Chas' Compilation

A compilation of information and links regarding assorted subjects: politics, religion, science, computers, health, movies, music... essentially whatever I'm reading about, working on or experiencing in life.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Is the Sex Industry Advancing Robotics?

Some of the biggest advances in internet website technology were developed by the on-line porn industry. Will that industry also advance robotics?




Inventor unveils $7,000 talking sex robot
Las Vegas, Nevada (CNN) -- To some men, she might seem like the perfect woman: She's a willowy 5 feet 7 and 120 pounds. She'll chat with you endlessly about your interests. And she'll have sex whenever you please -- as long as her battery doesn't run out.

Meet Roxxxy, who may be the world's most sophisticated talking female sex robot. For $7,000, she's all yours.

"She doesn't vacuum or cook, but she does almost everything else," said her inventor, Douglas Hines, who unveiled Roxxxy last month at the Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Lifelike dolls, artificial sex organs and sex-chat phone lines have been keeping the lonely company for decades. But Roxxxy takes virtual companionship to a new level.

Powered by a computer under her soft silicone "skin," she employs voice-recognition and speech-synthesis software to answer questions and carry on conversations. She even comes loaded with five distinct "personalities," from Frigid Farrah to Wild Wendy, that can be programmed to suit customers' preferences.

"There's a tremendous need for this kind of product," said Hines, a computer scientist and former Bell Labs engineer.

Roxxxy won't be available for delivery for several months, but Hines is taking pre-orders through his Web site, TrueCompanion.com, where thousands of men have signed up.

"They're like, 'I can't wait to meet her,' " Hines said. "It's almost like the anticipation of a first date."

[...]

Hines, a self-professed happily married man from Lincoln Park, New Jersey, says he spent more than three years developing the robot after trying to find a marketable application for his artificial-intelligence technology.

Roxxxy's body is made from hypoallergenic silicone -- the kind of stuff in prosthetic limbs -- molded over a rigid skeleton. She cannot move on her own but can be contorted into almost any natural position. To create her shape, a female model spent a week posing for a series of molds.

The robot runs on a self-contained battery that lasts about three hours on one charge, Hines says. Customers can recharge Roxxxy with an electrical cord that plugs into her back.

A motor in her chest pumps heated air through a tube that winds through the robot's body, which Hines says keeps her warm to the touch. Roxxxy also has sensors in her hands and genital areas -- yes, she is anatomically correct -- that will trigger vocal responses from her when touched. She even shudders to simulate orgasm.

When someone speaks to Roxxxy, her computer converts the words to text and then uses pattern-recognition software to match them against a database containing hundreds of appropriate responses. The robot then answers aloud -- her prerecorded "voice" is supplied by an unnamed radio host -- through a loudspeaker hidden under her wig.

"Everything you say to her is processed. It's very near real time, almost without delay," Hines said of the dynamics of human-Roxxxy conversation. "To make it as realistic as possible, she has different dialogue at different times. She talks in her sleep. She even snores." (The snoring feature can be turned off, he says.)

Roxxxy understands and speaks only English for now, but Hines' True Companion company is developing Japanese and Spanish versions. For an extra fee, he'll also record customizable dialogue and phrases for each client, which means Roxxxy could talk to you about NASCAR, say, or the intricacies of politics in the Middle East. [...]

I had to snort when I read that. Just what every man wants: a sex robot that can converse about the intricacies of politics in the Middle East!

And yet, the article goes on to say that he already has 4,000 orders for the robot. At $7,000.00 apiece, that's already $28,000,000.00. Maybe Mr. Hines is a really smart guy. He's figured out a way to market his AI technology by combining it with something that will sell; sex.

Robots have come a long way. Here is an enlightening video from youtube, showing a history of Robotics, right up until the present. The Japanese especially, have really done a lot to advance this science.



Now add some sex to sell it, and what do you get? Oh Brave New World...


Also see:

Ultra HAL, your personal computer assistant
[...] Remember that Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, The 6th Day? There is one scene where the Arnold character is at the home of a divorced friend. The friend has a female talk-bot on the screen, and they flirt with each other. The Ulta Hal program can work with a variety of 3rd party "characters" that function in much the same way. Check out this on-line, interactive, talking People Putty Demo by Haptek. There are even various plug-ins for Ultra Hal, including alternate voices, brains, speech engines, and animated faces and characters, even flirty sex-bot characters, precursors to the one in the movie. The future is closer than you think. [...]


     

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