December 10, 2008

"A BOFFIN too busy to find real love has INVENTED his idea of the perfect woman – a female ROBOT."

No, I haven't set up a Google alert on "boffin" -- yet! -- a word I discovered yesterday. I just clicked on the "LOVE MACHINE: Man lives with female robot..." link at Drudge, because I've long been interested in robots -- click the robot tag, below for proof -- and also less-than-great sex. And suddenly, again, it's a boffin. They're everywhere.
Inventor Le Trung, 33, created Aiko, said to be “in her 20s” with a stunning 32, 23, 33 figure, shiny hair and delicate features....

"Fem-bot" Aiko, who has cost £14,000 to build so far, is a whizz at maths and even does Le’s accounts.

Le, a scientific genius from Brampton in Ontario, Canada, said he never had time to find a real partner so he designed one using the latest technology.

He said he did not build Aiko as a sexual partner, but said she could be tweaked to become one.
Just like real life: she could be tweaked to become one.
“Her software could be redesigned to simulate her having an orgasm and reacting to touch as if she is playing hard to get or being straight to the point,” he said.
Just like real life: fake orgasms!
“She doesn’t need holidays, food or rest and she will work almost 24-hours a day. She is the perfect woman,” he said.
Feminists, don't get too mad at Le. He had a heart attack at age 33 and thinks he may need Aiko to take care of him some day. Really, maybe a lot of us will benefit from caregiving robots some day. (Robots are unlikely to ever to organize a "call in inhuman" day.)
“People have mixed reactions when they meet Aiko,” he said.

“They either love or hate her. Some people get angry and accuse me of playing God. Once someone threw a rock at Aiko. That really upset me.

“But many people are fascinated by her.

"Women are generally impressed and try to talk to her. But the men always want to touch her, and if they do it in the wrong way they get a slap.”
Playing God? Is that the main criticism he hears? I would think more people would tell him he's avoiding relationships with real people.

By the way, after writing this post, I've been reading "Look Me in the Eye," about a man with Asperger's Syndrome. The author, John Elder Robison, feels a great affinity for machines -- as opposed to human beings, with their trickery and multiple levels of meaning and strange emotions.

UPDATE: "She's not really my girlfriend.... I have friends – I don't need to create friends."

53 comments:

vet66 said...

Sounds like love to me. Starting off as companionship eventually blossoming into real love and devotion.

Who knows what love lurks in the hearts of a robot under the command of an engineer with his hand on the joystick? Probably not a good idea to piss her off...

PWS said...

The video at the link reminds me a bit of "Lars and the Real Girl."

siyeh pass said...

He seems like a sweet guy and I'm very touched by the story.

jayne_cobb said...

Anyone who's ever watched anime could see this coming a mile away.

jdeeripper said...

What is this Stereotype Wednesday?

Sexless Asian techno nerds.

Black criminals.

Racially prejudiced White people.

Crooked Chicago politicians

traditionalguy said...

when he finds a human lover will he hide the robo-girl away, or throw her away, or give her away to a nice home, or try to make her part of a threesome? The jealousy factor will decide. They may need a marriage counselor with experience in Computer Marriage issues. A mere Catholic Priest would never be qualified.

Lem said...

When kissing a robot you have to proceed with caution.

You don't want to be sucked in by a wormhole.

http://tinyurl.com/6bayh2

Simon said...

Ann, the story is in The Sun, Britain's equivalent to the National Inquirer or the World Weekly News. Without corroboration by a credible source - and a Google news search finds only the report in the Sun and a few online sources citing the Sun - a pinch of salt is in order.

Don't you think that if one guy could build a robot with the capabilities implied in this article, on a shoestring budget, NASA and the military would already have far more advanced versions doing routine tasks? This doesn't pass the smell test. This is a chinese dude posing next to a doll.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Let us not overlook the origin of our word 'robot.' It is derived from Slavic RABOTATb, meaning "to work."

Bissage said...

This robot-love thing is not good for Mr. Le (or is it Mr. Trung?).

