Turned On
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Turned On : Science, Sex and Robots

3.56 (145 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

'Illuminating, witty and written with a wide open mind' Sunday Times

The idea of the seductive sex robot is the stuff of myth, legend and science fiction. From the myth of Laodamia in Ancient Greece to twenty-first century shows such as Westworld, robots in human form have captured our imagination, our hopes and our fears. But beyond the fantasies there are real and fundamental questions about our relationship with technology as it moves into the realm of robotics.

Turned On explores how the emerging and future development of sexual companion robots might affect us and the society in which we live. It explores the social changes arising from emerging technologies, and our relationships with the machines that someday may care for us and about us. Sex robots are here, and here to stay, and more are coming.

Computer scientist and sex-robot expert Kate Devlin is our guide as we seek to understand how this technology is developing. From robots in Greek myth and the fantastical automata of the Middle Ages through to the sentient machines of the future that embody the prominent AI debate, she explores the 'modern' robot versus the robot servants we were promised by twentieth century sci-fi, and delves into the psychological effects of the technology, and issues raised around gender politics, diversity, surveillance and violence. This book answers all the questions you've ever had about sex robots, as well as all the ones you haven't yet thought of.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 135 x 216 x 25.4mm | 416g
  • Bloomsbury Sigma
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • black and white chapter illustrations
  • 1472950895
  • 9781472950895
  • 421,937

Review quote

Illuminating, witty and written with a wide open mind. * Sunday Times * A lively, waggish guide to these uncharted waters, tracing ethics, sexuality, intimacy and the uncanny. * Tatler * A highly readable romp through the history of computers, robots and sex toys [...] A fascinating introduction to the state of sex-tech. * Science * For fans of Humans, Westworld and I, Robot. Or anyone who's ever enjoyed a flirtation with Alexa. Devlin takes us right through the AI revolution and its potential impact on our relationships [with] a relaxed and chatty tone. * Cosmopolitan * An engaging survey of the history of humanoids. * Financial Times * A timely, vital treatise [...] With charm and wit she tackles thorny issues. * Wired * An unusually cool-headed tour of the current sexbot terrain. [...] Devlin's calmer, more evidence-based middle path seems appealing, especially in an area where so much polemic has already risked deadening the nerves. * Harper's Magazine * One of Devlin's achievements is to humanise the sex robot makers and users - we are invited not to laugh at them, but to understand them. * The Times * Big on breadth and charm ... loaded with facts and anecdotes. * The Saturday Paper * This brilliant book is an intelligent, clear-eyed and often very funny deep dive into the history and future of love and machinery. -- Warren Ellis, author of Transmetropolitan After millennia of fornicating with foreign objects, the ultimate sex toy has finally arrived. Kate Devlin unpacks the very long, very dense history of the sex robot with style and wit. Spoiler alert: we haven't reached Westworld ... yet. -- Christopher Trout, Editor-in-Chief, Engadget In Turned On, Kate Devlin - the thinking person's navigator to the complex and potentially life-enhancing terrain of the sex robot - looks at the history of AI-enhanced erotic toys, then ventures far beyond our wildest imaginings. -- Rowan Pelling, Editor of The Amorist
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About Kate Devlin

Kate Devlin is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Digital Humanities at King's College London. Having begun her career as an archaeologist before moving into computer science, Devlin's research is in the fields of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), investigating how people interact with and react to technology in order to understand how emerging and future technologies will affect us and the society in which we live.

A few years ago, Kate began to explore the particular ways in which sex, gender and sexuality might be incorporated into cognitive systems such as sexual companion robots; since then she has become a driving force in the field of intimacy and technology. She has written articles on the subject for New Scientist, Prospect and i, appeared on BBC Radios 1-5, and made a number of TV appearances.

@drkatedevlin
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Rating details

145 ratings
3.56 out of 5 stars
5 19% (28)
4 33% (48)
3 34% (50)
2 11% (16)
1 2% (3)
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