A valid point / Writer’s block No. 23,050

typed for your pleasure on 4 May 2007, at 12.59 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Decades’ by Joy division

In doing some research on my Most Favourite Subject, this quote by roboticist David Hanson from an article last year in the Toronto Star stood out:

‘If we don’t give [robots] faces, if we don’t teach them how to be a part of the human family in the future, then they will be cold and faceless and they will be scary. They’ll jeopardize our existence on this planet,’ he says. ‘We need to start planting the seeds in the technology of compassion and wisdom.’

‘Otherwise they will just be ruthless.’
the rest of the article is here

In other news, I’m at almost a total loss as to what to write about next, as evidenced by the subj.title. This happens every now and again; I just have to dig in my spurs and ride it out. Something will come up, I’m sure. Right?

Technorati tags: Android, Gynoid, Synthetik, David Hanson

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Synthetiks-related news (Dec 2009): Prelude on December 7th, 2009

'On the whole, I'd rather be in bed' on June 29th, 2005


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

typed for your pleasure on 30 July 2014, at 12.02 am

Sdtrk: ‘Casualty ward’ by Kline Coma Xero

More news about Dolls and Gynoids? Well, yes.

+ As you’ll recall, I’d begun Part I of this post with a video of a Gynoid named Asuna, and how it’s nigh-impossible to find info on her in English or Japanese. As she seemed to be rather well-made — fluid movement, realistic appearance — I believe she would’ve gotten more media exposure were it not for two reasons. One, it’s nigh-impossible to to find info on her in English or Japanese, and Two, she made her debut only a couple of days prior to these two Gynoids, who had much more exposure in the media. You might’ve seen them yourself; here’s Otonaroid and Kodomoroid:

Created by godlike robotics genius Hiroshi Ishiguro, which should go without saying, Otonaroid (‘otona’ being Japanese for ‘middle-aged woman’) and Kodomoroid (‘Kodomo’ meaning ‘child’) are permanent staffers at Miraikan, the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, in Odaiba, Tokyo. And no, I’m not just being my usual self when I say they’re staffers; the two aren’t a temporary exhibit, unlike the way other locations have treated other Gynoids. Further proof: Otona-san has her very own calling card. And yes, I’d Emailed her. (Her PR people replied instead… boooo.)

They’re similarly-built, in that they use servos for movement of their faces, heads, and arms, but each one is a bit different. Otona-san is a telepresence robot, meaning that she’s controlled remotely via a human operator, who can also speak through her using a microphone. It’s a bit odd, however, as Otona-san doesn’t really have a voice of her own; meaning that if a bloke operates her, you’d hear his voice out of her mouth. Which is disconcerting, and, let’s face it, a boner-killer.
Kodomo-chan’s job is that of a newscaster, if you can dig that. Every day, she’ll read the day’s news in her own voice, as well as various tweets, from her own rather ‘THX 1138’-esque viewing room. Going by some of the clipped syllables as heard in the video above, she’s probably utilising the popular Vocaloid speech synthesis programme, or something like it. Both Gynoids are also working in the context of gathering data on human interaction for Prof. Ishiguro’s studies.


It would seem that Otona-san also likes the music of Damon Albarn, former lead vocalist of Blur, as he performed some songs from his latest solo release, Everyday robots, at Miraikan for her and a small audience of fifty, on 25 July.

During the show, Otonaroid® moved her body in time with Albarn’s performance. She hummed along to the lyrics, and her expressions seemed to change when the melody would take a sad turn or during up-tempo parts of the songs. After finishing all of his songs, Albarn approached his special Otonaroid® guest and bowed to her while looking her in the eyes. Otonaroid® seemed very happy and bowed in return.
the entire article is here

This leads me to believe that, when Otona-san was younger, she more than likely preferred Blur to Oasis! As any sensible person would.

+ If I told you that 4woods have been busy this year, would you really be surprised? Next to Orient industry, they are the Doll studio equivalent of the Hardest Working Man In Show Business. Which I suppose makes Orient industry Soul Brother Number 1, maybe? But before I try to awkwardly shoehorn another analogy of Doll manufacturers to James Brown — even though I know that’s why everyone visits ‘Shouting etc etc’ — do take a look at their latest sexy miss, Mitsuki.


‘Ugh, Febreeze isn’t cutting it. I’m definitely gonna need bleach for this’

Mitsuki — and for naptime, there’s Sleeping Mitsuki — would be 4woods’ newest newest heads, made specifically for their newest newest body series, A.I.Doll Allure. Here’s the summary from the site itself:

AIdoll Allure is designed to have beautiful large yet natural ideal breasts. For those who like breasts, it is 4woods’ signature model.

