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Tech Q&A

David Levy

Describe your latest project.
David Levy The book is really described by its title, Love and Sex with Robots: The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships. I explain exactly why I am convinced that, within the next few decades, many people will be falling in love with robots, having sex with robots, and even marrying robots. My arguments are based on researching literally hundreds of publications on robotics, psychology, sexology, human-computer interaction, and other related subjects.

  1. Love and Sex with Robots: The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships
    $7.95 Used Hardcover add to wishlist
    "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
  2. Robots Unlimited Life in a Virtual Age
    $65.25 New Hardcover add to wishlist
    Robots will one day be so life-like that a human could fall in love and marry one. Far-fetched? Not at all. David Levy presents the history of Artificial Intelligence, considers recent developments, and speculates about the future of AI.
What inspires you to sit down and write?
When I have something to say that I believe to be interesting I want to disseminate it to as many people as possible.

Describe your favorite childhood teacher and how that teacher influenced you.
I had a maths teacher from ages 16-18 who turned an ability into an affection for the subject.

Have you ever taken the Geek Test? How did you rate?
Never heard of it.

Chess or video games?
Chess (I'm an International Master and former Scottish Champion). At video games I am worse than hopeless.

What do you do for relaxation?
Listen to classical music, live and on CD. Go to the cinema. Play poker. Enjoy food and wine.

What's your favorite Blog right now?
None. I don't read any blogs.

Douglas Adams or Scott Adams?
Neither. I read very little, and neither of these.

What was your favorite book as a kid?
The "Biggles" books by W.E. Johns (World War I stories).

What new technology do you think may actually have the potential for making people's lives better?
Almost all new technologies have that potential. The important thing is how they are used.

If you could be reincarnated for one day to live the life of any scientist or writer, who would you choose and why?
Leonardo da Vinci, because of his breadth, and the fact that I love Italy.

What was your best subject in high school? Your worst?
Best, maths. Worst, history.

What are some of the things you'd like your computer to do that it cannot now do?
(a) Carry on intelligent conversations on any subject I wish, at any level I desire, with any personality I ask for.

(b) Compose music in any style I wish, based on a melody or theme that I input. For example, I would like to be able to ask for a Chopin nocturne based on the tune of "God Save the Queen," as played by Evgeny Kissin.

Describe the best museum of science and/or industry you've ever visited and what made it great.
The Science Museum in London. I've been there so many times it almost feels like a second home.

By the end of your life, where do you think humankind will be in terms of new science and technological advancement?
The most important developments will probably be in medicine. I expect designer drugs to be created to combat a huge number of diseases.

Which country do you believe currently leads the world in science and technology? In ten years?
Now. Japan. In ten years. Japan.

÷ ÷ ÷

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.

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