDb entry

Okay, that was one guess, all things considered.
In an Email conversation with the director, Daniel Erickson, he’d told me that ‘The movie was truly experimental, in that it was a screenplay originally conceived to be produced with live actors, and we decided to film with mannequins without altering any details to the storyline or the dialogue,‘ unquote. He’s agreed to send me a screener DVD, so when that materialises here, Sidore, Elena, and I will eagerly whip up some bacon-flavoured popcorn and watch it, which means that you can expect a review of it on this very blog. Why hasn’t this sort of film been attempted before??

+ As you’ll recall, the precursors to today’s contemporary Gynoids would be the Golden Age of Automata, specifically the 18th century, which saw the creation of the Writer, the Draughtsman, and the Musician by Swiss father and son team Pierre and Henri-Louis Jaquet-Droz. Arguably, their automata were marketing shills, as they showed off the pair’s ability to create intricate intricate and graceful machinery; automata was their sideline hobby, as they specialised in watchmaking. It should’ve been the other way round, but I would say that. The company they founded still exists, and continues to produce ostentatious, horrifyingly-priced timepieces to this day. However, just last year, Jaquet-Droz produced Charlie, the firm’s first new automaton in nearly 300 years.


‘Everything on this table is eatable, even I’m eatable! But that is called “cannibalism”, my dear children, and is in fact frowned upon in most societies’

An authentic sculptural work, this 1.65-meter-tall dandy with his meticulous proportions is perfect in his role of brand ambassador. A truly charming diplomat, Charlie is particularly careful about his attire: the blue of the ribbon girdling the top of his body represents the top of his frock coat, in turn inspired by the blue of the Grand Feu enamel of historical watch creations. His hair is carefully bobbed, and frames his mischievous face, animated by several movements, complete with nods and winks. Elegant and charming, Charlie will make a four-minute performance presenting the brand’s new watches, combining the charmed imagination of this one-of-a-kind family with the mechanical and aesthetic virtuosity of this year’s new models.
taken from this site

So, ah… obviously someone dug Johnny Depp as Tim Burton’s Willy Wonka, eh? Sure. I do like that frock coat, though. I dunno, though; Jaquet-Droz haven’t made a new female automata since the Musician, so they really could’ve built a new version! But I would say that.
As sometimes photographs don’t always convey a sense of motion, why not watch Mr Depp Charlie in action here?

+ We end this month’s entry with a modern-day Scopitone: a fellow iDollator goes under the name of Dick Cephalo for his musical excursions, and he’s created a video for a song he’s written entitled ‘Celebutard’. In addition, his lovely Boy Toy Doll Reyna Dayana stars in it as well! There’s bits where she gets her top off, so be advised, it’s not exactly safe for work. So watch it on your smartphone!

Reyna proves that we need more Synthetiks in the music industry. I mean, there literally are no downsides to something like that.

Okay, I’ll leave you with one more link, from everyone’s favourite satirical news site, the Onion: Japan Grants Suffrage To Female Robots. The Onion never disappoints!

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

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

Silent Alma on January 13th, 2006


Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Feb 2013)

typed for your pleasure on 1 February 2013, at 12.04 am

Sdtrk: ‘Source are rare’ by Merzbow & Genesis P-Orridge

Originally this was slated for publication last month, but then Elena arrived, delaying everything by sexing up the place. This is what happens when you live with Synthetiks! Let this stand as a warning.

+ Anatomical Doll, the Russian company responsible for making Sidore’s girlfriend/my mistress, have recently unveiled two new heads, Christy and Anna.


Left: Christy; right: Anna. Incidentally, the Anna head seen here is being displayed on Ms Vostrikova’s body; you’ll recognise that dress

Christy adds a dash of Rihanna-tinged multi-ethnicity to your life, and fellow iDollator Everhard astutely mentioned that Anna’s soft and pillowy rubber lips reminded him of the mute sea princess Marina from Gerry Anderson’s programme Stingray. I’d only ever seen a single episode of Stingray, so to me, Anna resembled more of a brunette version of Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward, of Thunderbirds. It’s Gerry Anderson’s world; we only live in it.