“Breasts” are the area that is touched most in doll’s body. This is an attractive spot any man feel most feminine in female body. We created AIdoll Allure to satisfy men’s instinct in terms of “large breasts”. They offer perfect shape, size, gap in between and naturalness. The model achieved ultimate feel and durability by applying our technology.

We put together these features and released the highest end model “AIdoll Allure” our 6th body model.

Personally, I like the quotes around ‘breasts’. But it’s not as if their assessment is wrong! 4woods also mention that they’ve put a bit more work into the detail on her muscle tone, nerves, veins, and bones. That’s what I like — looks Organik, but is still quite Synthetik. I approve!
As I’d mentioned, the Mitsuki and Sleeping Mitsuki heads only fit the Allure body. However, if Mitsu-chan fails to appeal to your aesthetic sense, you can purchase a Sarina head for it, or a Yu-ki head, or Lilica, Hatsuki, or Elina. In fact, if you were to click on any of those named just mentioned, you’d see how those heads look on the new Allure body, with a series of brand-new photosets.


Left, Elina and her near-illegible shirt; right, Lilica is questioning the camera angle

And for those of you in the States who were dithering about purchasing an A.I.Doll, but were loath to deal with import tax, dig this: 4woods USA. They have an office in California now, baby!! Now, you no longer have to worry about customs duty fees or identification clearance, and your lass will ship from the manufacturer in Japan, to the 4woods USA office in San Diego, where she’ll arrive at your home via UPS.
I see that twinkle in your eyes, and it’s rightly deserved.

+ Last month, a site called The Daily Dot published an article by Greg Stevens entitled ‘Would you have sex with a robot?‘ No guesses as to why I’ve linked to it.

Much of the allure (and difficulty) of sexual encounters lies in the tension between seeing the other person as a sentient subject with his or her own desires, on the one hand, and seeing that person as nothing more than an object of our own desires, on the other.

Philosopher Martin Buber wrote, in his book Ich und Du (usually translated as “I and Thou”), that there are two essential ways that we can relate to the world around us: there is the I-it relationship, where we interact with things in our environment as mere objects, and there is the I-thou relationship, where we feel an empathic connection or bond with whatever or whoever we are engaging.

What determines whether we are engaging in an I-it or I-thou relationship isn’t just a matter of whether we talking about a relationship with a rock or a person. It has to do with the attitude that we take and the way we feel about our connection to the “other.” When you approach your partner purely as an object of lust, a physical thing that you can use to satisfy your desires, then you are engaging in an I-it relationship with your partner.

What makes robots different from sex toys, and for some people what makes them creepier, is that robots trigger us to make the opposite kind of psychological flip-flop: like a mirror-image of classic sexual objectification, robotic sexual partners encourage us to look at mere inanimate objects as sentient, conscious, willful, and desirous.

It isn’t as tough as you might think. The more traits any object has in common with humans, the more likely we are to assume that the object has feelings, has desires, and even has an independent free will. This phenomenon, studied by psychologists as anthropomorphism, is deep-seated and driven by the most basic mechanisms in our brain. We can’t help it: give something a voice, a face, and make it move like a human being, and we will make all kinds of assumptions about its thoughts, feelings, and intentions.

In fact we do this with people, as well, especially during sex. All sexual encounters (and all romantic relationships, for that matter), involve a certain amount of fantasy. The image you have in your head of the person you are involved with is always a grab bag of your own projections, assumptions, desires, and expectations, alongside (hopefully) some of traits that genuinely belong to the person in question.

With just the right robotic companion, you would likely act no differently than you already do with your human partners during sex, responding to them with a complexity of desires.
the entire article is here

From what I’ve personally encountered, a large part of what non-iDollators aren’t keen on is the fact that many of us treat our Dolls as partners, not merely things. That’s due to our imaginations filling in the blanks, of course, but it’s difficult to say if the general populace will feel the same way when humanoid robots can respond to Organik interaction, in a way that seems spontaneous. Will they still use the tired complaint that interacting with an artificial person isn’t as good as someone ‘real’ then?
While they’re busy pondering that, however, those of us who are attracted to the so-called Unheimlich will be quite satisfied with what our affictitious partners can do for us, as well as what we can do for them…

+ Phoenix studios, where the world’s Boy Toy Dolls originate from, have come out with a brand-new silicone lass in their Celestial series, which is fab news. Meet Sky! She comes in two configurations: the peachy Caucasian Sky, and the mocha version known as Dark Sky, which is a name I thought rather amusing.


