Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Love and Artificial Intelligence, Part II

Now that we’ve experienced a bittersweet trip down (my) memory lane, let’s depart for some decidedly less arcane cosmic waters. Thanks to everyone who commented and for believing that I saw ROMIE-O AND JULIE-8, once upon a time....

When it comes to romances involving artificial intelligence, we’re not limited to celluloid creations. These days, we have our pick of delicious drones and mechanized men, from Data of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, Pascal of Catherine Asaro’s SUNRISE ALLEY, and Admiral Branden Kel-Paten of Linnea Sinclair’s GAMES OF COMMAND.

Other stories exploring the theme of human/android relations include N. Lee Wood’s LOOKING FOR THE MAHDI, and Catherine Spangler’s SHADOW CROSSING. Yearn for something with a dash of cyberpunk? Go forth and devour SILVER METAL LOVER by Tanith Lee.

SEMI-SPOILER ALERT: By the way, in the last of Isaac Asamov’s FOUNDATION books, Hari Seldon's wife has a secret. Ooooh, scandalous!! (Shhh. You didn’t hear that from me.)

Shoot, even Analyzer from SPACE CRUISER YAMATO, while technically a robot, had lustful…er, loving feelings for his comrade Mori Yuki. Creepy or cute? You decide!

Tidbit of the day: According to a source at Wikipedia, Tomorrow's Eve (1886) is “the novel credited with popularizing the word 'android.'” Cool! And as Margaret Carter of Alien Romances illustrates in her post “Lifelike Robots,” the next evolutionary step for artificial intelligence is just around the corner.

We can explore the issue of android/cyborg/robot love in fiction until the nanometers come home, but take a moment to imagine, really imagine, the first sentient android ever created falling in love.

Even better, imagine two created at the same time, with fully functional male and female anatomy. Would they fall in love with each other, or develop other preferences? They could be straight, they could be gay/lesbian. Etc. With technology advancing by leaps and bounds, something magical is inevitable.

But let’s up the ante. What if androids were so advanced that you couldn’t tell them apart from humans? When looking for love, would you want to know?

Be honest. Discuss.

Joyfully yours,