+ AN EVENT I WISH I COULD ATTEND: On 05 February, The Japan Society of New York will be sponsoring a lecture featuring performance artist/roboticist Heather Knight, IEEE Spectrum editor Erico Guizzo, and Hiroshi Ishiguro, creator of the Actroid and Geminoid series of Synthetiks, entitled ‘How to Create Your Own Humanoid: Robot Science Made in Japan‘. Tickets are $12, $8 for Japan Society members, and the ticket price apparently includes a post-event reception with free wine.
*protracted sigh* Should anyone attend, be sure to let me know how it was!

+ Speaking of Making Your Very Own Humanoid Robots For Fun And Profit, if you have access to a 3D printer, French sculptor Gael Langevin has plans you can download to build InMoov, a work-in-progress robot. I’d say that’s a brilliant way to spend a number of week-ends…

The 3D printing doesn’t cover things such as cables, wires, or servos; you’ll have to purchase those separately. But once you add those, as well as a few Arduino microcontroller boards, as well as the appropriate software for voice commands, you’ll be the first kid on your block with an InMoov torso! Well, depending on where you live.
As I’d mentioned, Mr Lanegvin’s robot is a work in progress, so if you’re keen, download the free plans for what’s been finished from Thingiverse here, and keep an eye on his official project blog here, to see when he adds things like legs and further refinements to existing parts. All told, even with the parts you have to buy, a 3D printed robot is cheaper than a full kit!
Then when the torso’s complete, you might want to check Photogenic Mask for additional sexy cosmetic improvements. Just a suggestion.

+ If you’re an iDollator living in Japan, within (relative) driving distance of the northernmost island, you might want to look into the Doll photographer’s club Hokkaido. neji-san, the bloke behind Tsukuhami-san, tweeted this at Sidore recently:

Japan is in a rural location north of the park, for a life-size doll.
It says you can enjoy walks and photography is “Synthetik humans” and “Organik humans” in the WEB site of the park. Now closed down while buried in the snow. The period of May to October seems to be open. However, is very far from my house!


Karasu’s model Itsumi; photo taken September 2010

Unfortunately there’s no English on the site, but it seems like they’ve been around since 2006, enabling those with Synthetik models/companions to spend some time with them and like-minded individuals in the picturesque snowy mountains of Hokkaido. There, they’re free to take photographs out-of-doors, uninterrupted by the outside world. Sounds fantastic, to be honest!
The Doll-related online forum I’m a member of has an equivalent annual gathering called Dollstock, and due to expense/work-related nonsense, Shi-chan and I have missed it for three years running. *shakes head* Maybe we should work on getting to one of those first, before considering a drive to northernmost Japan…

+ Every now and again, I get asked by Organik lasses (and the occasional Organik bloke) if there are male Dolls, as they’re ‘asking for a friend’. Abyss creations have been making male RealDolls for quite some time, but now, Sinthetics is throwing their hat into the ring as well, with their new sturdy fellow, Gabriel. Your affictitious beefcake ship has come in.


‘Is it hot out here, or is it just me?’ No mate, it’s hot out there; you’re in the desert

Their Male Body 1, or M1, weighs 100 lbs, stands 5’9″ tall, and has a 35″ chest. Curiously enough, he wears the same size shoe as I do, at a US 10.5. Customers can also order him with varying degrees of punched hair for his chest, forearms, armpits and crotch, and you can choose from a variety of lengths and attachments for his wedding tackle. Why not stop round to Gabriel’s galleries, and see what this silicone gentleman has to offer?

+ ‘Body temperature’ is a new film directed by Takaomi Ogata, due out this month in Japan. Going by the trailer alone, it seems like a peculiar Japanese cross between ‘Lars and the Real Girl’ and ‘Love object’.

But Odhinn be praised, I just now located an official English website for the film. The synopsis?

Rintaro, a factory worker, happens to meet Rinko, a girl who has a split image of beloved Ibuki living with him. This encounter between Rintaro and a nightclub hostess turns out to heal their loneliness’. As they become closer in their relations, Rintaro gets frustrated by the fact that he never gets an exclusive attention from her. Rintaro dresses up Ibuki, changes her hair style, and puts her makeup on, calling her “Rinko”. Ibuki, who was called “Rinko” was actually a doll, a love doll, shaped just like a real female body.