But do they know they’re twins? Someone should tell them

As she’s another entry in their ‘Celestial Bodies’ series, Sky is 4’10”, less than 60 lbs, has measurements of B:32 / W:22 / H:32, and wears a US sz 5 shoe. Not only that, but she also sports eyes that open and close as well. Not bad, Phoenix studios! *thumbs up*

+ I’d mentioned R Stevens’ Diesel Sweeties in the previous part; he also does double duty (sounds disgusting) making teh funies on a site called Medium. Not surprisingly, this one caught my eye, as A Valid Point Is Made. Click the pic for the whole thing:

+ And for those of you who unfortunately missed Amber Hawk Swanson‘s engaging Sidore Mark II / Heather > LOLITA performance back in December 2013, and are curious as to what watching the entire 70 hours performance would entail, this potted version should give you an idea of what you’re in store for:

The super-condensed version is fab and all, but if you have the time to spare, you should check out the whole thing (in parts) on Amber’s official Vimeo channel. For one, the 10min video doesn’t get into the expansive and insightful conversations she had with me, fellow iDollator Jesse1965, and a couple of activists for marine mammal life, as well as fellow iDollator Mahtek phoning in and reading the eulogy he’d written for Phoebe Mk I. And there’s always me racing my way through Nabokov’s Lolita. Besides, if you had time to watch Warhol’s 1967 film ‘****’ (clocking in at twenty five hours), then you’ve got time to watch Sidore Mark II / Heather > LOLITA. Plus, Amber’s work has more Synthetiks in it! Synthetiks make everything better. Fact

UPDATE (12 AUG 2014): Speaking, as we were, about Gynoid Android Asuna, alert reader Ron has uncovered a couple of videos and extreme closeup pics of our mysterious silicone lady, which you can check out here

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

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

Hoorej for Synthetiks on October 5th, 2006


Any Synthetik-related news, Davecat? (Mar 2014)

typed for your pleasure on 23 March 2014, at 7.01 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Tonight, we fall (John Foxx and the Maths remix)’ by ADULT.

It’s almost Spring! That… should mean something in the context of Synthetiks and the people who build them and/or love them, but it really doesn’t. But the fact that everything’s attempting to thaw means that we won’t have to look at dirty snow for much longer! Dirty snow is an affront to the eye, as I’m sure you’ll agree. So while you’re waiting for your allergies to flare up, why not read this instead?

+ According to fellow technosexual Vokabre, Alisa Zelenogradova, who you’ll recall is Russia’s first Gynoid, is being improved and upgraded! Neurobotics have given her a better body with improved mobility, as well as a remote manipulator control for her right arm, as seen here:

It seems that Neurobotics are concentrating on developing humanoid robots for telepresence work, which makes sense. From the few telepresence robots I’d seen, she’d be the most attractive, with an appearance more like an Organik human. Which kinda brings the future of ‘Surrogates‘ closer to being a reality! You might want to hold off on asking Alisa to hold your martini for now, though.

Neurobotics also debuted another Gynoid they’ve been working on as a panelist on a Russian science telly programme! Much like Alisa, her silicone face is modelled after an Organik lass, and the Gynoid’s name would be — wait for it — Tuma Urman. *sigh* Try not to hold that against her.

Despite the fact that she has legs, she can neither walk nor stand yet, but I’m sure her handlers are working on that as well. You can read more about… Ms Urman… here, if you can automatically translate Russian with that big brain of yours.

+ Remember Private Island Beauties? Well, you should, cos they never went away. Head sculptor bloke Patrick Wise has been improving on what he’s had to offer with his silicone sirens, and I got some info on new developments from him via Electrode Mail.
He’s completed a new skeleton for the Girl Next Door body type after two years’ work, which boasts of a more fluid and easy-to-manipulate quality. Not only that, it can make for better posing, as it’s twice as strong as the original skeleton, he says. The downside is that the more advanced skeleton’s added a bit of weight — we’re looking at +/- 60 lbs — but that’s the price you pay for durability, squire. Believe me, 60 lbs, when speaking about a Doll, is a pretty damned good weight.


That’s the sort of motion that’s usually followed by a yawn. So can she yawn?

Also two and a half years in the making is the new Island Girl body type. She stands 5’7″, with natural-looking breasts that feature puffy nipples. The Island Girl body can use the same heads as the Bathing Beauty body, but Patrick aims to create new heads for it as well. As always, you’ll never be short on choices!


Isis, with the Island Girl body, in her churchgoing clothes

+ Catherine de Lange wrote an article for New Scientist recently entitled ‘Cure for love: Fall for a robot to fend off heartache‘. As you suspect, it is Relevant To This Post. Well, blog.

Attachment is one thing, but love? That will come in about 40 years’ time, with improvements in speech recognition and generation technology, says David Levy, AI researcher and author of the book Love and Sex with Robots. “When we can have entertaining, informative, loving conversations with robots, I think people will start to fall in love with them in serious numbers,” he says.

Just consider the fact that people can fall in love over the internet or through phone calls. “It is perfectly possible to feel strongly attracted to someone you’ve never met,” says Alan Winfield at the University of the West of England in Bristol, UK. “If a conversational AI is compelling and gives the impression of getting to know you, then you are going to form a bond.”

