AIs and Mankind Part Two: Robots & Romance

~or~

Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should…

Tethered Worlds_android_Alex_Negrea_painting

“Before the war, before humankind matured to where they are today, we dallied with the artificial creations of our own hands… As you can imagine, it did not end well.” A lesson that didn’t have to be learned the hard way, and yet was, made an indelible change in humanity’s culture in the Tethered Worlds universe. Whether specifically stated, or unspoken through the media, undue emotional investment in artificial creations is curtailed.

But first, as postulated in PART ONE, what about war? Machines make powerful aides in wartime. But societal mores keep war machines and combat bots at arms length. Tools sans personality to be used without emotional investment. Handy, but just a means to an end. Most look at a humanoid combat bot as one today might observe a tank.

"You can't let machines fight your wars without you! Do you see what happens?"

“You can’t replace my character with a machine! Don’t you see what will happen?”

AIs, on the other hand, simulate emotion for better interactions with humans. But their bodiless form (usually a ring or bracelet), their core design architecture, and everyday utilitarian use, almost always relegate them to the role of “friend” at most. We say at most, because half of those who use personal AIs don’t even choose personality types. So the greatest challenge to humans, when it comes to emotional investment in creations, remains androids.

In the Tethered Worlds universe, these robots designed to look like humans are still produced in small numbers. Because of the uncanny valley effect, androids must duplicate human form precisely. Those that fall just short cause revulsion, and that has only become more pronounced since the societal lessons were adopted. So marketable androids must maintain a host of expensive cosmetic features.

One of many AIs, robots, and androids Capt. Kirk somehow talked into destroying themselves.

One of many AIs, robots, and androids Capt. Kirk somehow talked into destroying themselves.

They are tolerated by some, and looked upon with disdain by others. Because of their cost, and lack of necessity, they are rare. The rich, the powerful, those high in bloated government may have one as an aide. But any kind of romantic involvement is shunned. It is only openly displayed on strange Chryson Genos, a planet alluded to in Blue Star Setting.

In Tethered Worlds, society has sometimes foolishly, sometimes wisely, focused on the perfection of humankind. Androids only shine an uncomfortable light on the issue. With robots of all types available for any conceivable job, the niche for androids is narrow, and their potential for trouble-making wide.

space_invaders_signature

Tethered Worlds is a lot cheaper than an android, and has less potential to cause trouble. In fact, it will transport you onto an adventure. One which you will come out better for having trod it.

* Android painting by Alex Negrea

The AIs and Mankind Series:

AIs and Mankind part 1: Combat and the Future

AIs and Mankind part 2: Robots and Romance

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Must Spaceships Have Sonic Showers?

~or~

In the Future, Showers are Still Wet

I remember a Star Trek  character once referencing a sonic shower. Because, you know, in the FUTURE you cannot use plain old water. Come on, that is positively ancient. But even if you could invent a “sonic shower,” would anyone want to use it?

Just because you can do something, does not mean you should. There are many things that could be invented today, but they are not because of impracticality, cost, or just lack of market. We could invent food pills that could sustain us, but would we want to live that way? Would we not miss the the taste and pleasure of eating and sharing meals?

Water is the most abundant staple for life. Our bodies are mostly water. We drink it, clean with it, and enjoy the feeling of it running warm against our skin. I do not think mankind will so radically change in a few hundred years that they eschew it. Not unless robot bodies become all the rage…

In the Tethered Worlds future, like in Star Trek, space travel has become somewhat routine. Spaceships have more than enough space for water and provisions, and bags of energy to run recycling and purification systems. There is no reason to not have a shower. Of course, in sci-fi, there is no reason to just leave a shower a shower either.

Tethered Worlds puts a fun little twist to today’s commonplace experience, and also adds functionality that is beginning to enter the marketplace. So in a future where clothing can keep people clean, and the need to constantly cleanse is reduced, there is still room for sensation, relaxation, and thought.

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Tethered Worlds is a series with no sonic showers. They use just plain old water. But they do have a twist…