When it comes to the perfect, what is it that we want? Is it one woman, or is it several?
Recently a link popped up of the Perfect Woman. It turned out that this video was just a viral ad campaign that sent you to the AI Robotics site, which was actually the Phillips site. A very creative campaign that was quite intriguing.
However, even though this vision of the perfect woman was a hoax it doesn’t mean that there is not work being done on creating the actual perfect woman. After doing some searching online, I found out that Japan’s Kokoru Company is working on creating a perfect robotic woman of the future, ActroidDER.
It turns out the perfect woman is merely a work in progress.
The fact that work is being done to develop a robotic woman raises a host of questions, from why to how to what for? If the perfect robotic woman can do housework, converse and satisfy her partner sexually, then what is the basis, in the minds of the creators, as to why this is better than a real woman? As women, are we looking to be replaced, and if so why?
When I envision the male who is purchasing the robotic woman, I wonder if he is a single man who doesn’t have time to locate a spouse or doesn’t want one in general. I also wonder if this male might be married and if he is, what is the reasoning behind his decision to introduce a female robot in to the home?
Aside from these questions, it raises issues of beauty and what it is that defines perfection in a robotic woman? It seems threatening to have a purchasable perfect robot woman from the perspective of an imperfect organic woman. I wonder what it would be like to be face-to-face with a robotic woman, since we are so very similar to each other, except my insides are organic and hers are mechanical.
As an organic female it is already hard to compete aesthetically with those who have undergone cosmetic procedures to enhance their appearance. The robotic woman can change with the times in her aesthetics and have immediate intelligence upgrades to match the male or female that has purchased her. The robotic female can clean the house all day, not mind ironing, and cook an expert French meal, depending on her programming. How, as an organic woman, am I going to be able to compete?
I suppose another way to examine the robotic woman in a similar thread would be to say that this woman would be a supplement to me as a wife, not a competitor. She can do all of these things I’ve mentioned to free me up to create, think, and innovate in ways that she cannot. In addition, I will be free to have children that I can rely on her to assist me with. These areas of life, as far as I am aware for now, are areas where I am not threatened, and I can succeed with the addition of a robotic woman in my home. However, I wonder if this is the intended purpose of the creation of the robotic woman. If this is the intended purpose, are the perfect aesthetics a necessity in her creation?
Further deep consideration of the ethics of commodified robotic women is necessary.
Kristi Scott M.A. is an IEET Affiliate Scholar. Her work centers on the way popular culture presents issues of identity, body modification, cosmetic surgery, and emerging technologies. She has been a freelance writer since 2003 writing for a variety of magazines over the years, most recently as a writer and copy-editor for h+ magazine.
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