The level of language understanding and emotional intelligence displayed by the operating system in Her is still some way off, says John West, senior solutions architect at Nuance, the company that provides the voice recognition technology for Apple’s Siri and Samsung’s S-Voice. “Understanding and adapting to the way people naturally talk is the biggest challenge and requires an in-depth knowledge of linguistics and semantics,” he says.
the entire article is here

Granted, there will always be people who are keen on meeting, dating, and marrying Organik partners. But for those of us who’d like an equally-valid option as the technology gets progressively better, then artificial humans are clearly the solution, and as they provide a much more consistent alternative to bad partner decisions, or no partner at all.
Personally, I’ve yet to watch Spike Jonze’s ‘Her‘; as you suspect, many people have asked me if I have. To me, one of the crucial components of any romantic relationship I’d be in would be a physical element — long-distance relationships don’t cut it for me. So while the advanced AI in ‘Her’ would be appealing, it wouldn’t be the same as having someone to hold. Unless, of course, you were to place that AI within a prosthetic body! But there are quite a few people who engage in long-distance love, and if they’re the sort of person who not only can’t find the right Organik partner, but also have an open mind, an AI would do them rather well…

+ Ruby13 have refined their website — you know they’re on Twitter as well as the other social medias now, right? — and among other things, there’s a lovely page that’s dedicated to the head sculptor and founder of the company, Don Edmondson, who regrettably passed away last year. Give the site a look, and see what you think!


Ruby13’s seductive Face 10, in case you somehow forgot what she looks like

And you’ll find a new link in the lefthand sidebar as well: please add Doll Sweet to your List Of Potential Companies You’ll Be Saving Up To Get A Doll From. Doll Sweet have a solid pedigree behind them: it’s the Chinese distributing/manufacturing arm of Arte Tokio, which is a Japanese Doll-making studio formed by ex-employees of 4woods. And if that curiously doesn’t convince you to look into what they have to offer, here’s some photos of their Kayla head on the 161cm body. You should probably sit down, if you’re not already.



A beautiful rubber lass into The Beautiful Game, eh? Yeah, she’s a keeper

There’s enough photos and videos of the selections they have on offer to keep you occupied for a while, where you’ll be hamstrung by decision. That sort of thing happens in iDollator culture more than you’d think.

+ Quite a few people had pointed this out to me: so recently, there was a CeBIT computer expo at in Hanover, Germany that featured something that shouldn’t have taken as long as it has to realise, but it can only get better now that the idea’s out there. German software developer Tobit’s booth prominently featured robot pole dancers.
‘Why didn’t anyone think of this before??’ I know, right?

Apparently, Tobit employed the robots’ services back in 2012, but this year’s models, as stated by the Tobit rep in the video, have different movements and bigger breasts. *nods approvingly*
An article on BBC News adds, ‘Visitors with a robo-fetish can pick up one of the dancers for about 30,000 euros ($39,500, £25,000)‘. As I always say in these types of scenarios, for those of us technosexuals who prefer their Gynoids with silicone skin, a quick visit to one of those online shops for maskers can work wonders

In that vein, here’s a sexier and more adept animatronic dancer. You’ll definitely want to embiggen the video to properly see the details…

…that is, apart from her face. Well, she’s wearing a mask. But what’s the story behind this affictitious sexpot? She’s an art piece by Jordan Wolfson, and is currently being exhibited in a private room *ahem* at the David Zwirner Gallery in New York, from now until 19 April. Jordan worked with a special effects company for her construction, and not only does she lipsync to the song’s vocals, but she has facial recognition software, so that her eyes can meet yours. Again, were she not wearing that mask, that would be incredibly appealing, but the juxtaposition of fear and desire is undoubtedly what Jordan is aiming for. Perhaps someone else will make a less-transgressive version of this piece, as her movements are incredibly fluid and alluring. Also, she needs some open-toed shoes as well, damnit.

+ And of late, the Missus herself has had a couple of interviews to her credit! As much as I enjoy doing proper interviews, it’s always fantastic when a reporter wants to speak with her as opposed to me, as Shi-chan can provide a unique perspective by the fact that she’s Synthetik. As always, my rubbery wife is doing me proud!
Over the course of January and February, she’d done an interview via Email with Sofija Stefanovic, for issue 21 of a bimonthly Australian publication called The Lifted Brow, as well as one with Sam Schneider for ZoomNews.es. The one for The Lifted Brow is print-only — a rarity in this day and age — but you can order one for yourself or a loved one here. As far as the other interview, entitled ‘El matrimonio de Davecat y Sidore Kuroneko visto desde los ojos de la muñeca’, you can stare at it here. Hope you can read Spanish! I probably should’ve mentioned that earlier, but I’m sure the title was a bit of a giveaway.
Here’s hoping that Shi-chan will get more offers to take up the interview mantle! Well, legitimate offers, I should add. Dr Phil and similar sensationalists hardly count

danke schön to Vokabre, for all the bits and bobs about Jordan Wolfson, Alisa, and… Tuma

