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June 25, 2011 / Tobin Craig

In lieu of a grand introduction…

Here is a video about making out with a robot. (hat tip to futurisms)

Ok.  So first of all, I love how the guy explains how the device works with it stuck inside his mouth, and how he can barely keep himself from laughing while discussing it.  Then comes the brilliant marketing scheme: record the ‘kissing technique’ of your favorite heartthrob and have the masses pay to ‘make out’ with them.  “But,” someone who is actually taking this seriously might say, “having your tongue wagged isn’t quite the sum total of a good kiss.”  We’re on it. We just need to moisten it a bit, add some flava, and introduce some precisely calibrated breathing rhythms.  (Where are the lips?)

Welcome to techno-fantasyland ladies and gentlemen.  Why be limited by the actual, when you can have anything in the virtual?  This won’t be the last time that I post on our bizarre relationship with technology, but let me introduce myself by saying that while still good for laughs today, the age of love with robots is around the corner, and its way is being paved by the age of love through the computer (or droid).  For those who doubt, I recommend Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together, along with the forgotten dystopian novel by Michael Frayn A Very Private Life, and the very fine Spielberg movie A.I.  In coming posts I will offer some reflections on these and other works with a view to how they can help us in the incredibly difficult work of making sense of a world continually being remade by ceaseless, and largely undirected technological innovation.


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