All it takes is one tentacled rape-monster and his heart shatters into a million little pieces.

jdeeripper said...

Lem said...When kissing a robot you have to proceed with caution.

Westworld was a cool movie.

RIP Michael Michael Crichton. The young James Brolin looks like Christian Bale.

Palladian said...

Simon's right. There's no way that an individual could build a robot with the sophistication described in the article for £14,000. Either the robot's "abilities" are being greatly overstated or the story is a complete fabrication.

David said...

Haven't you heard of robotic sex? You don't need a robot.

Lem said...

He said he did not build Aiko as a sexual partner

How kinki ;)

Skyler said...

Ann, I can't believe you fell for this stupid story. It isn't true, it's just a silly issue selling dopey lie.

The Drill SGT said...

No, I haven't set up a Google alert on "boffin" -- yet! -- a word I discovered yesterday.

Boffin is an antiquated Brit word for "geek", as in:

British radar Boffins built the first useable ranging system.

rhhardin said...

Kroger has a large battery-powered furry dog that makes submissive noises and motions in response to touch and sound. Women love it.

ron st.amant said...

Has no one seen The Terminator?
Everyone knows robots (or cybernetic units, as they prefer to be called) have been sent back in time to kill Sarah and/or her son John Connor to prevent the future defeat of machines over man.
Now you *might* be tempted to say "Hey, my name isn't Sarah or John Connor, so what should I care what killer robot is time-traveling"...however these "terminators" just kill rather indiscriminately PLUS eventually if they win there's a global nuclear holocaust, so either way we're ALL screwed.
And while they might be all sexy-looking human on the outside (one even looked like Kristin Loken) they're actually all shiny metal inside, so you might want to think about keeping your parts away from its parts. (Note: Conspiracy theorists believe this is exactly what happened to John Wayne Bobbit...just sayin')

Schorsch said...

What strikes me is how credulous British tabloids are. I'm tangentially involved in robotics, and I highly doubt this lonely dude has solved problems our military can't. Cleaning *and* accounting? Come on.

Simon said...

ron st.amant said...
"[W]hile they might be all sexy-looking human on the outside ... they're actually all shiny metal inside, so you might want to think about keeping your parts away from its parts."

If they look like Summer Glau, I'll chance it! I can't think of an actress about whom my mind has changed faster - in Firefly she was all vulnerable and young, and then all of a sudden, thirty minutes into Serenity and throughout SCC, she's gotten herself all kickass.

cardeblu said...

The boffin is going to be boffing.

Aboff boffin boffing alone.

Chip Ahoy said...

This disturbs me on so many levels. Now wait, just one level. Come to think of it, it's not actually disturbing. Sorry. Never mind.


Reminds me of when STNG characters Data and Tasha Yar bumped uglies under the influence of polywater intoxication. Scandalous.

Eli Blake said...

Simon and Palladian,

Actually you'd be surprised what people can build. I've seen pretty good robots over the past couple of years just in high school science fairs. And I'm sure they didn't have thousands of dollars, maybe a few hundred at most.

And let's be honest here-- people have written for hundreds of years about inanimate companions being made to come to 'life' (i.e. Pinocchio, Frankenstein) and archeologists have even unearthed scale model nude statues that are thousands of years old and may have been used as sex toys. So given the advances in modern technology this is not surprising at all. Rather, it is inevitable.

Also inevitable is the battle we will see in oh, I'd guess probably in about fifteen years when the 'Aiko 2020' goes mass market and we see legislators rushing to either ban it or regulate exactly what it can and can't be programmed to do, while retailers sell thousands of them.

And once again, if you honestly think this could not be done for 14 thousand pounds I'd strongly recommend that you visit a high school science fair this year. It's amazing what people can build nowadays, and for not very much money.

William said...

