From Eliza and Alexa to Therapy-bots, and Sexbots

Authored by: Russell Belk

The Routledge Handbook of Digital Consumption

Print publication date:  September  2022
Online publication date:  September  2022

Print ISBN: 9781032329598
eBook ISBN: 9781003317524
Adobe ISBN:


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Our digital devices are beginning to talk to us. They offer directions, answer questions, obey commands, translate between languages, and even engage in “bedroom talk.” Moreover, they are beginning to hold conversations with us. They seem to empathize with our emotions and respond accordingly. They ask us questions as well as simply answer our questions and supply information. When these capabilities are combined with a realistic sexy human-like robotic body, the result is a sex doll or sex robot, depending on the sophistication of this humanoid being. This chapter examines the progression of these devices from simple translation and chatbot programs to complex interactive robots. I assess the state of the art in these devices and offer some cautions and concerns.

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