What does Technological Evolution Mean To You? (sex robots, I know)
Evolution is any process of change or growth. Biological evolution has been the primary vehicle of change and growth for life in the past bajillion years. Technology, too, is subject to evolution. Technology is also a powerful driver of change and evolution. Technological evolution and biological evolution are becoming one distinct process, and after surveying developments which span both fields I think some very important and pressing questions arise.
In medicine, we have genetic engineering (altering life on a molecular level) and cyborg engineering (applying robotic science to human forms). These breakthroughs are widely publicized and debated; this tech frontier is almost ho-hum since we hear about it so often.
Slightly more interesting are the ways we are using technology to emulate the natural world. We are beginning to replicate the form and function of other species. These emergent technologies reproduce species-specific behaviors and processing, going so far as to create robotic seals for the sole purpose of comforting the humans who interact with them.
The robotic seal is a technology directed to impact human psychology, and we are producing similar and more capable technologies along those lines all the time. Remember the Furby craze? It was a cute toy, but it was also a robot that played at basic socialization and psychological function. Robotic seals and Furbies are technologies we developed to emulate biological behaviors for their psychological effects.
Technology: Emulating and enhancing the natural functions of humans. Reproducing biological function and behavior for psychological effect. Combine these two developmental horizons and the door opens for more unsettling topics, such as the introduction of technology into human sexuality.
Pornography is a technology of sexual stimulation. Sex toys are a technology of sexual pleasure (and this technology in particular has come to hilarious levels of complexity for men[NSFW] and women[NSFW]).
These two technologies, combined with the type of technological innovations described above, have led to the creation of a robot designed for sexual pleasure [NSFW]. Absolutely hilarious, creepy, and scary.
Notice how technological advancement so quickly leaps from the benign and acceptable development of prostheses to the controversial development of sex slave robots. Technology has evolved, and will continue to evolve [NSFW] according to our vision on all fronts.
How are our technological creations evolving, and if given a moment’s pause of reflection, what do we think of them? And what can we infer about how we are shaping the future?
Youtube Videos Embedded (in order of appearance):
- Prodigits: The World’s First Bionic Finger: mildly interesting bionic finger.
- HPI G-DOG Robot: a remote-controlled robot dog that emulates behaviors.
- Robot Roach: a roach robot that uses chaos theory to sense and react to stimuli.
- Paro Therapeutic Seal Robot: a baby seal robot that makes people feel good.
- Hey Furby!: A furby tells a story.
- Tenga Sex Toys: Really high-tech masturbation toys for men (NSFW ROFL).
- The Rabbit Live: A description of the Rabbit, an infinitely complex sex toy for women (NSFW ROFL).
- Robot Kiss: Humanoid robots rehearse kiss scene (SFW)
- Roxxxy Demo: This is a sex robot, and you need to see this (NSFW ROFL).
- Roxxxy Demo #3: user-requested enhancements to sex robot functionality (NSFW ROFL).
- All is full of love: A Bjork music video featuring robo-lesbians (SFW), which would constitute the pinnacle of sex technology.
- Living With Robots: 8 minute video from Honda discussing robotics: perception, development, possibilities.