Hey Joe, Waddya Know?

For those without encyclopedic recall of movie quotes, that was a question posed to Jude Law's character, Gigilo Joe, in the Kubrick/Spielberg movie A.I. While craptacular on many levels, the film did have the prescience to forsee a topic broached at a recent conference of Euron (the European Robotics Research Network): what happens if robots turn out to be sexy?

(I don't know about the guys at this conference, but I've seen enough anime to know the answer to that question, and so does Masamune Shirow: they can kick your ass and give you a funny feeling in your pants at the same time.)

It's not like sci-fi movies have never given us "what if?" scenarios before this. Fritz Lang served up quite a robotic dish in Metropolis, A.I. showed us both Gigilo Joe and Jane models, Blade Runner showed us Pris, a pleasure model android, and of course, who can forget that wonderful bit of schlock, Cherry 2000?

Still, it's nice to see the "academic" community seriously contemplating such issues. (Robot sex: it's not just for fanboys anymore!) So this post is really more of head's up than an actual warning of dire happenings in the robot world.

Oh, and they also discussed how smart robots should be, whether they should be placed in situations where they could conceivably use lethal force, and maybe some other stuff. I kind of forgot the rest when I read the quote from one Henrik Christensen: "People are going to be having sex with robots within five years."

Too funny.

No comments: