Wednesday, November 25, 2009

An Imperfect Organic Woman’s Perspective on the "Perfect Robot Woman"

When it comes to the perfect, what is it that we want? Is it one woman, or is it several? Recently a link popped up of the Perfect Woman. It turned out that this video was just a viral ad campaign that sent you to the AI Robotics site, which was actually the Phillips site. A very creative campaign that was quite intriguing. However, even though this vision of the perfect woman was a hoax it doesn’t mean that there is not work being done on creating the actual perfect woman. After doing some searching online I found out that Japan’s Kokoru Company is working on creating a perfect robotic woman of the future, ActroidDER. It turns out the perfect woman is merely a work in progress.

The fact that work is being done explore and developing a robotic woman raises a host of ethical and exploratory questions. Questions from why to how to what for? If the perfect robotic can do the housework, converse and satisfy her partner sexually, then what is the basis, in the minds of the creators as to why this is better than a real woman. As women, are we looking to be replaced, and if so why? When I envision the male who is purchasing the robotic woman I wonder if he is a single man who doesn’t have time to locate a spouse or doesn’t want one in general. I also wonder if this male might be married and if he is, what is the reasoning behind his decision to introduce a female robot in to the home.

Aside from these questions it raises issues of beauty and what it is that defines perfection in a robotic woman. It seems threatening to have a purchasable perfect robot woman from the perspective of an imperfect organic woman. I wonder what it would be like to be face-to-face with a robotic woman, since we are so very similar to each other, except my insides are organic and hers are mechanical. As an organic female it is already hard to compete aesthetically with those who have undergone cosmetic procedures to enhance their appearance. The robotic woman can change with the times in her aesthetics and have immediate intelligence upgrades to match the male or female that has purchased her. The robotic female can clean the house all day, not mind ironing and cook an expert French meal, depending on her programming. How, as an organic woman am I going to be able to compete?

I suppose another way to examine the robotic woman in a similar thread would be to say that this woman would be a supplement to me as a wife, not a competitor. She can do all of these things I’ve mentioned to free me up to create, think and innovate in ways that she cannot. In addition, I will be free to have children that I can rely on her to assist the housework for. These areas of life, as far as I am aware for now, are areas where I am not threatened, and I can succeed with the addition of a robotic woman in my home. However, I wonder, if this is the intended purpose of the creation of the robotic woman. If this is the intended purpose, are the perfect aesthetics a necessity in her creation?

It seems that further deep consideration of the ethics, for certain, of the commodification of these robotic women is necessary. However, it seems equally important to explore further the questions on the decision making process of purchasing a woman when they become available, the design, the usage, and a host of other questions that are out there.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Deus Sex Machina

(cross-posted on Sentient Developments)

(Roughly translated from Latin as Sex God in the machine) We all know that technology can improve our lives (sometimes....well, at least when it's working properly), but who'd have thunk that nanotechnology could improve your sex life?

In yet one more 'tool' in the arsenal against dreaded erectile dysfunction, nanotechnology to the rescue! Scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have developed a foam with nanoparticles encapsulating nitric oxide for the topical treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED). Why is topical better? Because ED medications such as sildenafil , vardenafil, and tadalafil have limitations -- they can cause systemic side effects such as headache, facial flushing, nasal congestion, upset stomach, and abnormal vision. Might this have implications for Female Arousal Disorder for which there remains little, if any, treatment? One can only hope....perhaps the announcement of the new 'female viagra' for pre-menopausal women can benefit from this new delivery system.

On balance, though, Blue Cross Biomedical has developed a new foam condom for use by women, that looks like a vaginal inhaler. The Blue Cross Foam Condom uses a “formulated condom concentrate” comprised of nano silver particles as well as 'surfactant octyl phenoxy -RH4,tween-20, sapn-60,polyethylene glycol 400, deionized water'. Perhaps a male contraceptive can be advanced utilizing a nano-delivery system?

My humble request to scientists and researchers:
Equal time for both sexes, please!