Ever since I bought my blow-up, life size Sarah Palin doll, I have been the butt of many stupid prurient jokes. But really my relationship with Sarah Baby, as I call her, is absolutely platonic and a thing of purity. As people keep plaster casts of saints around their home to remind them of the righteous ways of those saints so I keep a blow up doll of Sarah around to remind me of the benefits of limited Federal expenditures....Since my pet ferret, Rudy, died I have felt very lonely, and sometimes I take Sarah Baby to bed to alleviate that loneliness, but I swear nothing improper has ever taken place....The secret service agents who came around the house asking all those impertinent questions exhibited the kind of abusive govt behavior that I am sure Sarah would object to if only she knew of it. I am sure that her jealous husband intercepts my correspondence. The thought of that man's fish stained hands on her pure chaste body drives me crazy sometimes. The pictures of me in a speedo were sent to exhibit the tasteful Sarah tattoo I had recently done. No gothic lettering. It was very tasteful, really. I really object to the way those secret service people tried to make something obscene out of my admiration for Sarah. I hope someday that technology will develop a walking, talking Sarah doll that is within the price range of a laid-off banker.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sonicfrog said...

Off Topic

Has anyone gone through the Mr. Blog wiretaps and substituted all the "fuck's" and "fuckers" with Scolia's "Golly Waddles"?

Balfegor said...

"Fem-bot" Aiko

Come now. The term is gynoid.

Cleaning *and* accounting? Come on.

Maybe she's linked into a Roomba and runs Quicken?

Chip Ahoy said...

This is a hyperlink test to a specific spot to a quote on a page, to see if Blogger will cooperate using citebite I don't expect much.

Not an android, not even a robot, just a dead doll, still men pay thousands for life-like replicas.

OMG. citebite works!

* bookmarks citebite *

Chip Ahoy said...

Oh, by the way, William, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Slaps knee. Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Michael_H said...

Hmmmm. No pre-nup. No in-laws. No book club. No need to finance a second car. No bot credit card. No curfew.

The marketing plan shouldn't be difficult.

When's the IPO?

Can the bot be programmed to boo at the NY Giants?

Lem said...

I want one that looks like Princess Lea ...

so I can play Han Solo ;)

sonicfrog said...

Will the "girlfriend" get a feature spread in "Playbot"???

sonicfrog said...

Simon, Serenity was a Bad-Ars movie!

zeek said...

Don't you think that if one guy could build a robot with the capabilities implied in this article, on a shoestring budget, NASA and the military would already have far more advanced versions doing routine tasks?


What, you think Dick Cheney is real?

Henry said...

Several unrelated observations.

The guy lives with his brother! What does his brother think?

Pygmalion comes to mind.

I always like that British plural "maths."

Nice skin on that multimedia player.

Emily Carson said...

William,

Don't look now, but speaking of stalkers Paula Abdul came out today and accused the producers of "American Idol" of letting her stalker on the show in spite of her telling them that she had a restraining order against the woman. The woman then found out where Abdul lived by following her home after the show (and was found dead a few weeks ago by suicide, in front of Abdul's home.) Abdul said they did it for 'entertainment value.'

Shocking.

Emily Carson said...

And I know the real reason why guys would want a femail robot.

If never has PMS and if it has a bad hair day they can turn it off.

Emily Carson said...

regarding the defense department,

they already do. What do you think those predator drones are? The only difference is that you are assuming a robot has to look like a human.

If your goal is to build a robot that will make a human feel comfortable then yes you will make one that looks like a human. If your goal is to kill humans then you build it to be purely functional, which is what a predator drone is.

Schorsch said...

The Predator is an unmanned aircraft, but not an unpiloted one. It's flown by a human pilot. You can read about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MQ-1_Predator . You would not believe the number of problems still in the way of autonomous aircraft.

We have not yet reached the future, folks. I'll let you know as soon as we do. Until then, guys like the one in this article are just deluded nerds.

Mike Schilling said...

a word I discovered yesterday.

I guess you don't read John LeCarre novels.

Paddy O. said...

"in Firefly she was all vulnerable and young, and then all of a sudden, thirty minutes into Serenity and throughout SCC, she's gotten herself all kickass."