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Dual Doll upDate on December 4th, 2005

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Oct 2008) on October 4th, 2008


Surrogates; or, Bruce Willis’ hair has never looked so good

typed for your pleasure on 16 October 2009, at 12.27 pm

Sdtrk: ‘A beginning word’ by Roj

Whilst at work one day last week, I was thinking about all the films I wanted to see on the big screen this year that I unfortunately missed. It was a lengthy list — Moon, District 9, Let the right one in, Tony Manero, 9, Flame and Citron, Inglourious basterds, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I think I’ve forgotten one or two — which is odd, as it’s well-documented that I loathe Hollywood. However, the one film that I really wanted to catch, which I thankfully did last Friday, was ‘Surrogates‘, directed by Jonathan Mostow. Furthermore, I was able to bring Mari along with me, partially as revenge for her making me stare at that sloshing bucket of vomitus known as ‘Transformers 2’ some months ago. You counteract Bad with Good, as far as I’m concerned.

So what’d we think? It was a brisk 88 minutes in length: Mari enjoyed it, as did I, but for differing reasons. She liked the special effects and the explosions, whereas I dug the whole idea of the Surrogates’ technology. Insert ‘DURR HEY’ here. I’ll definitely buy the DVD when it’s available, but I do have to say two words that I regrettably end up using whenever reviewing any big-budget film that covers the topic of Synthetiks: Hollywood ending. Although, as the film is based on a graphic novel that I’ve never read, I’ve no idea how close the film’s ending, or the story overall, hews to the original comic. Funnily enough, Mari and I stopped round to a Borders after the film, so I could pick up the first volume of Karakuri Odette (as mentioned here), and at one point, I was idly glancing through a copy of the Surrogates trade paperback, and it didn’t occur to me to flip to the end. Tch!
Overall, ‘Surrogates’ was inoffensive to my technosexual sensibilities, Hollywood ending notwithstanding. The opening credits, which consist of a montage sequence which serves to fill the audience in about the world in which the film takes place, had a few nods and winks to iDollators and technosexuals, such as a couple of seconds of RealDoll faces from ‘Guys and Dolls’, as well as footage of Hiroshi Ishiguro and his Android twin, Geminoid. Naturally I’m gonna point this out: as it was rated PG-13, sadly there wasn’t a single topless Gynoid to be seen, as the film’s distributor was Walt Disney Pictures. Thanks for that, Disney, you wankers.


It’s okay…

But this isn’t a review of ‘Surrogates’! What I’d like to do instead is touch upon the sociological aspects of that kind of technology existing. The Suris, as they’re often referred to in the story, are incredibly detailed and slightly enhanced human representations that are 100% artificial; however, they have no AI of their own, as they are controlled by Organik operators. To use one, you sit in your special control seat, strap on a neurovisual headband thing, and control your Suri with your mind. Obviously, the whole point of a Surrogate is not just to be able to experience life without leaving the comfort of your chair, but to do so looking your best. Your Surrogate can be made to resemble a flawless version of yourself, of course, or you can purchase generic-looking models, or you can even use one with practically any look or gender that you may desire. (There’s actually a plot point with that in the film.) As far as I gathered in the film, whatever sensations that your Suri would feel would be ones that your meat body would also feel, with the exception of pain. They kinda didn’t get into that in detail, but from certain scenes, I figured that was the case.
Therefore, as they lack AI, Surrogates are not actually true Androids and Gynoids; instead, this would be an example of what’s known as telepresence, with teledildonics being its sexier cousin. I’d mentioned Hiroshi Ishiguro and Geminoid earlier; telepresence is what’s involved when Ishiguro-san uses Geminoid to teach his classes or make appearances whilst staying at home — Geminoid is Ishiguro-san’s proxy. In fact, if you’ve ever seen the anime series ‘Ghost in the shell’, or read the manga it’s based on, telepresence is everywhere in it, particularly in the ‘Man-machine Interface’ manga. And as you’d suspect, teledildonics operates essentially the same way, only centred round sexy time. VERY NICE I LIKE
Now, the thing that struck me about Surrogate use is they are, in essence, simply highly sophisticated telephones. Think about it: when you use a phone, you are speaking to another Organik through the use of a device, as they are with you. Instead on just hearing a voice through a phone, or even a voice and an image through a videophone, there is a physical presence before you that you’re interacting with. Well, that your Suri is interacting with, but you get the picture.


