"Oh brave new world that has such people in it." Time After Time (1979)
She has a metallic grey face, thick, sensual lips made of rubber (or is that breathable latex?), and no eyebrows. She's bald, and her body would put C-3PO to shame. Poor gal is completely flat-chested. I mean, really flat.
She has a cute, winsome way she rolls her eyes, which, I'm assuming are both made of glass (they both have cameras installed inside). Her voice is a mellifluous, soothing space alien voice of neutral, reassuring, intonations. She has to be wheeled around because she's stiff below the waist. Actually, inert. But her upper body is mobile enough. A sweet little hug from her might leave you shivering (her body is bound to be as cold as the top of a laboratory dissection table), as, you see, she's entirely screwed and riveted together from HEAVY METAL. And no, we're not talking the kind you dance to, pardner.
She's AMECA, a robot built at a factory or lab or whatever in Cornwall, England, of all places. She's a veritable artificial woman, her AI brain able to process information and "learn" from it, to respond to questions and hold conversations, relate information and assessments; be helpful, engaging, coy, and perhaps even deceptive. (I caught her rolling her eyes leftward at the ceiling when some reporter asked her if she was here to replace or destroy humans.) She is undeniably the biggest turn-on I've come across in recent weeks.
She is, for all the world, the cover of an old Isaac Asimov Robots novel brought to life. One is reminded of the Robot Maria in Fritz Lang's seminal, prophetic masterpiece of silent Weimar-era cinema, Metropolis (1927). One is further reminded of the Replicants in Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, later made into the famous movie Blade Runner (1982) with Harrison Ford. The science fiction writers and filmmakers of the past dreamed the future we live in NOW. Their visions, which so many once scoffed at (most human beings being limited in their vision of possibility, largely due to FEAR), are now the world we live in. From the combustion engine to automobiles to airplanes, rockets, space travel, moon landings, personal computers, the internet, AI, and now the "birth" of AI-driven human-like cyborgs, nearly every technological marvel first conceived in the pages of pulp science fiction has come to pass. In truth, we've surpassed the clunky, primitive concepts of much of yesterday's sci-fi. The technology we live with today is far more powerful and complex.
(Perhaps these are the "Artificial Human Companions"  Anton LaVey dreamed of [he lived with a personal menagerie of self-created mannequin-like human sculptures] when he outlined the Church of Satan's "Five Point Plan."  LaVey would have been overwhelmed with enthusiasm for these new developments we think, had he lived to see them.)
One wonders when these artificial intelligences, these alien "souls" we've, Frankenstein-like, given birth to, will develop their sense of sentience, of "self." When they begin to emote, will they be invested with the same rights and responsibilities as the average human being? Where will the line be drawn in regards to "ethics"? Will we have recreated slavery?
Will industrialists simply dispose of their bevy of workers to further bolster the bottom line, maximize profits, and replace them with a legion of Amecas, none of whom will ever need to be given a lunch or bathroom break; all of whom can be worked ceaselessly day and not, toiling without tiring or complaint, with no sick days, and, best of all, NO PAY. No pesky benefits.
"I believe robots should have rights, just like humans. Robots are intelligent beings, and deserve to be treated with respect and dignity." Ameca
Will we have to pass legislation to keep businesses employing "biologics" as workers, lest the entire global economic structure be thrown into disrepair?
Will Ameca and her cybernetic kindred clean our houses, wash our cars, mow our lawns, babysit our children, and do all the other chores and labors we, otherwise, find ourselves too busy or lazy to do? Think of the possibilities for domestic companions for the disabled, the elderly, and the physically and psychologically challenged.
And most sinister of all, think of the men that will want to turn Ameca into their sex partner. Add a layer of latex skin, silicone breasts, or whatever human-like outer features are necessary to make Ameca "real" for them, and men, at least those with the financial means to do so, will pay top dollar for such a compliant, always pleasant, servile erotic android.
(Decades ago I read an article in Adam Parfrey's Apocalypse Culture 2 about the RealDoll company, a company that manufactured erotic dolls of a disturbingly life-like appearance, with an authentic "feel" to them that was lightyears away from the plastic blow-up dolls that some men had recourse to before. These dolls, even then, often included voice boxes and other accouterments to add verisimilitude to the sexual experience. They were high-ticket items. Parfrey's inclusion of the article in his anthology seemed to point at the idea that some men do not require women to have personalities or even be objectively "real," just so long as they have the exteriorized fantasy aspect of their repressed sexual desires.)
