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Love and Sex with Robots [Kindle Edition]

David Levy
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
Kindle Price: $9.78
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Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

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Book Description

Love, marriage, and sex with robots? Not in a million years? Maybe a whole lot sooner!

A leading expert in artificial intelligence, David Levy argues that the entities we once deemed cold and mechanical will soon become the objects of real companionship and human desire. He shows how automata have evolved and how human interactions with technology have changed over the years. Levy explores many aspects of human relationships—the reasons we fall in love, why we form emotional attachments to animals and virtual pets, and why these same attachments could extend to love for robots. Levy also examines how society's ideas about what constitutes normal sex have changed—and will continue to change—as sexual technology becomes increasingly sophisticated.

Shocking, eye-opening, provocative, and utterly convincing, Love and Sex with Robots is compelling reading for anyone with an open mind.



Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this wide-ranging examination of the emotional and physical relations between humans and the inanimate objects of their desire, AI guru Levy (Robots Unlimited) first addresses the question of love with robots, and moves on to consider the mechanics of actually having sex with them. In order to put the reader at ease with the possibility of human-robot love, Levy compares the phenomenon to the ways in which humans fall in love with each other, their pets, and even their motorcycles. From there, Levy argues, it is a short emotional step to the affection people can be expected to display towards robots. Some readers may be turned off by Levy's fairly graphic descriptions of the mechanics of having sex with robots, and may wonder why Levy chose not to include recent research on the human genome that could one day lead to replacing human "parts," potentially making us more robot-like ourselves. Though Levy's topic is undeniably on the fringe, it will appeal to readers keen on pondering futuristic scenarios.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

'Utterly fascinating' - New Statesman. 'Oddly - very oddly - fascinating ... It's no mean feat just presenting a prediction as outlandish as that as unabashedly as Levy does. But more impressive still is how coherently he backs it up' - Telegraph. 'The idea behind the book - a world in which robots appear to be just like us - is fascinating. It raises important questions about the future of robots. What we might want from them and what our interactions might teach us about ourselves' - New Scientist. 'Will surely rank as the definitive study of such phenomena for years to come' - LA Times book review. 'A controversial and troubling arousing book' - USA Today. 'The safest sex on the planet' - Wired. 'Racy, divertingly illustrated book' - The Guardian.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1140 KB
  • Print Length: 354 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0061359807
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books (October 13, 2009)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000XUACXM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #286,630 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
David Levy's book is divided into two and unequal parts, both in length and in interest. Most readers, I would imagine, if told that a book was divided into a longer section about future emotional relations between humans and robots and a shorter section on sex with robots would guess that the more interesting would be the latter. For me, at least, the opposite was the case. I was barely able to stay awake while reading the sex chapters, while I found the chapters dealing with potential emotional connections with robots to be fascinating. Levy makes, I believe, a convincing case that robots will play an increasingly important and essential role in human social life. If nothing else, the comparison between pets and robots is telling. There is no question that millions of humans treat pet animals as friends and have strong emotional connections with them. That we will feel similar ties to robots when the A.I. has developed to an extent to make genuine interaction possible seems to me to be impossible to debate. Or, rather, some may debate it, but many others will nonetheless employ robots as companions or more.

Much of the book is dedicated to detailing the reasons why humans and robots will before the end of the 21st century - indeed, Levy believes it will be around the midpoint of the century - humans will fall in love with and have sex with robots. He addresses issues such as the grounds for attachment, the technological hurdles that remain to be overcome, and the status of work on artificial intelligence. The sex portion of the book is a rather dull catalog of the use of inanimate objects to achieve sexual climax.
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27 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strange ideas, but could happen November 30, 2007
Format:Hardcover
Books like Levy's and others such as Raymond Kurzweil's The Age of Spiritual Machines seem to portray a future where humans are obsolete and of little use, yet this is despicted as a good rather than a bad thing, because robots can do whatever it is faster, cheaper, and better, and humans will finally be able to pursue a life of ease and leisure. Futurists like Levy and Kurzweil have even been accused of disliking and having no use for humans, but this is going too far; like the great Arthur C. Clarke's book, Profiles of the Future, written 40 years earlier, Levy and Kurzweil are simply taking current trends and technology and extrapolating plausible futures from that.

