Sunday, February 14, 2021

Humanlike Androids - The future?


In the 2020 Paranormal Romance Guild’s Reviewer’s Choice Awards, Life for Sale was nominated in Romance/Sci-fi and the series (Love for Sale and Life for Sale about humanlike androids) was nominated in Romance/Sci-fi-Series. How much of these books predicts the future of android technology? 

 Most. It may take 10-20 years to achieve the programming necessary for android feelings and complete autonomous movement (able to walk on human-like legs), but robot technology is on its way to achieving the Special Editions in Life for Sale and Love for Sale, my sci-fi romances about humanlike androids. The Special Editions are totally human in almost every way. They do not eat (no digestive system). In Sleep Mode, they must be near a power outlet to absorb energy. Tears and other bodily fluids must be replenished by infusions into the android’s body. This only occurs every ten years in normal use.

 To add to the pages of sci-fi happening as we speak, humanlike robots are in development that will come near to mimicking human emotions and facial expressions. These robots are in their infancy but amazing!

 Recently, Toshiba introduced Junko Chihira, a very realistic human-like android. She is 5’5”, 26 years old, and her birthday is 6/1. She works in a new tourist information center in Japan. The android speaks Japanese, Chinese, and English—handy if you work in the tourist trade. A hotel in Japan has a robot staff though I read they hat to fire ½ of their robot workers. I wonder if it was for sexual harassment! A female android named Geminoid F stars in a Japanese film from director Koji Fukada. "Sayonara" premiered at the Tokyo International Film Festival.

Erika is a creation of Osaka University, Koyo University, and ATR. She was ‘born’ in Japan in 2015 (the year Love for Sale was published). When Erika is listening, she blinks and moves her eyes and head. The following link is a YouTube video of Erika and a child, illustration AI’s possibilities with children. She is pretty and interacts well. She pauses while she processes in this conversation, but her answers do not sound at all scripted but real-time.

Probably the most life-like is the android Sophia by Hanson Robotics. Sophia has appeared on The Tonight Show as well as addressed a UN committee. She has been granted citizenship by Saudi Arabia.

Hanson boasts other robots, one designed to look like Einstein.

In 2005, Hanson debuted Philip K. Dick II. He was designed by David Hanson as a robotic version of the popular writer of sci-fi. The original Philip K. Dick android was lost on a flight from Dallas to San Francisco in late 2005. However, in 2011 Hanson Robotics, together with Dutch broadcasting firm VPRO, developed a new version, including state of the art computer vision technology. This robot employs 36 servomotors to power a complex and wide range of facial expressions. These days, PKD serves researchers at the Apollo Mind Initiative.

These are just a few representatives of the strides we are making in humanoid robots. The androids in my books, all products of imagination, are getting closer. In Love for Sale, the androids are being sold as the perfect lovers. Even now, robots are being used as companions for the elderly, in nursing homes, and as teachers with success.

 Would you buy one? I would.

Christian from Love for Sale and Life for Sale:



Diane Burton said...

Fascinating post, Linda. I've been binge-watching Picard (CBS All Access), a Star Trek spinoff. In this series, synthetics, Androids, are banned. But Data (from ST Next Gen) had made 2 androids, his daughters, so to speak. The girls act just like real young women. They eat, sleep, dream, make choices. The question is: are they real people?

Mary Morgan said...

Another wonderful and fascinating post about A.I.'s, Linda! Thanks for sharing.

Keri Kruspe said...

Wonderful article, Linda! I'm with Diane, just finished season one of Picard. I won't give any spoilers out, but the ending was an open question as to whether death is what defines humans as longevity does not....

Nightingale said...

Thank you all for taking time to comment. I'm going to have to watch Picard. As much as I love androids, I do not think they are real people. They are only creations of Man. Without getting into higher powers, that is. Regardless of their emotions, they're still programmed into a very sophisticated machine. I'd absolutely adore if I had a Christian (the android from my series), and I might even fall in love with him. One of the dangers of creating such sophisticated AI is the controversy that will arise. The one Picard appears to pose. Do you believe they are real people?