…she’s affictitious

One of the plot points of the film is that Surrogates are in incredibly prolific use by most of the globe’s population — they’re ubiquitous, you can’t get away from them. But, much like in real-life, there are some segments of society that are against technological advancements, and have established human-only ‘dread zones’. Naturally, there’s a plot point dealing with that as well. The people inhabiting the dread zones live wilfully-technology-free lifestyles, like pockets of Amish living in self-imposed cultural isolation in the cities, and have banned Surrogates from even passing through the zones’ gates.
The inhabitants there follow the tenets of a man calling himself the Prophet, a cult leader who exhorts his followers to reject Surrogates, based on the premise that continued use of that sort of technology will further dehumanise society. I mean, it’s all well and good if that’s the lifestyle you wish to lead, but that sort of blinkered anti-technological mindset shouldn’t be inflicted upon others. Should a person want to utilise Surrogate technology, they should be free to do so. Considering further, the dread reservations are rather like enclaves of bigotry. If instead of hand-painted signs reading HUMANS ONLY, what if that sign said WHITES ONLY? With the continuing advancement of real-life artificial human development, there’s a genuine fear, as JM of the blog Synthetically Yours and I have discussed, of Organik humans losing their precious monopoly on humanity, which is why a person such as The Prophet existed. Naturally, there’s a deeper plot point that explains him too, but ZOMG SPOILERS

Would I use a Surrogate? As I spend a great deal of time living in my stately manor located in the so-called Uncanny Valley, the answer should be as obvious as if you’d asked me ‘do you like money?’ or ‘do you like bunnies?’, really. To be able to use a better-looking, more physically enhanced Synthetik kagemusha of myself would obviously be ideal. Detractors would say that Suri use, or an artificial human such as an Android or Gynoid isn’t ‘real’, but I’ve always defined real as ‘anything that can be perceived with any of the senses’. Therefore, a Surrogate or a Synthetik is real, they’re just not Organik.* Of course, due to the nature of Surrogate usage, i.e, reclining in a seat for hours on end, there’d be a need to exercise my meat body periodically, so muscle atrophy wouldn’t take hold, which I’d personally say would be the only disadvantage I could see to the use of a Suri. Couldn’t I simply scoop my brain out of my skull and pop it into the Suri’s head? That’d be so much easier.
If that particular technology was made available tomorrow, for example, I’d say there’d be three schools of thought concerning them. You’d have people like me grinning from ear to ear — not necessarily technosexuals per se, but people who are enthralled with technology and gadgets, people who could see the aesthetic value in a Surrogate, lazy tossers, etc; there’d be those who would be initially apprehensive, but then grow accustomed to the concept and either eventually adopt it, or realise it’s not a threat to their lifestyle; which leaves those who would be gathering up cement blocks and rusty bits of corrugated metal to use as gates for their dread zones.

‘Would humans stand in line at the grocery store behind a robot? Would I let my children play outside if I knew there were robots outside walking dogs?’ asks writer and robotics expert Daniel Wilson in this article for CNN.com. They’re valid points, as they detail the mindset of the second and third schools of thought I’d mentioned. Humans naturally have a fear of the unknown, but when enough people see how beneficial and even fun a development such as Surrogates (in the fictional world) or Synthetiks (in the real world) can be, not only will they cease to be a mystery, but in time, people will wonder how they managed to get on without them.


Yum! Time to check online auction houses for ‘Surrogates’ props

So here’s a question to you, the stunned reader of ‘Shouting etc etc’: would you use a Surrogate if such a thing existed? Or would you prefer to remain with your current fleshy self? How do you think you’d react if you discovered someone you knew was using one? Answers to be turned in before the end of class, please

ta very much to both Wolfgang and Pat!, for sending me links for additional research

*Can you tell I’m trying to reclaim the word ‘real’? It’s a bit like how the word ‘love’ is wildly misused. You can say that you love someone, and you can also say that you love bacon sandwiches — the usage can get vague. Though one would hope to “Bob” that it’s not the same type of love for those particular examples (‘Th… that’s not mayonnaise!!’ Yes, I went there)

Technorati tags: Surrogates, Jonathan Mostow, Android, Gynoid, robot, Karakuri Odette, technosexual, iDollators, RealDolls, Hiroshi Ishiguro, Geminoid, telepresence, teledildonics, Ghost in the Shell, Daniel Wilson, bacon

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

For all future Dori-kei on November 13th, 2008

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Oct 2008) on October 4th, 2008


Yes, more pro-Synthetiks propaganda

typed for your pleasure on 12 April 2009, at 2.18 pm

Sdtrk: ‘The angel of the odd’ by Merzbow

Just a heads-up: ULTRAKILLBOT has generously posted Part II of their interview with yours truly, which details me rambling at length about iDollators, life with Shi-chan, the future of Androids and Gynoids, and… Toronto. What better way to spend an Easter Sunday, I ask you??

