Summer Reading Sale
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Original Essays | July 22, 2014

Nick Harkaway: IMG The Florist-Assassins



The three men lit up in my mind's eye, with footnotes. They were converging on me — and on the object I was carrying — in a way that had... Continue »
  1. $18.87 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Tigerman

    Nick Harkaway 9780385352413

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$7.95
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Local Warehouse Science Reference- General

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

by

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

ISBN13: 9780061359750
ISBN10: 0061359750
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $7.95!

 

Review-A-Day

"Levy's book is entertaining in parts, such as the eye-opening (even climactic) section on the evolution of vibrators....But throughout Love and Sex with Robots, there's a recurring sense of the writer trying a little too hard: Every brick must be carefully laid as he builds the great edifice of his thesis." Joel Achenbach, The Washington Post Book World (read the entire Washington Post Book World review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Love, marriage, and sex with robots? Not in a million years? Maybe a whole lot sooner. From a leading expert in artificial intelligence comes an eye-opening, superbly argued book that explores a new level of human intimacy and relationships: with robots.

From Pygmalion falling for his chiseled Galatea to Dr. Frankenstein marveling at his "modern Prometheus" to the man-meets-machine fiction of Philip K. Dick and Michael Crichton, humans have been enthralled by the possibilities of emotional relationships with their technological creations. Synthesizing cutting-edge research in robotics with the cultural history and psychology of artificial intelligence, Love and Sex with Robots explores this fascination and its far-reaching implications.

Using examples drawn from around the world, David Levy shows how automata have evolved from the mechanical marvels of centuries past to the electronic androids of the modern age, and how human interactions with technology have changed over the years. Along the way, Levy explores many aspects of human relationships: the reasons we fall in love, why we form emotional attachments to animals and to virtual pets such as the Tamagotchi, and why these same attachments could extend to love for robots. He also examines the needs we seek to fulfill through sexual relationships, tracking the development of life-sized dolls, machines, and other sexual devices, and demonstrating how society's ideas about what constitutes normal sex have changed (and will continue to change), as sexual technology becomes increasingly sophisticated.

Shocking but utterly convincing, Love and Sex with Robots provides insights that are surprisingly relevant to our everyday interactions with technology. This is science brought to life, and Levy makes a compelling and titillating case that the entities we once deemed cold and mechanical will soon become the objects of real companionship and human desire. Anyone reading the book with an open mind will find a wealth of fascinating material on this important new direction of intimate relationships, a direction that, before long, will be regarded as perfectly normal.

Review:

"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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Here's a prediction that'll make you squirm: In the future, people will fall in love with robots. Robots will not be cold, predictable machines, but actual lovers — precocious, sexy, and remarkably humanlike in appearance. Humans will even marry robots in certain obliging jurisdictions. Now send the kids into the other room while we mention the obvious, bizarre implication: Someday, people will have... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Levy is willing to go far out on a limb with his predictions, and even the reader who remains unconvinced may well enjoy this thought-provoking and entertaining ride into the future." Kirkus Reviews

Book News Annotation:

Artificial intelligence expert Levy presents his theories about eros between humans and machines. Developing insights gleaned from Dr. Frankenstein, Pygmalion, the works of Phillip K. Dick and Michael Crichton, to name only a few, Levy combines literature with cutting edge research in robotics, cultural history, and the psychology of artificial intelligence. He uses examples drawn from around the world to show how automata have lured us into romance, and shows how such relationships can be more than mere emotional attachments. Along the way he examines how humans relate to pets, how they fall in love with people, why they become emotionally involved with electronic objects, how they can fall in love with virtual people and have sex with them, why humans pay for sex with other humans, and why the leap is not very far, for some of us, from sex with humans to sex with machines. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

From the story of Dr. Frankenstein to the man-machine fiction of Philip K. Dick, readers have been enthralled by the possibilities of interaction between technological creations and themselves. This work builds on that fascination to show how technological entities may very well turn out to be objects of real, human desire.

Synopsis:

Synthesizing breaking news in the field of robotics with the cultural history, technological development, art, literature, and psychology of artificial intelligence, Love and Sex with Robots is popular science at its diverting andndash;andndash; and eyeandndash;opening andndash;andndash; best. Starting with the ways in which robots have supplemented human domesticity from the Renaissance to the modern age, David Levy proceeds to document the ways in which humans form affection for animate things, from pets to common household devices that employ responsive technology. He then explains how conditioning oneself to interact with such things engenders both communication and dependence in their owners andndash;andndash; and how such interaction can lead to amorous feelings. In the second part of the book, Levy uses that amorous connection as a springboard to explore how physical intimacy between humans and robots is the next logical step in an ageandndash;old correlation between love and sex. Toss in the rapidly expanding sex toy industry andndash;andndash; and its far reach from the US to Japan and everywhere in between andndash;andndash; and you have a global trend, one that is by turns surprising, troubling, and titillating.

From Pygmalion falling for his chiseled Galatea to Dr. Frankenstein marveling in both awe and terror at his "modern Prometheus" to the manandndash;meetsandndash;machine fiction of Philip K. Dick, Ray Bradbury, and Michael Crichton, readers have been enthralled by the possibilities of interaction between technological creations and themselves. Shocking yet wildly informative, Love and Sex with Robots builds on that fascination to show how entities we once deemed benign and unresponsive may very well turn out to be objects of real, human desire.