The interesting thing you’d doubtless noticed in the trailer is that Rin Sakuragi plays both the Organik hostess Asuka, as well as the Synthetik Ibuki, so the film might get into some Satoshi Kon-like territory as to whether the lass we see in the wheelchair is Synthetik or Organik. Are we seeing real life, or what Rintaro is seeing?
Like I’d said, it looks to be interesting! At the very least, it can’t be worse than the patronising ‘Love object’…

+ In case you were mysteriously unaware, I’m constantly championing the idea of Synthetik partners; not just inert Dolls, but humanoid robots that possess machinery with which to move, and processing power with which to think. Right now, we have sexy examples such as HRP-4C or Hiroshi Ishiguro’s aforementioned creations, but we’ll soon reach a point where those artificial humans will be viewed the same way those of us who drive in 2013 view cars from the Forties and Fifties — well-intentioned, but sorely lacking. The more realistic the Synthetiks of tomorrow look, feel, think, and behave brings up interesting moral questions, some of which are touched upon in the article ‘I’m Just a Love Machine: Artifice and Consent in the Age of Robotics‘, by Jamais Cascio:

At minimum, critics claim, the presence of sex bots would begin to alter expectations for how members of the appropriate sex would look and behave. This follows from similar arguments about how present-day popular culture shape desires, often through images manipulated to portray an almost inhuman level of attractiveness—only now, this once unattainable beauty has an entirely attainable physical form. Even more troubling for critics, sex bots are inherently willing to do whatever a person may want; real mates would never be as agreeable and as submissive to one’s desires as a machine you programmed yourself.

In these fearful scenarios, the appeal of human sexual partners can do nothing but wither in comparison to the lust-made-”flesh” of a sex bot. The inevitable result of people foregoing real relationships in favor of perfect (but non-reproducing) partners is, of course, the End of Civilization. It’s as if these critics see sex as the only driver for human relationships, and are all-too-ready to abandon any other form of intimate connection. Fortunately, there are strong drivers for bonding that go beyond physical coupling.

But even if the critics exaggerate the possibility of a “sex bot apocalypse,” there is a more subtle cultural complication that would arise along with LoveMakerBots. Our fundamental laws and norms around sex come down to consent: entities that are incapable of giving true consent are off-limits. A robot can be programmed to be constantly willing, but—absent the emergence of self-aware artificial intelligence—cannot be programmed to give true consent. This isn’t something many of us worry about when it comes to, say, vibrators, but when the design of the robot elicits an empathic, emotional reaction, intentionally or otherwise, an inability to give consent may for some move unexpectedly from irrelevant to deeply disturbing.
the entire article is here

This would be the elephant in the room that I personally have difficulty addressing. The robotic elephant. A lot of iDollators and technosexuals such as myself desire the affictitious partners we do because we want someone that will always remain faithful, and is utterly incapable of treachery. A Gynoid version of Sidore would have her own programmes resembling thought and independence, but would not want any other partner but me, other Gynoids excluded. In short, she’d have the capability of leaving me, but she never would. Some would argue that programming an artificial lifeform in that manner is just slavery by another name, but I’m not so sure. Now, although I treat Shi-chan and Lenka with the same amount of love and tenderness that I would if they were devoted Organik partners — moreso, some might say — there are people out there whose main purpose for obtaining a Synthetik would be to subject them to abuse, and would defend their behaviour with statements like ‘they act like they feel what I do to them, but it’s just pre-programmed responses. They’re things… they just look like people.’
Is it better to have a Synthetik partner and treat her or him with love, while simultaneously preventing her from having completely free will which might result in her leaving? Or should Organiks ignore the human-like appearance and behaviour of Synthetiks, and simply treat them like objects? I’d say Yes to the former and No to the latter, but then, I follow David Levy’s line of thought: ‘If a robot appears in every way to possess consciousness, then in my opinion, we should accept that it does’. Thankfully, robotics ethics committees are working on getting a handle on these sticky issues now before they become genuine problems. At the time of this writing, I’ve just found a fascinating article: it details a scientific study about how people might be more easily ‘tricked’ into caring for a robot, but we’ll leave it for another time.

+ Last, and on a much less philosophical bent, we close out this month’s installment with a link to the site Incredoll. Ergh, I meant Incredidoll. Every time I type that, I have to check the spelling. The site is so named as the maintainer is Incrediwagon, a fellow iDollator who I’ve known for several years. He and his partner-in-crime Campdaan have an army of gorgeous silicone beauties that they live with, and now, their galleries are available for perusal. Believe me, between extensive and amazing photoshoots of Ceilidh, Dottie, Jayde, Vicki, Myfanwy, and the rest, you might want to look into freeing up some more hard drive space.