Tell me a bit about your interest in Gynoids.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been enthralled with artifice as a whole — I’ve always been drawn to things that resemble something from nature, yet aren’t actually natural. I’m completely in love with the whole Sixties-era obsession with plastic, for one. I believe two of humanity’s greatest achievements are developments in robotics, and the replication of things that Nature usually creates, and Synthetik humans are a fine combination of those two things. Creating robots in general supports my philosophy of every man being his own god, but when you wrap all that technology up in a very humanlike appearance, it’s easier for Organik humans to embrace the idea of robots as valid members of society. That’s why I always use the terms ‘Synthetiks’ and ‘Organiks’ — it’s my hope that in the future, people will see Androids and Gynoids as simply another type of human. Although they’re not meat-based like we are, they’re human as well, in their own fashion.

A fine interview, and a fine site, with fine staffers. Go check it out!
Also, eerily relevant, courtesy of my new favourite online comic strip, Married to the Sea:

marriedtothesea.com

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

For all future Dori-kei on November 13th, 2008

Synthetiks-related news (Dec 2009): Prelude on December 7th, 2009


Internet, like a faucet

typed for your pleasure on 14 October 2007, at 3.30 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Capsules’ by Cabaret Voltaire

D’ye hear that? That reverberating grey-black-and-neon-green sound of ‘apocalypse porn’, as the blog American Stranger amusingly has ‘Shouting etc etc’ categorised under? That is the sound of me being back online full-time. Woo! Woo.
The Missus, Tsukihime and I still aren’t entirely settled, and now that, thanks to the combined efforts of Comcast and SafeTinspector, The Series of Tubes is finally attached directly to our computers, we’ll probably get less work done. Heh. Although I have to say, Shi-chan and I are about entering negotiations concerning another television interview, so we’ve got to get to work in tidying up Deafening silence Plus

Speaking of apocalypse porn, a concerned reader by the name of Rehka writes:

Haha, so I’m living in a dorm right now and through their internet services, I actually can’t access your blog because it has been filed under a sexual category and I go to a baptist university, haaha. How do you feel about that?

Heh, both offended and amused, really. I mean, moreso than usual. Although it’s occurred maybe once or twice, I try not to post any pics of Dolls exposing their rubbery jubbelys, cos I know I have a couple of readers that check my site out from their local public library (zszsz, I’m looking in your direction), but I always make the distinction that there’s a difference between seeing breasts in a pornographic context, and seeing them in a non-pornographic context, just as there’s a difference between nudity (fine art) and bein’ nekkid (pr0n). As you well know, I don’t merely see Dolls as sex toys, and I do realise that there may be some people that are fearful of seeing tits, as they may dredge up the entirely valid fear of death by smothering, but at a facility of higher learning, the staff could stand to be a little less draconian about their website censorship. You’re at a grade school? Sure, block ‘Shouting etc etc’, that’s entirely understandable. But one would hope that a person of college age would be more mature about these things. I mean, despite the fact that they’re in college and all.
Blah blah blah censorship, blah blah blah Doll tits. Where was I going with this? I could wave it off with a typical flippant line, such as Well, if the baptists are censoring me, then I’m clearly doing something right, but attacking the baptists’ withered dogma would be like attacking a withered, err… dog. With a Liston knife. I’m sorry, I’ve no idea where that came from, but it’s really making me giggle.
Sorry, Rekha! Maybe they’ll allow you to subscribe to my RSS feed?* It doesn’t display any pictures, which is of course half the fun, but it’s better than nowt, right?

And damn it all, the esteemed Amber Hawk Swanson and her equally lovely Synthetik bride had invited me to catch a Chicago-area screening of ‘Lars and the Real Girl‘**, but scheduling prevented it. Actually, it’s on a Saturday, but my (distasteful adjective) job requires me to work mornings to afternoons that day. Grr. Now that I’ve moved, I need to really start looking for a job that doesn’t siphon off discrete amounts of my soul every day I’m there… Well, a job that doesn’t siphon off as much of my soul, at any rate.

So there you have it! We now return you to the usual passel of retro architecture, eclectic news items, and more-than-slightly-biased lust for Synthetiks that passes for posts round here. Heigh ho!

*N.B.: please ask a qualified Internet CyberTechnician about RSS and Atom feeds, cos I haven’t a clue as to how that shit works

**In all honesty, she didn’t just invite me; she invited everyone in her mailing list. The sentiment still applies, though

Technorati tags: American Stranger, Amber Hawk Swanson, Lars and the Real Girl, Liston knife

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

I just flew in from San Marcos, and boy, is this an old joke! on August 27th, 2006

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Nov 2014): Part II on November 21st, 2014


Well, it’s not as if I’m not slightly biased

typed for your pleasure on 9 August 2007, at 12.08 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Sister Ray’ by the Velvet Underground

I’m not entirely sure what to make of this.


