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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Guest Post and Giveaway! - Love for Sale, by Linda Nightingale

Today we've got a really great guest post and giveaway by Linda Nightingale. She's here to talk about Japanese lifelike robots and how they relate to her new book, Love for Sale. We all know how much I love my android/cyborg romances, so I'm thrilled to be hosting her here.

And! Plus! Also! Linda is also being EXTREMELY kind and generous and is giving away a pair of citrine earrings to one lucky commenter. The earrings can only go out to someone in the US, but if you're outside the US, you can win your choice of one of her e-books instead. Check out this gorgeous jewelry:

Now that we're done ogling, let's actually get to these robots. Take it away, Linda!

This may seem to fly off the pages of science fiction, but it’s a hot new research field and making rapid progress.
At the Toshiba booth at the Consumer Electronics show, Chihira Aico, a life-sized robot in a pink party dress with pearls, stood like a mannequin, perfectly still—at first. Suddenly, the android began to gesture wildly.
 “I can be a news reader, consultant or cheerleader!” She threw her arms up and squealed, “I can get excited!”
Chihira is a new concept for a life-like android. Her creators intend to make her seem even more expressive when interacting with humans. By adding additional motors to her joints, engineers are refining her movements to make them appear fluid while programmers work on her language processing, improving her communications skills and responsiveness.  The ultimate goal is for the robot to read human behaviors and emotions, then mimic them, thereby appearing human herself.
This complicated piece of hardware has over 40 motors in her joints to coordinate her body’s movements. Fifteen tiny air pumps on her fact control the blinking of her eyes and the opening of her mouth as she speaks. Toshiba developed Chihira under the direction of Hitoshi Tokuda, the project leader. Osaka University performed the muscle research, building on previous work on prosthetic limbs.
On-lookers thought Chihira was creepy. What do you think?
A hi-tech hotel in Japan, Nagasaki prefecture's Henn-na Hotel, opening in July will employ ten robots at the check-in counter as receptionists. If you think these humanoid androids are creepy, you might think twice about visiting this hotel. They can establish eye contact and respond to body language.
In my sci-fi romance, Love For Sale, which will be released by The Wild Rose Press on June 10, my androids are completely indistinguishable from human and are sold as companions… programmed to love. When I wrote Love For Sale, I didn’t know about the Japanese life-like robots. I don’t find them creepy but extremely interesting. I’d love to interact with a human-like android.
A recent Pew report entitled, “A.I., Robotics, and the Future of Jobs,” suggests that while it might be some time before we see a robot takeover of our workforce, we’ll be having sex with them sooner than we think. Hum. Interesting. Would you find a sentient being programmed to love you disturbing?
Thanks for having me on your blog!  I enjoyed my visit.

Buy Link: Love For Sale

Author Links:

And lastly, coming soon from Linda—Gambler's Choice from The Wild Rose Press.


  1. I don't know that I find the idea of a robot programmed to love creepy but it does seem kind of empty. Not the greatest example since the people sometimes do find love, but it almost reminds me of an arranged marriage, made for function and not passion.

    1. Diane, you won the earrings! Please contact me through my website (my email address is there on the Contact page) so that I can get shipping instructions.

  2. I think it would be fun to hang out with a robot, but not as a replacement for human interaction or romance. I don't think there is any real way to be satisfied emotionally by a robot, especially as they are now since they aren't indistinguishable from humans.

  3. Thanks Diane and Karen for stopping by! Actually, I find the current status of the android rather creepy, too. In Love For Sale, Christian is very human. I don't know. I might try it if such a being were available. Did you ever read Silver Metal Lover by Tanith Lee?

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting, Kimberly. I'm a little surprised that all the responses thought that the thought of a human-like android was disturbing. I never really thought that, but it is interesting to have others' feelings on the matter.

  5. I don't know...I do find it creepy, but I would be interested in letting one check me into a hotel just to try long as they stay downstairs. I think it would be more creepy if one brought me more towels or something!