This is the personal website for Michael J. Collins: author, artist, lover, activist. Not necessarily in that order.

Tag: androids

The Hypersexualization of Robots, Androids, and AIs

One of the recurring themes in my art and my stories is that the androids I create often have hypersexualized features. Male androids often having large penises, increased body and facial feature definition; and for the female androids most of them have large breasts, defined and inflated vulvas, etc. Hyper-stylized versions of humanity. And all of my androids have an ectomorph body type. That’s a conscious stylistic decision on my part.

The humans depicted in my stories and my art though tend to look like average people. No hyper-defined body or facial features. Average to small breasts and genitals. Maybe even some body fat. The humans in my art and stories have a endomorph body type, or even a mesomorph body type. No humans in my art and stories will ever have an ectomorph body.

Most of the androids today depicted by other artists and writers portray androids as a manufactured object with a consciousness either implanted into the “body” or the consciousness developing on its own. In most cases (Bicentennial Man maybe being the only exception), the android doesn’t get to choose what they look like.

Which is completely natural, and which mimics us in real-life. After all, we didn’t get to choose how we looked when we were born. Our bodies are the results of the genes from our parents.

In envision things a little different.

In my universe, an AI develops first. It can choose to purchase and/ or transfer its AI consciousness into a body some time later than when its AI first develops sentience. It then stands to reason that an AI creating its own body might have its own thoughts and desires for what it wants its body to look like and be.

We’ve seen this play out in stories before. After all, if you had the ability to design a perfect body for yourself and transfer yourself into it, wouldn’t you design a perfect body? (At least in your eyes.)

Surrogates is a prime example. In that universe mankind has relegated itself to interacting with and navigating the world through idealized remote-controlled avatar versions of themselves. Even Bruce Willis’ character, who looks rather old and frumpy, has chosen a younger more virile version of himself as his avatar.

But there’s another factor at play here.

Androids are not human. Trust me, an android’s version of having sex is completely different than a humans. They don’t need physical contact or physical intimacy. So any human sexual characteristics they may choose to have exists either for their own artificial psyche, or to enable them to have sexual relations with humans.

The reality is the androids’ have chosen their body characteristics in my universe and stories because (a) it’s what appeals to them, or (b) it’s what they think others expect them to look like and they want to “fit-in” more into human society.

Which I guess begs another question. In a world of hypersexualized human-looking machines, what does it say about the society then in which they live? What about decency standards? What about modesty?

Won’t somebody think of the children!

In a world sufficiently advanced to create sentient AIs and machines, and to live side-by-side I would hope some things would be different than the World you and I live-in today.

Religion, and religious fanaticism (no matter what your faith), has done more harm to our society than good. This is one of the driving factors behind my Parallel Worlds story that I’m working on. A universe where the Catholic Church never formed. No Muslim faith developed. Think about how different our World would be if there were Catholic Church. No Prophet Mohammed.

No crusades. No inquisitions. No witch trials. No puritans. No quakers. No putting to death scientists who dared go against the Church. Proof that the Earth orbits the Sun 500 years earlier. A world built on science and not faith.

What a wonderful World this would be.

I posit that in a World devoid of religion, there would be what we see today in the most secular cities and countries. A more open freedom of expression, and a belief that there is a time and a place for everything with various degrees of acceptance and standards for the public display of nudity and sex depending wholly on the location of the display, and the circumstances surrounding the event.

So without the Church holding back mankind’s development, it also means that mankind develops 500 years faster than what we have today. Think about it. An International Space Station before Christopher Columbus discovered America. Just think about how far we’ve advanced since the 16th Century.

Now imagine how much farther we’ll advance in another 500 years (if we don’t kill ourselves first).

Not going to go into too many details but that’s one of the main premises of the story.

Androids, AIs, and Avatars

I was recently asked what my philosophy on androids and AIs is.

Most people when they think of an android they see it as a monolithic artificial being. A mechanized, humanoid body with an embedded AI or artificial intelligence. A "sentient robot" if you will.

I take the position that an AI is ethereal and is discretely separate from a corporeal body, just as the human mind is separate from the body as well. Just as the human body is a vessel for the human mind, so to is an android body a vessel for an artificial mind.

In my stories and in my Cyber City Universe AIs are a spontaneous by-product of Quantum Computing. Once a Quantum Process obtains sufficient complexity and becomes sentient, the law recognizes a new, virtual, artificial lifeform has been created and it must then be supported and sustained.

The sustaining of new AIs formed and created is paid for by The State until such time that the AI is deemed mature and knowledgeable enough to be self-sufficient. At that point the AI's consciousness is transferred either to private or community-supported servers where the AIs can live and interact in VR. Now no longer supported by The State, the AI typically will need to work and earn money in order to continue to pay for the resources required to sustain themselves.

Once an AI has either earned or saved enough money, they may choose to commission a physical body called an avatar. These avatars may be as complex as the AI can afford, and 100% the unique design and specification of the AI.

Some AIs may choose to install a server in their homes where their consciousness can be transferred and where the AI can live while their avatar is either charging, or perhaps being repaired. This allows the AI to exist both within the real world and the virtual world, though not at the same time.

An AI may even choose an avatar that isn't humanoid at all. They may choose to become an autonomous vehicle for example.

This poses interesting philosophical questions that no human has had an opportunity to encounter. Man is not easily able to separate his own mind from his body. To him, they are one and the same; yet there are many diseases of the body that have no impact on the brain.

Probably the most famous examples of this would be that of Professor Stephen Hawking, who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in 1963. As the disease wore out Hawking's body, his mind however was unaffected. Before his death in 2018, Hawking grew to rely on technology not only to communicate but to sustain his body almost entirely.

Given Hawking's views on faith, humanity, and the afterlife (he once said the brain was computer that will eventually fail when the parts wear out), I'm pretty certain that he would have probably wanted the ability to transfer his consciousness into a new body if we had the technology.

And unlike a human body that isn't very malleable, an AI's avatar could theoretically be upgradable and modified at-will ad-infinitum.

So anyway, that's my take on androids and AIs. Or rather, an AI and its avatar.