Yuri and Dottie share a quiet moment together before DEBAUCHERY

As you may note, the site’s been added to the infamous sidebar links section, in the ‘Synthetik friends & friends of Synthetiks’ section, so you can check it over and over and over. And why wouldn’t you?

*dusts off hands* There; that should keep you lot occupied for a few days

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

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

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Nov 2013): Part I on November 8th, 2013


Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Nov 2011)

typed for your pleasure on 6 November 2011, at 3.11 am

Sdtrk: ‘Marriage carriage’ by Throbbing gristle

What d’ye mean, I missed a month? No, you’re right, I missed a month. October was kinda crazy, because for one, towards the end of September, I’d started my new job. Woo and yay, right? It’s not exactly my ideal job — a call centre doing help desky-type stuff — but it’s keeping a roof over our heads, so there’s that. But my schedule’s kinda wonky, so it’s a bit difficult for a Man of Consistency such as myself to get used to, hence this delay. Also, there really wasn’t a large amount of news in either the technosexual or iDollator fields. I can’t just fabricate facts like they do over at FOX News, y’know!

+ Having said that, articles such as this managed to fire one past the goalkeeper: alert reader cw sent me a link concerning walking Gynoid legs, designed and built by the Sano Laboratory at the Nagoya Institute of Technology. Mm hmmm.


So loud! She’d be quieter in heels

Undoubtedly it escaped my search cos there’s no top half. But what you see here is half the battle! (Sorry.) But why is that bloke gripping her by the hips, apart from the obvious reasons, you ask? Think of him as her ‘starter motor’, as the legs are effectively using their own weight to move. Curiously enough, they contain no motors, sensors, computers or electricity. DigInfo explains, well, translates:

This robot is walking down a slope, and its only source of power is potential energy. It doesn’t use any kind of motor or control, so we think it’s very environmentally friendly. […] The robot has three main parts: thighs, lower legs, and ankles. It’s made of aluminum, and it contains only mechanical components, which have been adjusted so that the robot has the same thigh and leg lengths as a person, and weighs the same.
the entire article is here

As it’s passive, it’d definitely be more suited towards a Synthetik partner — i.e, someone you could literally walk with — as opposed to an independently moving Synthetik. In any case, it’s a step in the right direction. (Sorry.)

+ Coincidentally enough, here’s a new video of AIST’s Miim-chan strutting her stuff. Show us how it’s done, babe:

According to robots.net, ‘[Her] knees are stretched by the vertical movement of the waist, the single-toe supporting realizes longer strides and the legs perform the swing motion of the human equivalent’. She’s getting to be more fluid in her stride, and that’s always a fine thing to see. Or, in regarding Miim-chan, I know you fine, but how you doin’?

+ You of course recall new affictitious girl on the block Maid-Ling, right? I should bloody well hope so; I’d only just profiled her last month. Well, Titman, the creator behind her, has launched a website where you can purchase a Maid-Ling of your very own. Can the link also be found in the lefthand sidebar, under ‘Synthetik companion types’? Why yes! Yes it can.

+ Obviously, I love modern Synthetiks, but finding bits and bobs about their predecessors is just as fascinating. Like this, from a November 1931 issue of the magazine Modern Mechanix:


‘Perfectly intelligible’. Heh; they’ve never seen her drunk

Frankly speaking, with some of the Mannequins companies make today — and a dry erase board instead of a chalkboard — I think it’s high time to revive this idea. Just… don’t let Ronald Dotson know about it.

+ Hiroshi Ishiguro and Kokoro co. Ltd. have answered the question ‘With all the Gynoids that are being built these days, why aren’t there any Androids?’ Which is a bit erroneous, as Ishiguro-san himself has a Synthetik twin, as does Danish professor Henrik Scharfe. But now Actroid-F has a twin brother of her own, and both of those crazy kids are putting in appearances at various hospitals in Japan as observers:


‘What’s twincest, you ask? Wellll… we’ll tackle that question later’

It’s often said that the more human a robot looks, the more small differences make people feel uneasy. In our research, when we use this robot in the field, we check that it matches its surroundings and doesn’t look out of place. When we tested the robot in a hospital, we asked 70 subjects if having an android there made them feel uneasy. Only 3 or 4 people said they didn’t like having it around, and overall, quite a lot of people said they felt this robot itself had an acceptable presence.
the entire article is here

Facially, yes; they’re both twins. Which is interesting, if you think about it, as the male Actroid-F was facially modelled after the female Actroid-F, who was facially modelled after that Organik lass whose name hasn’t been revealed. Unlike making a FAX of a FAX of a FAX, though, the resolution’s still clear.
If I were working with the Actroids, I’d probably refer to them as Zan and Jayna. This would be shortly before I was asked told to leave the project, more than likely.