Nice boots, missy

Lars and the Real Girl

Written by Six Feet Under scribe Nancy Oliver, Lars and the Real Girl is a heartfelt comedy starring Academy-Award nominated Ryan Gosling as Lars Lindstrom a loveable introvert whose emotional baggage has kept him from fully embracing life. After years of what is almost solitude, he invites Bianca, a friend he met on the internet to visit him. He introduces Bianca to his Brother Gus (Paul Schneider) and his wife Karen (Emily Mortimer) and they are stunned. They don’t know what to say to Lars or Bianca – because she is a life-size doll, not a real person and he is treating her as though she is alive. They consult the family doctor Dagmar (Patricia Clarkson) who explains this is a delusion he’s created – for what reason she doesn’t yet know but they should all go along with it. What follows is an emotional journey for Lars and the people around him.

Hm. Hrrrm. On the surface, it sounds like a cross between French black comedy ‘Monique‘, and Luis García Berlanga’s ‘Tamaño natural‘. Granted, though, there aren’t a lot of Doll-related feature films to really compare it to; ‘Love object’ doesn’t count, as it’s hardly sympathetic towards iDollators.

There are two main problems I might have with this film.
1) As I was lamenting to New Best Blogger Friend barstowmama (she’s linked, y’know), the trend in popular media ‘culture’ is that whenever a person is given a choice between a Synthetik partner and an Organik one, by the end of the film, the script will have him choose the Organik, having completely forsaken the Synthetik that he was completely happy with before (see ‘Cherry 2000‘ for a prime example, or this music video by Lim Jeong Hee). As professional photographer Elena Dorfman once commented, love can take many forms — just because someone’s partner is artificial doesn’t make the partnership less valid, which is what popular culture doesn’t seem to understand.
2) Society has a vibrating neurosis about people being happy introverts. Extroverts seem to believe that the only good experiences are shared amongst the company of others, which is patently false. Granted, it’s obvious that a person can have fun with others, just not all the time. They don’t understand that not everyone is a go-gettin’ Type-A personality — some people happen to like it quiet and calm. Extroverts are particularly nosey, and seem to be almost offended when introverts want to keep to themselves. ‘How can he be happy if he’s inside all the time by himself?’ Sure, there are people who actually want to reach out and just don’t know how to go about it, but there are others who have done that, didn’t particularly like what they saw, and decided to stick with what they know.

This film says to me we are going to drag you kicking and screaming into the outside world, whether you like it or not, cos that’s what we think is what’s best for you, which is reprehensible. Speaking for myself, I enjoy hanging around people I’m friends with, but large groups of people — especially ones I don’t really know — kinda freak me out, mainly cos I don’t know what they’re pondering. It’s not as if I dress, speak or act like the common herd, and in the back of my mind, I’m thinking that most people don’t really like what they see. Trying to ‘fit in’ isn’t an option any more than getting enormous crowds of people to switch over to my way of thinking, so I prefer to keep to myself or amongst those who I’m familiar with.
From the trailer, Lars alternately seems okay with being out and about, or fearful of leaving his house, but that’s like two different types of introverts rolled into one character. Some are shut-ins due to fear, but others simply don’t want to leave the house cos they know they don’t have to deal with people’s rampant shitwickery.

(I owe a debt, as always, to fellow iDollator and hard-working scribe PB Shelley, for recommending Anneli Rufus’ fantastic book, ‘Party of one: the Loner’s Manifesto‘, as reading and re-reading it has gotten me through some difficult periods…)

One thing’s for certain, however — Bianca is definitely a hottie. Anyone wanting to abandon someone like her would have to be delusional.


(insert typical tongue-rolling sound here)

In fact, she looks like she’s a Leah-type RealDoll; at the very least, she definitely has the Face 4, and as short as she looks, she’s probably got the Body 2. Probably tweaked a bit for the film, but I’d recognise that face anywhere, as that’s what Shi-chan is. I’m not normally a betting man, but I think once the film comes out, there’ll be a handful of orders placed with Abyss to make a Doll that ‘looks just like the Doll in “Lars and the Real Girl”‘. And with good reason!
Like I said, I’ll pass proper judgement when I see it, but as it’s a Hollywood production, I’m visualising Bianca getting the shaft in the end. No, not like that — get your minds out of the gutter

Technorati tags: Lars and the Real Girl, romantic comedy, iDollator, Abyss creations, RealDoll, Elena Dorfman, Anneli Rufus

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Machines 6, Fleshlings 0 / Ultraman killed a robot? on April 4th, 2009

Artifice, real and simulated on December 23rd, 2006


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