Fantasy sex chat bots
As for me, when I first visit Ishiguro, my situation is this: I am 23 months away from what had seemed like the start of a serious relationship but was not.
I am 15 months away from a rebound relationship that lingered too long.
They are the same size, one modeled on the other, and they are meeting for the first time. Mostly, though, Ishiguro’s brood of pretty “women” is used for his academic experiments, many of which are conducted at two locations in Japan: the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International in Nara and the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory on the campus of Osaka University.
¶ The girl stares hard into the eyes of her counterpart; its expression is stern and stiff. ¶ A man is videotaping the pair—he is the father of one, creator of the other—and from off-camera he asks, “Would you like to say something? The lab, known as IRL, is embedded within a maze of austere, gray university buildings.
Two girls—both dressed in pale yellow, with child-puffy cheeks, black shoulder-length hair, and bangs—stand opposite each other under fluorescent lights. “Hello.” ¶ The girl repeats the word, quietly, to her robot-self. ¶ Her father feeds her another line: “Let’s play.” The android wiggles its head. Each member of this pair continues making the barely there gestures that serve, through reflex or ruse, as signs of life: Each blinks at regular intervals; each tilts her head from side to side. His daughter looks to him, then back at the android. They have included replicas of a newscaster, an actress, and a fashion model.
More precisely: One is a girl, 5 years old; the other is her copy, her android replica. One is processing, in the raw, sensory-overload manner of a human child; the other is performing a series of simple movements made possible by the servomotors installed inside the silicone casing that is its skin. Its mouth begins to open and close slightly, like a dying fish. These androids have made numerous public appearances—in cafés and department stores, singing in malls, performing in a play.
Because to re-create human presence we need to know more about ourselves than we do—about the accumulation of cues and micromovements that trigger our empathy, put us at ease, and earn our trust.
Someday we may crack the problem of creating artificial general intelligence—a machine brain that can intuitively perform any human intellectual task—but why would we choose to interact with it?
I’m readying a book to go to the printers—work that, for me, is all-consuming and necessary.Ishiguro believes that since we’re hardwired to interact with and place our faith in humans, the more humanlike we can make a robot appear, the more open we’ll be to sharing our lives with it.Toward this end, his teams are pioneering a young field of research called human-robot interaction.And lately, when I step back from the manuscript for an afternoon or at night, I feel it: isolation.
This isolation is not complete—I have my close friends, a wider circle of less-close friends, my family—but it is the absence of intimacy. This absence has been, in part, a choice; certain men have always been curious about me.HRI is a hybrid discipline: part engineering, part AI, part social psychology and cognitive science.