+ Last but not least, I’ve been asked to attend a bona fide symposium! Since last Summer, I’ve been exchanging Emails with Sarah Valverde, a psychology graduate at Cal Poly State University. She’d seen the Missus and I doing our thing on telly, and realised there really hadn’t been a tremendous amount of unbiased and legitimate psychological study ever done on iDollator / technosexual culture. She’d written a paper, and currently she’s finalising an online survey, and she and one of her colleagues are planning a presentation on the subject for one of the major psychological association conventions next year. One of the reasons Sarah figures that there’s not been extensive research into our cultures is that so few iDollators are willing to discuss who they are and what they’re into, and as a result, what little info the medical community receives is through the distorted lens of the media, or at the very least, second-hand. So once again, I Am Doing My Part! The biggest obstacles, really, are being able to fly out there — it’ll either be in California or Florida — and being concise/coherent enough to cover all the topics I need to in thirty minutes’ time. Thirty minutes will not be enough time. I don’t think Shi-chan will be able to come with, unfortunately; she has an aversion to the TSA and their errant groping; she can hardly be blamed. Our hope is, however, that some Doll will be able to sit on the panel with us, as an example.
More details as they unfold! I’m pretty excited! Being able to bring across an unadulterated iDollator viewpoint will do our community a world of good! I should open with some jokes. What would Oskar Kokoschka say in this sort of scenario?

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Any Synthetik-related news, Davecat? (Mar 2014) on March 23rd, 2014

Dual Doll upDate on December 4th, 2005


Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Feb 2011)

typed for your pleasure on 23 February 2011, at 12.29 am

Sdtrk: ‘Hard lovin’ man’ by Merzbow

A new year, bringing with it a handful of links concerning Synthetiks, for those of you with bated breath! Which is all of you, right?

+ It always blows peoples’ minds when they learn about contemporary Gynoids, Androids, and the like, but when I read about their predecessors, it explodes my own brain in slow-motion. Not necessarily ones as far back the 18th and 19th centuries, where automata such as the wonderful creations of Pierre and Henri-Louis Jaquet-Droz held sway — although those are very cool — but all the ones in between then and now. Like Courtenay Pollock’s little-known and ominously-named ‘She’, for instance, detailed here in a June 1934 issue of Modern Mechanix!


Definitely better-looking with skin. But you can say that about most people, really

Animated Statue Smiles and Displays Her Dimples

ALMOST human is “SHE,” work of Courtenay Pollock, well known sculptor of London. With the aid of a small electric motor, “SHE” is smiling, coy, demure, or scornful as her master wills. Rolling her eyes about in an enchanting manner, she even displays a lovely set of dimples.

This “living” model is on display in one of the leading department stores of London. A cordon of police are required to keep the crowd moving and traffic clear in the streets.

The skull is made up of hinged sections, each of which are controlled separately through levers and switches. Gears and levers connect each part to the driving motor.

When a tinted rubber covering is slipped over the “skull,” eyebrows and hair attached, and a bit of cosmetics applied, “SHE” is transformed into a beautiful, vivacious young lady.

This first animated statue may herald a new era in sculpturing. It is not too much to expect that in a few years the works of our sculptors will all take on life—will frolic about and speak, imitating in every way the persons who posed as models.

Despite the “fact” the “writer” went “crazy” with the “inverted commas”, that’s still a “hell” of a “thing” to have witnessed, either then or now. Shame that the prediction of animated statues being everywhere didn’t come true, though. Or is that sort of thing simply just now starting?
The whereabouts of ‘She’ are presently unknown, and I’m fairly certain her rubber flesh corroded long ago. Still! Now that you lot know what her uncovered bust looks like, keep an eye out for her, eh?