As described by Levy an Age of Robots would seem to have certain advantages. Our stewardship of this beleaguered planet has been flawed at best: it has been massively destructive to its environment, perhaps beyond repair; humans claim great religions and spiritual beliefs but then we kill and make war when it's convenient and expedient; we are the most intelligent species but lack wisdom; humans are industrious but we often lack any constructive purpose; and rarely seem to learn from our mistakes, despite our supposed "intelligence." In short, humans haven't done very well on this planet and perhaps it's time for another better race, whether biological or robotic or android, to have a go at running things for a while.

The book is filled with odd but plausible devices such as robot v_ginas and robotic p_nis strokers that will have capabilities far beyond any human's. A robotic partner and lover will always be the perfect mate and will never get bored or inattentive.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Researched book January 22, 2008
Format:Hardcover
I can only imagine the amount of interesting research David Levy had to do for this book. The book started off good, but got better towards the latter chapters. I found the sections on sex dolls fascinating--these sections were sociological, yet written for the lay audience.

The sections on pets creeped me out some, as did some of the early chapters. The jump of logic was unsettling at times, since I felt that Levy was truly on to something.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and would suggest it to others. The audience for this book is wide--primarily a lay audience, but the sections of the book would be useful in undergraduate courses in humanities and social sciences.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An outline of a natural and desirable development September 26, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Given the reported emotional attachments that some soldiers have with the machines that sometimes save their lives, or AIBO owners to their robot dogs, it is easy to accept a book that discusses the possibility of actual love affairs or even sex with humanoid-like machines. From a purely sexual standpoint, this would be a natural evolution, as the title of this book suggests, given the wide use of sexual devices throughout history. But to fall in love with a robot would require that this type of machine be responsive to the needs and personal idiosyncrasies of its human counterpart, as well as be convincing in its need for companionship and intimacy. Such a machine would require a technology that is way beyond current capabilities, but given the rapidity of technological advance at the present time, especially in artificial intelligence, it is very plausible to assume that it will be available in a very short time.

This of course is not the first book to elaborate on the possibility of love affairs or sex with robots. Science fiction has used this in its story lines for many decades now. And Hollywood has brought these stories to life on the big screen, along with others that give alternative, and very terrifying portrayals of human-machine interactions. The virtue of this book is not only its careful attention to history, but also its optimistic tone. The author is in no way intimidated by the possibility of love or sexual affairs with machines, and even embraces it as a desirable development. And of course it is, for it allows humans even more possibilities for exploration and future paths for the curious.

The book is also valuable solely for the history that it contains, and for the psychological insight on the nature of human love and sexual attraction.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm happy to see a Kindle version
I actually bought a hard copy of this a few years ago, read it, and lent it out only to never see it again. I'm happy to see a Kindle version.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing
Not very interesting. Some furtuistic ideas but nothing impressive and it was too historical. Not inventive enough in my opinion
Published 5 months ago by Garrett Shirey
5.0 out of 5 stars The near future of humans and robots cohabiting in an intimate manner.
This is a book that opens your mind to something that is already starting to have it's impact on society,whether it rattles your moral or religious code. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Daniel Levi-Gomez
5.0 out of 5 stars Profound Satire on our age
Towards the end of this book, Levy described a project within the MIT Media Department dedicated his topic, "the technology of sexual-emotional simulation. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Al Rodbell
2.0 out of 5 stars A little disappointing....
Before purchasing this book, I read some of the mixed reviews on amazon.com, so I didn't have particularly high expectations going in. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Jennifer May, Ph.D.
1.0 out of 5 stars LOSERS
lol this is what society has come to a buncha nerds fantasizing about robot porn. dont get me wrong i love robots andtheres nuthin wrong with sex, but seriously
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book about the future of love
Great book. Interesting read. Would like to have known even more about this future. Engaging and well written. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Denise Cusumano
5.0 out of 5 stars The crazy truth about robot love
I loved this book, well written and well put together.

It really makes you realize how simple us little humans are.
Published 15 months ago by Noah Olivia
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
Needed it for class. a good read because of the subject matter. very interesting to read about the author's accusations of the future.
Published 16 months ago by diddy
3.0 out of 5 stars where are the malbots?
It's not too bad. Too much emphasis on sex practices from ancient times and laws in theirs and our times. I felt that I was in a sex education psychology class. Read more
Published 16 months ago by angel
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