ECG Responses

Posted December 3, 2001 at 5:54 pm 1 Comment

I got this e-mail from my mom today:

Sent: Monday, December 03, 2001 6:37 PM
Subject: your mom reads the NYTHi Dan,

If someone asked me what I first thought would get you a story in the New York Times, I probably wouldn’t have guessed this.  But then, I also wouldn’t have guessed that it would occur in your first semester of graduate school either.

So, do you get extra credit for your Human-Computer interfaces class for this site?

Love, Mom

Well, crap.  I was hoping she wouldn’t find out about the New York Times article (cached version HERE).

Ah well.  I have made a personal resolution that the next time I make the Times, it will involve significantly fewer pictures of dildos.

My ECG research collaborators and I have been receiving numerous letters about our work recently.  My favorite letter came from a woman who took offense at the idea of sexual robotics:

Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2001 5:05 PM
Subject: erotic computation

Dear Sara,
Don’t you have anything better to do with your time than try to create sex robots named Veronica? There is already an overabundance of lame sexist shit in this world without the hopes of adding to it in the form of robotic playthings. Maybe you don’t see the obvious misogynistic intent with your work, but I sure as hell do.
A little FYI, Sarah: Women already feel sexually worthless due to fake representations in the media. They really don’t need some big-titted suck dick robot as competition.Yours Truly,

To me this letter was amusing on two levels.  First, it was funny that Carmel didn’t realize the whole thing was a hoax.  Second, while I used fairly formal and scientific language on the ECG web page, Carmel went right into talking about “big-titted suck dick robots.”

Sara, being the diplomat that she is, wrote Carmel back with a very polite apology, explaining that the ECG also had plans to make male sex androids.  I told Sara that it would have been funnier had she replied with, “actually, our suck dick robots have average sized tits.”

“Yeah,” Sara replied, “if you look at the pictures on the page, that’s actually true.  And really, this Carmel woman must not be very impressive if she’s worried about robotic competition.”

Dennis and I were discussing Carmel’s letter, and I told him that I didn’t agree with Carmel’s viewpoint.  “Actually,” I said, “I think that female sex robots might be empowering to women.”

“Well, sure,” Dennis agreed, “they wouldn’t have to suck dick anymore.”

“No, but it goes beyond that,” I continued.  “See, if men had these sex robots to constantly fulfill their raw sexual urges, they might eventually find something missing, and turn to human women for love and companionship.  So there would be more meaningful relationships, instead of dysfunctional ones that only last because of the sex.”

“Yeah, I guess,” said Dennis.  “Maybe you should change the name of your research group to the ‘Big-Titted Suck Dick Robots Group.’  It does have a nice ring to it.”

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  1. i was actually looking for porn when i found this, under big tittied robots, and this was the first on the list. just wanted to say, thanks for the laugh and the last bit about how ifin sexual fullfillment, ppl might turn to each ither, etc. was the crowning achievement of the “article”… maybe a toss up between that and “significantly less dildos”. hope this was meant to humor ppl b/c i found it histerical. thanks again. Jesse Fox

    Comment by Jesse Fox — December 17, 2008 #

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