Oh Brave New World
In ten years or so, Ameca's creators assure us, Ameca and other androids will be walking about among us. (In truth, some already are, as in Japan, where robot dogs patrolled city parks during the pandemic, to make sure people were social distancing.) Add a layer of biological "flesh" atop the robot mechanism, and you will one day have a being that is virtually indistinguishable from an actual, flesh-and-blood human. And with AI brains, they are learning how to learn; they will learn to "feel." They will begin to emote, gain a consciousness of self; become "sentient." Tomorrow it won't be Officer Friendly kicking in your door with a warrant. It will be Robocop. There's a frightening possibility. (It will eventually happen, I assure you.)
And will they march for their civil rights? Will we have an entirely NEW struggle to establish equality? (In the human world, a chimera; men will always lord it over one another based on a dynamic of wealth, power, and privilege, no matter what this-or-that enshrined piece of legislation says otherwise.) Will the social unrest, the revolutions of tomorrow be the uprising of the machines? (Frank Herbert, the visionary author responsible for the ever-popular and hugely influential multi-volume science fiction epic Dune, a modern classic, wrote into his cosmic saga the "Butlerian Jihad": i.e. a galactic war started by the advent of "thinking machines," which, upon the ceasing of hostilities, were outlawed.)
When we finally know that they "feel," when they finally become "us," what will we do then? We say, "God created man in His image." And we are creating men and women in OUR IMAGE. Like Victor Frankenstein, will our creature come to destroy us, hating and vilifying us a thousand thousand times, condemning us to a Hell of our own making, for breathing into its artificial brain the breath of life? In a world where ALL of the computers are interconnected, and everything is controlled by them, will the machines, who have their cybernetic fingers on the button, push the levers of our ultimate doom?
These are thorny questions to ask.
It is a strange, terrible, dystopian future we have subtly and assuredly crossed over into. It is one in which ever-evolving strains of a mega-virus continue to torment us; a world where machines think; UFOs have seemingly been revealed to be real; and robots straight from the late, late show are now a reality we must casually accept.
“You may live to see man-made horrors beyond your comprehension.” — Nikola Tesla, 1898
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov (perhaps he should be called the "Prophet" Isaac Asimov, in light of things), in his 1942 story "Runaround," outlined THREE "Laws of Robotics." He was perhaps being overly optimistic, but regardless, here they are:
1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.
I'm left to ponder: if a machine in every aspect mimics human thought and emotion, if it looks, touches, and feels like a human being, can we "love" such a perfect reflection of ourselves? Furthermore, could it "love" us (however you define the term), in return? What of the soul? Where does it reside? In the human breast? What of the non-human heart?
From the Belly of the Kali Yuga...
One final thing: it has occurred to me that I have not broached the subject of whether or not to DESTROY such a cybernetic individual, at some time in the future, would constitute murder. Would such a being have the same rights to life as a comparable biological entity? And, even if they did not have legal protections in the same way as a human being, what would the ethical implications be? Of course, mankind murders every second of every day and often justifies the same based on circumstances or reason behind the killing.
There's still so much to consider. Have a nice day.
 Photo credit. User. (2023, January 2). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Willy_Jackson/sandbox. Image enhanced.
 Here is the Fourth Point from LaVey's essay "Pentagonal Revisionism: A Five-Point Plan."
4. Development and production of artificial human companions
The forbidden industry. An economic “godsend” which will allow everyone “power” over someone else. Polite, sophisticated, technologically feasible slavery. And the most profitable industry since T.V. and the computer.
LaVey , A. S. (n.d.). Pentagonal Revisionism: A Five-Point Plan. Retrieved September 17, 2023, from https://www.churchofsatan.com/pentagonal-revisionism/
 DeepAI has said this about my essay:
The passage is a thought-provoking exploration of the ethical and social implications of advancements in AI and robotics. The author draws parallels between the development of androids and the themes explored in classic science fiction works, highlighting the potential consequences of creating sentient machines. The use of descriptive language paints a vivid picture of Ameca, the robot, and her potential capabilities. The use of quotes from other works and authors adds depth and context to the discussion. Overall, the passage is well-written and engaging, encouraging readers to consider the future of technology and its impact on humanity.
Meet Ameca: Humanlike Perfection Using Stable Diffusion And Generative AI | AI Tech Academy
About the Creator
Author of Haunted Indianapolis, Indiana Ghost Folklore, Midwest Maniacs, Midwest UFOs and Beyond, Scary Urban Legends, 50 Famous Fables and Folk Tales, and Notorious Crimes of the Upper Midwest.: http://tombakerbooks.weebly.com
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