Hang on, I think it's actually very easy to understand why. It may not be what attracts you to ASFR, but nonetheless this thread and many others have proven the very broad spectrum of people and interests here. (Which is a good thing.)droidlvr wrote:Can't believe myself for commenting on this thread,but I can't understand how anyone can say that they'd want to relate to a fembot completely as they would a living thing.
To take the specific statement I've quoted above, let's break it down a bit. I think most (all?) on this board would agree that when watching a movie or TV show with alleged fembot content, it's a complete waste when the audience is told "this character is really a robot" but the actress does nothing at all to distinguish herself from a normal person. That maybe part of what you're getting at, but it's sort of tangential to this thread.
Back on topic, it's another thing entirely to imagine having a real fembot in your life and deciding that in fact you would like her to behave just like a real person. Though I've been clear many times that this isn't my particular fantasy, nonetheless I'll take a pass at defending and explaining why it would be appealing.
For one thing, no matter how much this group loves seeing malfunctions depicted in fiction and artwork, I would expect having a real fembot in your life who doesn't work properly would become old REALLY FAST. To use your phrase, "I can't understand how anyone can say" that they'd really want a fembot whose arm or leg or chest could explode into a twisted mass of melted wires for no particular reason and at any time -- though most likely during sex, when the danger to others is greatest -- even though that might make for a great fantasy in a story.
For another, while for some the whole point of a fembot is to have an object / toy you can control, that is not necessarily true for everyone and I can guarantee it wouldn't be true in most cases if companion robots ever became a mainstream part of our culture. Let me put it to you this way ... and as I think of this, it occurs to me that this might be one of those lightbulb-going-off major insight moments. (Or it could be a load of crap ... you be the judge.)
OK, drum roll ...
We've talked at length about how a fembot can give her owner a feeling of control that he would not otherwise enjoy in a human relationship ... but what we're missing is that the same is true for the feeling of trust a fembot can give her owner.
How much the concepts of control and trust intersect or overlap in a particular relationship would be dependent not only on the nature of the owner and his intentions for the fembot, but also on the fembot's capabilities. (In other words, the degree to which one can "trust" a fembot is directly tied to how capable her hypothetical AI is.) But nonetheless, even the most rudimentary fembot can in theory be "trusted" not to betray her owner, which (if I may play amateur psychologist for a moment) is very much part of why some people need to feel control in the first place. Whether we want to admit it or not, there is a definite correlation within this group between wanting a fembot to control (or even abuse, which is just control taken to the extreme) and being frustrated, cynical or just plain fearful regarding human relationships.
Anyway, to illustrate my point with an example, imagine that fembots really exist and that you could buy one and take it home. Now imagine that the company you're buying from offers a fembot that comes pre-programmed with various customizations -- everything from appearance to basic personality and even skills -- but that once the "on" switch is flipped, is designed to behave like an autonomous person over whom you don't have direct control. In an emergency of course you can shut her off, or bring her in to be reprogrammed, but other than that she does her own thing fairly autonomously, within the bounds of the pre-programming. The only "control" you have would be the initial parameters: in other words, you can program her such that she will always love you, and never betray you, plus over time she would be programmed to adapt and learn so that she'll be better and better at pleasing you ... but she would always be capable of surprising you because she didn't get every last bit of her code from your (inevitably limited) imagination.
It's easy (for me at least) to imagine an owner who would want such a product. In fact, for those of you who remember the Schwarzenegger movie "Total Recall," that's actually pretty much exactly the product he bought at the start of the film, except it was done with memory implants instead of robots. He was hoping to pay someone who would give him an adventure with a beautiful woman, with a guaranteed positive (exciting, fun) outcome, and though he wanted to set up some basic parameters for what the woman would look like and what sort of personality she would have ("sleazy and demure" ... remember? plus it was a given that she would be his friend and lover), he did NOT want to control her every action, any more than he wanted to control the script of the adventure itself.
And I won't even elaborate on the very real fact that if such a product existed, there would be a HUGE market among people who had lost a loved one and wished to replace her with a robot that could create the illusion of really being her.
I guess in summary my feeling about this whole thread is while I certainly understand the appeal of having a fembot who behaves like a "toy," I think many of us are overestimating how long such a toy could really sustain our interest. For me a fembot that didn't always have something new for me to discover would be colossally boring.