Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

Should Humanity Switch To Robotic Pets?

In his 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, science fiction writer Philip K. Dick considered whether or not robotic pets might not be possible, and even more sensible, than animal pets:

An inspiration came to Isidore. "What about an exact electric duplicate of your cat? We can have a superb handcrafted job by Wheelright & Carpenter in which every detail of the old animal is faithfully repeated..."

In an article in Frontiers in Veterinary Science, research fellow Jean-Loup Rault of the Animal Welfare Science Centre, Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia considers the same questions in detail:

Patients using the Paro robot reported that they “know it is not real but still love it,” and talk to it as a living being. Hence, robots can without doubt trigger human emotions. Indeed, funerals are held for AIBO robotic dogs in Japan nowadays, since Sony recently closed their last tech ‘clinic’ used to fix them. If artificial pets can replicate the human benefits obtained from live pets, does that mean that the human–animal emotional bond is solely dependent on ourselves and the image that we project on a live or artificial interactive partner? Does it ethically matter if the benefits of keeping artificial pets outweight the risks, sparing other live pets’ potential animal welfare issues? Conversely, could artificial pets make future human generations insensitive to the treatment of live animals (15)? As Turkle mentioned, “we make our technologies, and they, in turn, shape us.” Others are warning about these fast technological advances, with Stephen Hawking fearing that humans, limited by slow biological evolution, could not compete and would be superseded by full artifical intelligence, and Bill Gates warning that artificial intelligence poses a real threat to humankind. What risks would artificial pets cause to humans compared to live pets? And to domestic animals?

Further exploration of these issues may be found in these past articles:

  - Biomimetic Robot Animals - Not All Are Cute
  - 'Electric Sheep' Gaining On Real Pets
  - Heart Robot Wants To Feel Your Love
  - Dream Cat Venus An Android's Dream
  - 'Electric Sheep' Runs On Real Grass - EATR Robot
  - EATR Robot Is A Vegetarian
  - Robot Cats Perfect For Older Britons
  - Does PETA Dream Of Electric Groundhogs?
  - SmartBird Robotic Bird In Flight
  - Do Swiss Roboticists Dream Of Electric Sheep?
  - Cheetah Cub Robot From PKD's Android Dreams

Read more at Pets in the digital age: live, robot, or virtual?.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/20/2015)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Athena Smart Security Guard Robot With Face Recognition
'You are who we say you are, Dr. Dakin,' Turner said.' - Greg Bear, 2003.

SpaceHopper Microgravity Robot Lands On Its Feet
'...a slender-legged tripod surmounted by a spherical body no larger than a football.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1972.

No Tips! Robotic Food Delivery In Phoenix
'...he rewired the delivery robot so that it would serve him midnight snacks.' Robert Heinlein, 1962.

Micro-Robots Are Smallest, Fully Functional
'With a whir, the Scarab shot from the concealing shadows of the corner where it had hidden itself.' - Raymond Z. Gallun, 1936.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

Live Stream With Meta-Ban Multimodal Smart Glasses
'...the bug-eyed, opaque gape of her True-Vu lenses.'

'Autonomous' Waymo Improves Driving With Remote Human Operators
'...some bored drone pusher in a remote driving centre has got your life... in his hands.'

Will Whales Be Our First Contact?
'He had piloted the Adastra to its first contact with the civilization of another solar system.'

Heinlein’s Controlway - Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) Corridor In Michigan
'Well, that's us,' said Lazarus.

SliceIt! Why Not Teach Robots To Use Knives?
'One building now gushed forth smoke and another stench that was unmistakable.'

NYC/Dublin Portal Fails To Meet 'Guardian Of Forever' Standards
I am the Guardian of Forever.

FLOAT Levitating Train On The Moon ala Clarke
'The low-slung monorail car, straddling its single track, bored through the shadows on a slowly rising course.'

Singapore Writers Push Back On LLM Training
'...we've promised him a generous pension from the royalties.'

SpaceX Intros Extravehicular Activity Suit
'Provision had been made to meet the terrific cold which we knew would be encountered the moment we had passed beyond the atmosphere.'

Athena Smart Security Guard Robot With Face Recognition
'You are who we say you are, Dr. Dakin,' Turner said.'

The FLUTE Project - A Huge Liquid Mirror In Space
'It's area, and its consequent light-gathering capacity, was many times greater than any rigid mirror...'

Robot Preachers Found To Undermine Religious Commitment
'Tell me your torments,' the Padre said, in an elderly voice marked with compassion.

CyberCab - Tesla Renames The Robotaxi
'A cybercab dogged their heels...'

SpaceHopper Microgravity Robot Lands On Its Feet
'...a slender-legged tripod surmounted by a spherical body no larger than a football.'

Brin's 1990 Novel Earth Still Full Of Predictions
'... making the point that their likenesses, every move they made, were being transmitted.'

'Whisper Mode' ala Blue Thunder Researched At Bristol
'Forest Lawn.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.