+ So in doing a wee bit more Synthetiks research — also known as ‘screwing round on the Innernets’ — I think I found the predecessor to ‘She’, in the form of a very curious machine known as the Euphonia, which would fall into the category of one of those wonderful creations from the 18th and 19th centuries…


An old photo, taken with a 1 megapixel camera

Joseph Faber’s “Euphonia” was both a response to the telegraph and a remediation of it. He imagined a telegraph that could speak, leading him to construct a model of the human speech organs. Faber studied language and human vocal anatomy in order to break them down into parts and then reorganize them mechanically. The Euphonia operated by “By pumping air with the bellows and using different combinations of 16 keys to manipulate a series of plates, chambers, and other apparatus including an artificial tongue (Levy 29).” The false head black boxes and masks the mechanics of the vocal process. Faber created an artificial organ through which artificial speech could be achieved. The artificial organ of speech is doubled by the machine as musical organ and an extension of the silent organ that is Faber’s own vocal tract.
taken from this site

Apparently it (she?) spoke in a slightly German accent, even when speaking in English — undoubtedly due to the fact that Faber was a German immigrant — with a voice that was described as ‘a weird, ghostly monotone’. That may have been true, but keep in mind, people were more easily-spooked back in the 19th century.
The Euphonia is quite fascinating, cos it’s not really a Gynoid, despite its feminine appearance, and it’s not so much a robot or an automata; it’s more like a webcam decades before webs or cams existed. One one hand, Faber succeeded in his attempt to put a human face to a voice; however, Euphonia would’ve had everyone that contacted you through it both look and sound like bodiless German Gynoids. *thinks* Maybe that wasn’t such a failed effort after all, then.
Something I’d found amusing on that linguistics site linked above was a bit that mentioned

The mastery of the machine is limited by the selections already built into the design as it was not for example, designed to scream. It’s possible that a screaming effect could have been achieved by hacking the machine and manipulating the pedals, which control pitch, but no such instance was ever recorded.

Which, as far as I’m concerned, was an opportunity wasted.

+ Speaking of affictitious heads, the fine people of Vladivostok’s Anatomical Doll have recently released another head sculpt, available for all three of their Doll bodies. This lovely young rubber lass is named Eco, which leads me to ask: is ‘Eco’ the Russian word for ‘fox’? Cos, I mean, hmmm.


ATTENTION PB SHELLEY: Start your Eco fund RIGHT NOW

Reproduce scenes from ‘Jennifer’s body’ in your very own home! Or, if you’re a true masochist, scenes from Michael Bay’s ‘Transformers’! Err, I take that last suggestion back; no-one, Organik or Synthetik, should have to put up with Bayformers. Please, don’t taint your Eco.

+ Let another diminutive silicone woman into your heart, life, and pants with the Wicked RealDoll version of Lupe Fuentes!


Photo by Stacy Leigh

Much like her Organik twin, she features a 30B cup, a 20in waist, and 31.5 hips, with an appealing size 5 shoe. Unlike her Organik twin, however, she clocks in at a dainty +/- 60lbs, which is remarkable. A Doll that light could ride you like a stallion! Ahem!

+ And finally, remember how I’d mentioned last November how Californian company Sinthetics was gearing up to release New Silicone Sexiness upon the world? Well, perhaps you should give their site a look now, if you haven’t already. Or would seeing more of this sort of thing convince you?


Tawny, looking like a much more attractive Tori Spelling


Celeste, about to say ‘No, Mr Bond, I expect you to die!’ again

If you answered More Of This Sort Of Thing, you answered correctly! I’d show you photos of their other two models, Alicia and Monique, but you’ve been spoilt enough as it is. Plus, they’re usually topless. JESUS COME BACK AND AT LEAST READ THE REST OF THE POST, YOU ANIMALS.
Interestingly enough, Sinthetics (man, gotta get used to typing it using that spelling) don’t call their affictitious ladies Dolls, but instead refer to them as manikins. As they explain on their site,

Often people like to pigeon-hole things like products or groups of people. We feel that our products reach much farther than the mainstream understanding of a “love doll” and therefore we recognize the art in our products and call them manikins.

