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Love and Sex with Robots: The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships Hardcover


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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: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,323,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Engaging and well written.
Denise Cusumano
Levy introduces an important subject, but does not address many of the most obvious and pressing issues surrounding it.
Robert Moore
If you're reading my review, then read this book. robots are just sexy like that.
B. Klos

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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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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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J. Aragon VINE VOICE on 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 By Dr. Lee D. Carlson HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on 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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