About the Author

David Levy is an internationally recognized expert on artificial intelligence. He is president of the International Computer Games Association and in 1997 led the team that won the Loebner Prize — the world championship for conversational computer software. In 2006 he became the first person ever to present papers on intimate relationships with robotic partners at an international conference. He is also the author of Robots Unlimited. Levy lives in London with his wife, Christine, and their cat.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Shoshana, August 8, 2008 (view all comments by Shoshana)
The structural problem with the delivery of an otherwise fine idea is that Levy's writing is rarely exciting. I appreciate his effort to construct his argument slowly and methodically, yet the result is a fairly boring work, considering the subject matter. Levy spends a lot of time building evidence for the contention that people would have love and sex with androids. Perhaps because I read a lot of science fiction, or perhaps because this conceit does not seem very far-fetched to me, I found much of the book to be plodding and over-explained. The amount of material could be halved with no loss of data and an increase in readability.

The main content problem is that Levy spends much time on this initial point and gives short shrift to the implications of love and sex with robots. He barely addresses the issue of jealousy. As a psychologist, I'm well aware that people are jealous not just of partners' friendships, but also of their online flirtations, use of sexually-oriented chat, online and real life use of pornography, and even the objects euphemistically referred to as "marital aids." Levy's very brief discussion of jealousy is unsatisfactory and would have been very interesting, especially since one of his chief contentions is that people will fall in love with these robots. How then is jealousy not a critical part of this discussion?

As to the love aspect of the book, while I agree with the evidence Levy musters about people falling in love with their robot, I do wonder at his almost quaint coupling of love and sex with robots. I have struggled with how to write this section of my review in a satisfactory way. I will merely say that if I were to imagine myself in the near future when robots with sexual functions were available, if I were to avail myself of this opportunity, I would be less distressed by C3PO than by Data. What I mean by this is that I do not think the appeal of a robot would be its human-like qualities or personality, but its machine-ness and its lack of pretense. Others may not agree, and indeed, I have never liked cosmetic interventions (such as coloring one's hair or getting plastic surgery) that seem to me to be physical lies. Levy presents sufficient evidence to the contrary that I recognize that I might be in a minority.

The other issue that troubles me is that though Levy makes many efforts to include homosexuality in his discussion, it is usually as an example of a cultural taboo that has been progressively normalized (at least in the US and EU). He makes mention of the possibility of same-sex (sic) robots, but his robot/human love story is heavy on love, light on sex, and generally heterosexually recuperative--that is, the examples he gives are "heterosexual." It is as if robots must be gendered in order to be sexual objects. Robots constructed for sexual purposes are built as male or female, and sexual orientation is implied to carry over to sex with them. This seems strangely prudish, or at least evinces a surprising lack of imagination.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780061359750
Author:
Levy, David
Publisher:
Harper
Author:
by David Levy
Subject:
Human-computer interaction
Subject:
Social aspects
Subject:
Robotics
Subject:
Human Sexuality
Subject:
General science
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series Volume:
The Evolution of Hum
Publication Date:
November 2007
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1.22778 in 22.16 oz

Other books you might like

  1. Soul of a New Machine Used Book Club Hardcover $1.48
  2. I Am Alive and You Are Dead: A...
    Used Trade Paper $6.95
  3. Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will... Used Trade Paper $3.95
  4. Magic Lessons (Magic or Madness...
    Used Trade Paper $4.95
  5. Magic's Child
    Used Hardcover $5.95
  6. Take the Cannoli: Stories from the...
    Used Trade Paper $4.50

Related Subjects

Reference » Science Reference » General

Love and Sex with Robots: The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Harper - English 9780061359750 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "Levy's book is entertaining in parts, such as the eye-opening (even climactic) section on the evolution of vibrators....But throughout Love and Sex with Robots, there's a recurring sense of the writer trying a little too hard: Every brick must be carefully laid as he builds the great edifice of his thesis." (read the entire Washington Post Book World review)
"Review" by , "Levy is willing to go far out on a limb with his predictions, and even the reader who remains unconvinced may well enjoy this thought-provoking and entertaining ride into the future."
"Synopsis" by , From the story of Dr. Frankenstein to the man-machine fiction of Philip K. Dick, readers have been enthralled by the possibilities of interaction between technological creations and themselves. This work builds on that fascination to show how technological entities may very well turn out to be objects of real, human desire.
"Synopsis" by , Synthesizing breaking news in the field of robotics with the cultural history, technological development, art, literature, and psychology of artificial intelligence, Love and Sex with Robots is popular science at its diverting andndash;andndash; and eyeandndash;opening andndash;andndash; best. Starting with the ways in which robots have supplemented human domesticity from the Renaissance to the modern age, David Levy proceeds to document the ways in which humans form affection for animate things, from pets to common household devices that employ responsive technology. He then explains how conditioning oneself to interact with such things engenders both communication and dependence in their owners andndash;andndash; and how such interaction can lead to amorous feelings. In the second part of the book, Levy uses that amorous connection as a springboard to explore how physical intimacy between humans and robots is the next logical step in an ageandndash;old correlation between love and sex. Toss in the rapidly expanding sex toy industry andndash;andndash; and its far reach from the US to Japan and everywhere in between andndash;andndash; and you have a global trend, one that is by turns surprising, troubling, and titillating.

From Pygmalion falling for his chiseled Galatea to Dr. Frankenstein marveling in both awe and terror at his "modern Prometheus" to the manandndash;meetsandndash;machine fiction of Philip K. Dick, Ray Bradbury, and Michael Crichton, readers have been enthralled by the possibilities of interaction between technological creations and themselves. Shocking yet wildly informative, Love and Sex with Robots builds on that fascination to show how entities we once deemed benign and unresponsive may very well turn out to be objects of real, human desire.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.