She was kickass in Firefly too, though the show didn't nearly have time enough to bring that out. I mean she totally got the better of the bounty hunter in "Objects in Space", and all throughout there was the hints she was really not nearly as vulnerable as she seemed, just the opposite.

Speaking of Serenity, how about Mr. Universes fem-bot? He had a wedding ceremony and everything.

Jacob said...

"Without corroboration by a credible source - and a Google news search finds only the report in the Sun and a few online sources citing the Sun - a pinch of salt is in order. "
Simon– Aiko has been on Canadian television shows and has appeared at some public events (like at the Ontario Science Centre).

There's also a website which contains such charming details such as "Aiko has sensitive sensors on her faces, body, including her breasts and vagina" and "Aiko is the first android to mimic pain, and reacts to it."

(Also the creator apperently went to my cousin's high school).

blake said...

I always get a necrophiliac vibe offa the RealDoll-type-stuff. Creepy.

The video just shows the disembodied head. My guess is it can't walk, see in 3D or do anything autonomously.

We might be surprised about what is being done at science fairs for just a few bucks, but I doubt that includes solving AI and natural limb movement.

michael farris said...

It reminds me of the Creation of the Humanoids

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055872/

sonicfrog said...


I was blue and lonely, I couldn't sleep a wink
And I could only get unconscious if I'd had to much to drink.
There was somehow, something wrong somewhere, and each day seemed grey and dead
The seeds of desperation were growing in my head.
I needed inspiration, a brand new start in life,
Somewhere to place affection, but I didn't want a wife.
And then by lucky chance I saw [in] a special magazine
An ad. that was unusual, the like I'd never seen,
"Experience something different with our new imported toy,
She's loving, warm, inflatible and a guarantee of joy."
She came all wrapped in cardboard, all pink and shrivelled down
A breath of air was all she needed to make her lose that frown.
I took her to the bedroom and pumped her with some life,
And later in a moment that girl became my wife.
And so I sit her in the corner and sometimes stroke her hair
And when I'm feeling naughty I blow her up with air
She's cuddly and she's bouncy, she's like a rubber ball,
I bounce her in the kitchen and I bounce her in the hall.
[And now my life is different since Sally came my way]
I wake up [in the] morning and have her on a tray
She's everything they say she was and I wear a permanent grin,
And I only have to worry in case my girl wears pins. ♫

PJ said...

Forget the sex, I want to hear more about the housework part. I'd buy one just for that. And I'm female. It'd pay for itself in two years if she can really clean.

blake said...

PJ,

Rest assured that it cannot.

Emily Carson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emily Carson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emily Carson said...

PJ, why shoot so low? Get the housework done AND get a perfect male model.

6'4", possessed of incredible strength but also very gentle, with the handsomeness of a Greek God. A robo-he-man who would always open the door for me and who would let me have the last word.

And who has a fourteen inch pecker that won't stop until I am 100%satisfied.

Sorry guys, you're all gonna be obsolete pretty soon.

Michael said...

He evidently also programmed her to never tell him where to park, to change the fucking channel, anything relating to being a loser, and of course ask; "why did I ever marry you?"

sonicfrog said...

♫ I'm just a love machine and I won't work for nobody but you
I'm just a love machine .............. A hugging kissing fiend

I think it's high time you knew
Whenever I think of you
My mind blows a fuse
When I lookIn your eyes
My meter starts to rise
And I become confused
My motor cranked electric goes
When I'm sitting next to you
Electricity starts to flow
And my indicator starts to glow

Repeat chorus

I'm gentle as a lamb
I'm not that hard to program
There's no way that you can lose
Chassis fits like a glove
I've got a button for love
That you've got to use (push it push it baby)
If you look into my power
I am sure you can find out how
To turn me on just set my dial
And let me love you for a little while ooooooh ♫

blake said...

14 inches?

Really?

(There's a joke in there about not cutting two inches off for anyone but I'm not gonna make it.)