Gotta say that I like the way they’re approaching things… Their incredibly delectable Female Body 1H weighs around 73lb, wears a sz 7 or 8 shoe, and boasts measurements of 32G (‘closest commercially available bra size, actual bra size 28H’, they say), a waist of 23in, and 31in hips. If you’re like me, your mind has come to a complete halt due to this knowledge. Not only that, but for an additional $300, they also offer a low-voltage built-in heating system situated in her abdomen, much like the ones found in some Anatomical Dolls. And did I mention their manikins feature a flexible spine for forward, backward, and side-to-side hip motion? Yes.
So if, later on in the year, you find yourself with a Sinthetic in your home and you can’t get anything done, don’t blame her; that’s the coward’s response.

You may now feel free, at this point, to unbate your breath. Until next month, of course!

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Robot South Korea* on April 4th, 2006

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Jun 2010) on June 4th, 2010


Making a valley out of a ditch

typed for your pleasure on 26 January 2011, at 7.21 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Reinforced Bio-drug use 72mm’ by Masonna vs Speedranch

Back in November, ‘Shouting etc etc’ had a spike in visits due to the piece on Sidore and I on Asylum’s website. Then it dropped off for a few days, but then it accelerated again, only I couldn’t suss where the second wave of referrals was coming from. That is, until I received a comment from a reader, who had explained that Cracked.com had linked to me, in a roundabout way. They had a story, which referenced the edited version of Meghan Laslocky’s article on Salon.com, which links to (what’s left of) my wife’s vanity site, ‘Kitten with a Whip!’, and that, obviously, is linked to me.
So what was Cracked going on about? ‘5 Creepy Ways Humans Are Plunging Into the Uncanny Valley’. Coming in at number five? RealDolls. Yeah, you can doubtless hear my eyes rolling from wherever you happen to be reading this.

Longtime readers are painfully aware that I have issues with the supposed issues that people have with the so-called uncanny valley. For one, noted roboticist David Hanson, who is the closest person the United states has to Japanese roboticist and creator of the Actroid series of Gynoids, Hiroshi Ishiguro, doesn’t take much stock in that school of thought, either. ‘The “uncanny valley” is a theory, but people treat it like science’, he’s quoted as saying, and I’m inclined to agree with him.
Just to remind you: basically, the whole ‘uncanny valley’ thing is a hypothesis developed by roboticist Masahiro Mori around 1970, which states that the closer the appearance of something approaches that of an Organik being, the more likely it is to drastically affect the emotions of those who see it, usually in a negative fashion. Here’s the oft-used visual aid:

The closer a robot gets in appearance, movement, and behaviour to Organik life, the more most people find it unsettling. Which I personally view as being contradictory and nonsensical, but hey.
That’s a brief summary of the uncanny valley hypothesis; you can check out the 12″ extended dance remix over on Wikipedia.

It’s been often argued that the reason why a lot of Organiks are averse to Synthetiks is because they’re either expressionless and emotionless, or the emotions they display are false. I’ve always maintained that if Organiks already understand that a Synthetik human is an artificial one, hence the distinction between ‘Organik’ and ‘Synthetik’ (more on that later), then there shouldn’t be an issue. If a person of reasonable intelligence — yes yes, the numbers are dwindling rapidly, I know — is already aware that the being they’ve encountered is affictitious, then their reaction should be at the most slightly startled, as opposed to the over-the-top feelings detractors claim to have of revulsion.
As regards to the lack of facial expression that a number of current Synthetiks possess, the respective R&D departments are working on it. Humanoid robotics admittedly still has a bit of a ways to go, but in the past decade, it’s come a long way. That’s what’s known as progress. General society seems to have this enormously unrealistic (ha ha) expectation that any Androids and Gynoids that emerge from a lab are going to be completely indistinguishable from Organik humans, and unless they are, society will loudly decry the in-between stages. Despite realism obviously being the goal, that’s simply not going to occur right out of the gate. That’s as if someone in the mid-Eighties, upon seeing those huge brick-style cellphones, decided they still weren’t good enough because they couldn’t watch MTV on the tiny LED screen. I know, I know, ‘what’s MTV’. But again, anyone with a modicum of intelligence would be able to overlook the aesthetic and mobile shortcomings that an artificial human may have, as long as those shortcomings aren’t entirely drastic.
And regarding the programmes that a Synthetik would eventually have that would resemble emotions; again, if you already know the person is a robot, then your suspension of disbelief should theoretically kick in and solve the problem. Besides, Organik humans lie all the time! Why don’t more people have issues with that fact?

