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Love and Sex with Robots: The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships Hardcover – November 6, 2007

34 customer reviews

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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.


'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. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (November 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061359750
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061359750
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,224,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Al Rodbell on October 26, 2013
Format: Paperback
Towards the end of this book, Levy described a project within the MIT Media Department dedicated his topic, "the technology of sexual-emotional simulation." The description of the goals and individual characteristics of those accepted to participate were precise, and demanding, including "personal experience with a wide array of sexual activities." I was taken aback that the developments that he expected to reach fruition only in a several decades was so accepted in the academic community. Then he told us that, as realistic as it was, it was a hoax, it was satire. There is no such project at MIT or anywhere else. In the same vein while every part of this book is extensively researched, Levy's tome is most useful as a mirror on our own conflicting revolutionary post 1950s era. Satire may not be the right word, but the most valuable effect of this informative compendium is that we think about just why humans and robots will never marry, and in doing so have a new insight into the lightening speed changes that have occurred in our unique brief moment in cultural history.

I fully accept that those who were depicted in the novel and films, "The Stepford Wives" who happened to be robots rather than human could be technically approximated in Levy's general timeframe. He talks about the great advantages, but here he is either satiric or clueless, so I will give him the benefit of the doubt, and call it brilliant Swiftian satire. While same sex marriage, however we may view it (and the cultural objections have been consigned to the work of evil psychopaths afflicted with the disease of homophobia) is a commitment of two humans who choose this relationship. Sex robots can not be a member of a marriage whether such realistic objects can be created in a few decades, centuries or millennia.
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27 of 35 people found the following review helpful By magellan HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 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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