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with Stephen Hawking fearing that humans, limited by slow biological evolution, could not compete and would be superseded by full artifical intelligence, and Bill Gates warning that artificial intelligence poses a real threat to humankind.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 ")

Gentle Monster Robot Head
'The robot knelt before the head, lifted it slowly, and with... its strong hands placed it on its shoulders...' - Hugo Correa, 1968.

Burro Robot Follows You And Gets Smarter
'Oh, there you are! the balloon piped at the amorphous mass of living tissue...' - Philip K. Dick, 1964.

Auto-Targeting Fire Sprinkler Systems Now Reality
I think every kitchen should have one of these.

LEONARDO Robot Has Legs And Thrusters, Can Skateboard, Slackline
'a walking balloon proceeded with long strides of its aluminum legs over a slant of steep upland.' - George Parsons Lathrop, 1897.

 

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

Swedes Get 'Chipped' With Vaccine Passports
'Employees above a certain level were implanted with advanced microprocessors...'

Gentle Monster Robot Head
'The robot knelt before the head, lifted it slowly, and with... its strong hands placed it on its shoulders...'

SpinLaunch SubOrbital Accelerator
'But it had slid, not rolled, down upon these angry fly-wheels, and in an instant, with all our friends, it had been hurled into the sky!'

Augmented Reality Palm Keyboard
'Three rows of four colored dots appeared on the heel of my left hand.'

Omni Hoverboard Envy Of Green Goblin
'I brought it back to the ship, charged it up, reprogrammed the inertia chips and voila!'

Jetson ONE Speeds Through The Forest
'Over there! Two more of them!'

Facebook's Algorithmic News Feed Knows Better Than You Do
'Their playmates were not “real,” but they were a lot realer than, say, a Betsy-Wetsy doll.'

Tselina Spacecraft Platform Destroyed In Russian Anti-Satellite Test
'pirate three-vee satellites sanded out of orbit...'

Burro Robot Follows You And Gets Smarter
'Oh, there you are! the balloon piped at the amorphous mass of living tissue...'

Tiangong Space Station! Exercise Like It's 1953
'He couldn't imitate actual gravity, of course...'

Facebook Unexpectedly Turns Away From Sfnal Face Recognition
'... the imprint of her image on the telephoto cell.'

Taihang Solar Farm Accurately Pictured In 1911
'The entire expanse, twenty kilometers square, was covered ... the photo-electric elements which transformed the solar heat direct into electric energy.'

Galaxy Z Fold 3 Perfect For William Gibson's 'Control-Face'
'Chia recognized the square as the control-face of the computer she'd seen in his room.'

Amazon Automatic Packaging Catches Up With Gernsback's 1911 Book
'The automatic packing machine could pack anything from a small package a few inches square up to a box two feet high by three feet long.'

Your Car Will Be Watching You!
'Mr. Garden, you are in no condition to drive...'

Orbital Reef: Bezos' High Orbit Archipelago
'Tessier-Ashpool ascended to high orbit's archipelago to find the ecliptic sparsely marked with military stations and the first automated factories of the cartels.'

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.