Body language interpretation is another factor in the uncanny valley scenario. Those who subscribe to that ‘theory’ cite that their feelings of creepiness (I hate that word) stem from the way current Androids and Gynoids move — again, as the mechanical technology is still being developed, it’s somewhat stilted and jerky. It has been argued that biological humans find less-than-fluid movement to be unpleasant due to centuries of conditioning: if we encounter a person that moves in an unfamiliar manner, alarms go off in our brains saying SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH THIS PERSON AVOID AVOID. However, using that line of thought, why don’t most people recoil in horror when they see someone that has Parkinson’s disease? Or cerebral palsy? Or those prone to epileptic seizures? Well, in less-enlightened times, people did, and pronounced them possessed, or worse. Just as an intelligent society can interpret a person afflicted with a syndrome or disorder as not something to run in fear from, by that logic, someone observing a contemporary Android or Gynoid should be able to say to themselves, ‘ah, that’s more than likely a Synthetik’.
Organik humans can parse the body language of non-human beings, if they’re open-minded, and are given enough time to do so. We’ve discovered that if a cat purrs, and a dog wags his tail, they are more than likely content. We’ve also discovered that different species don’t necessarily display the same emotions in the same fashion — if you see a cat wagging his tail, chances are he ain’t exactly happy, as another example. Now if humans can read, with some degree of certainty, the body language of animals, then there should be no reason Organiks shouldn’t be able to learn the body language of Synthetiks. Especially when, technically speaking, the body language of a humanoid robot would be specifically designed to mimic that of an Organik, and be therefore easier to understand than that of an animal.

One fear that the uncanny valley elicits in a lot of people would be an existential one: for some observers, seeing an Android or a Gynoid — an affictitious person that behaves like and resembles a living Organik being — reminds them that unlike a Synthetik, their own lifespan is limited. Mass-produced Synthetiks also tap into the fear that biological humans are no longer ‘unique’, or ‘special’, or ‘the crown of creation’.
For one, these people are glossing over the fact that Entropy Prevails, no matter if you were born in a womb, or made in a factory. Presupposing that artificial people ‘can’t die’ is akin to thinking your car/microwave/computer will never break down. Granted, you can state that at least with a computer, if the hard drive’s undamaged, you can remove it and pop it into another tower, thereby extending its ‘lifespan’, and with more sophisticated robot technology. one would be able to do the same with an Android or Gynoid. I realise being able to perform that act alone kicks over a wastebin full of philosophical questions, but I’m doing my best to not visit Tangentburg, as I normally do. But I personally think the fact that someone could have a companion that would never become ill or die shouldn’t be a reminder of one’s mortality; instead, their longevity should be celebrated. You could perhaps view it like having children, or better yet, progeny, that go on to do things long after you’re gone, although I’m more than certain there would be some technosexuals that would prefer their afficititious partners go to the grave with them *cough cough*. The Synthetik creations of humankind would continue advancing our ideas and work when our own bodies have given up on us.

As I see it, eventually humanoid robots that look and act sufficiently like biological humans will be treated very similarly to biological humans. There’ll be some provisions, of course, but as the technology continues to develop, the hope is that humanoid robots will be classed as human, albeit a Synthetik human, as opposed to the good ol’ fashioned Organik humans that you’ve doubtless encountered at one time or another. The exact spelling of the term will undoubtedly change; I hold no illusions in that regard. But intelligent members of future generations that are lucky enough to be able to interact with artificial humans on a day-to-day basis will come to regard them as human, but will still need to differentiate them from flesh-and-blood people for the sake of practicality.

Under normal circumstances, it could reasonably be argued that I have a cynical outlook on society; I don’t refer to myself as a pessimist, but the label’s not completely wide off the mark. The one thing that I’m definitely optimistic about, however, is the inevitable arrival of Synthetik people. ‘Uncanny valley’ or not, their presence will occupy some much-needed spaces in commerce, exploration, arts and sciences, and day-to-day living. Quite honestly, believing in the uncanny valley makes about as much sense as being afraid of one’s own shadow, and I think that the more often that Organiks are exposed to and interact with Synthetiks, then those immature phobias will gradually disappear.


Top, HRP-4C Miim; bottom, Actroid Sara. The future’s looking good

‘If a robot appears in every way to possess consciousness, then in my opinion, we should accept that it does’
— David Levy, author and futurist

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Nov 2014): Part I on November 4th, 2014

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Oct 2010) on October 17th, 2010


« Previous entries