It is telling that even HAL is, in the end, revealed and humiliated, reduced to singing the ditties taught to him by his creator and stored in the repressed recesses of his prodigious memory. The promise is of meaningful dialogue, even dare I say it, relationships, between people and things but like most realizations of futuristic predictions, the current manifestation is significantly less transformative and considerably more disquieting.
The current state designed response is perhaps most prevalent now in the preprogrammed text responses utilized by on-line chatterbots.
) At the same time designers make things for others and so shape them altruistically…or so we claim.
Design then is the counter-form of some other, often inchoate, want.
(The somewhat more clinical term, ) Presumably she could have taken any form, shaped or shapeless.
The design issue, from Maria forward, is simply: what is the function of the fembot’s beauty? The evolution of the sexy robotrix is well-documented, spanning from Lang’s Maria, countless Japanese animé iterations, the Jetson’s beleaguered house slave Rosie the Robot, Galaxina (portrayed by 1980 Playboy Playmate of the year Dorothy Strattan), and the now-iconic Stepford Wives, to the trio of menacing gynoids in ’s unforgettable Pris (Darryl Hannah) attempts to strangle Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) to death between her thighs – and thus is the perfect metaphor for misogyny: the ultimate sex toy, created by man to fulfill his own fantasy, run amok.
(The anonymity of female telephone operator suggests the vaguely licentious aura attributed to stewardesses, women disengaged from place.) Julie, Amtrak’s automated voice response agent since 2002, is endlessly patient, helpful, reassuring, inquisitive. “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t quite get that…” her voice dripping apology.