Please welcome Linda Nightingale back to the blog! She’s a sister Rose (published by The Wild Rose Press), and she’s here to talk about humanoid, sentient androids. Why, you ask? Her Tomorrow’s Angels series features them. Here’s a little about it:
Mayfair Electronics has created life.
In Love for Sale, the high-tech electronics company, in black and white, offers “love for sale”. Mayfair has engineered sentient androids indistinguishable from humans. March Morgan flies to England and meets the man she has been searching for her entire life. Christian requires no programming to love March at first sight, but her past and his future soon threaten their happiness—and their lives.
In the sequel, Life for Sale, four of the Special Editions have escaped. Rebel, Christian and March are on the run, but they have a bigger problem than his creator’s plan to destroy him. They’ve discovered that one of the renegades has suffered a dangerous malfunction, threatening them with more than just exposure. March and Christian must stop the insane robot before someone else dies. All the evidence points to March being the killer’s next victim.
Now, without further ado, here’s Linda...
Toshiba builds computers, right?
To add to the pages of sci-fi happening as we speak, humanlike robots are in development that will come near to mimicking human emotions and facial expressions. These robots are in their infancy but amazing!
Recently, Toshiba introduced Junko Chihira, a very realistic humanlike android. She is 5’5”, 26 years old, and her birthday is 6/1. She works in a new tourist information center in Japan. The android speaks Japanese, Chinese, and English—handy if you work in the tourist trade.
A female android named Geminoid F stars in a Japanese film from director Koji Fukada. Sayonara premiered at the Tokyo International Film Festival.
Erika is a creation of Osaka University, Koyo University, and ATR. She was ‘born’ in Japan in 2015 (the year Love for Sale was published). When Erika is listening, she blinks and moves her eyes and head like a human. The following link is a YouTube video of Erika and a child, illustrating AI’s possibilities with children. She is pretty and interacts well. She pauses while she processes in this conversation, but her answers do not sound at all scripted but real-time.
Probably the most lifelike is the android Sophia by Hanson Robotics. Sophia has appeared on The Tonight Show as well as addressed a UN committee. She has been granted citizenship by Saudi Arabia.
Hanson boasts other robots, one designed to look like Einstein. Just a few of the many are:
In 2005, Hanson debuted Philip K. Dick II. He was designed by David Hanson as a robotic version of the popular writer of sci-fi. The original Philip K. Dick android was lost on a flight from Dallas to San Francisco in late 2005. However, in 2011 Hanson Robotics, together with Dutch broadcasting firm VPRO, developed a new version, including state of the art computer vision technology. This robot employs 36 servomotors to power a complex and wide range of facial expressions. These days, PKD serves researchers at the Apollo Mind Initiative.
Jules was activated in 2006 and debuted at the Wired Nextfest. Hanson Robotics and partner Personality Forge created Jules for the University of West England in Bristol. Still in residence at UWE, Jules incorporates a number of advanced technologies that make him an eerily realistic and conversant android, including natural language AI, computer vision and facial tracking.
From Hanson’s website: “On the tree of robotic life, human-like robots play a particularly valuable role. It makes sense. Humans are brilliant, beautiful, compassionate, loveable, and capable of love, so why shouldn’t we aspire to make robots human-like in these ways? Don’t we want robots to have such marvelous capabilities as love, compassion, and genius?”
I would. I dare say I would buy my hero Christian, if he were available and not the price of an Aston Martin.
I’ve written two books about humanoid, sentient androids in my series, Tomorrow’s Angels. Love for Sale was published in 2015 and was way beyond its time. It still is. Even with the progress made in lifelike robots, none of them are conscious or have real feelings like the Special Editions in my sci-fi romances. Love for Sale is on sale for $.99! For less than a dollar, you can meet Christian (the android) and March (his owner).
A peek between the pages of Life for Sale:
Monica moved closer to Christian, holding his gaze. “You were always your creator’s favorite…it’s rumored.”
Shaking his head, he moved away from her advance. “I didn’t hear that rumor.”
Her brows shot up, but she said nothing. Her steady gaze challenged him to deny her claim.
Was what she said true? Without Damien Wills’ help, their bid for freedom would have failed. They’d have been captured and deactivated on the spot…
Monica’s sensual yet oddly hard voice jerked him back to the ocean liner. He awoke from the memory, gazing over his shoulder at the restless sea
“Why else would Dr. Wills turn off the alarm, allowing us to escape?” Monica positioned herself in front of Christian. In a bold act, she stroked his cheek. “Did Dr. Wills tell you how perfect you are?” Her shoulders moved ever-so slightly, the gesture carnally arousing. “Every day, Stefan told me how special I was.”
March flung Monica an irritated glance. Now and then, jealousy overcame his wife. Since Monica’s appearance, now more than then. He almost laughed when she captured his hand, staking her claim and warning the sexy android to butt out.
“Looks like we have another Special Edition with an independent streak,” March commented softly—the iron fist in the velvet glove. Monica had better beware.
“I have to be independent. Fending for myself alone.” Monica swept a hand through her hair, the gesture highlighting the pert fullness of her breasts.
At his side, March tensed, a distant look in her eyes. “You don’t have to be single to be alone.”
Why was Monica II acting as if she were the only person never to have found a partner? He hated that she’d reminded March of her failed marriage and the long years she felt she’d wasted. They were silent for a long moment, each perhaps considering his or her own quest for love. Christian was relieved when Daniel spoke into the growing darkness.
“Are you that unhappy?” His brother’s voice held compassion, but something else echoed behind his question. He sounded sad as Monica felt—or pretended?
“Let’s just say my life could be fuller.” Monica turned back to the rail, staring at the black sea. “What would happen if we jumped into the ocean? Would we drown?”
Christian stiffened. “No, but don’t test it. The immersion in water might cause a short circuit that would destroy you—”
“But it didn’t—” Daniel broke off when Christian raised a warning hand.
“Why do you ask such a question?” He was concerned, angry, and more than a little worried about Monica.
Daniel joined her at the rail, placing his hands on her shoulders from behind. “We both need someone to love; someone to love us.”
“Let’s change the subject,” March’s expression showed sympathy not pique. “Do we need to change for the big Welcome Party?”
“There’s plenty of time.” Daniel pulled Monica to him and hugged her. “I’m sorry things didn’t work out for you and the pilot. You’ll find someone else.”
She patted his back. “Thanks, Daniel, but it won’t work. I’ve tried.”
March smiled. “Okay, team, our mission is to find Monica’s Mr. Right.”
“I’m in,” Christian said, and Daniel raised a hand.
Monica’s expression hardened. “I don’t think it’s possible.”
Thanks so much for joining me today, Linda. Wishing you all the best with the series!