by Roger Bourke White Jr., copyright July 2014
Cyber Muses will be one of the surprise uses of our up-and-coming cyber technology. These are cybers specifically designed to interact with men and stroke the instincts that a successful romantic relation with a woman normally would. Romantic relations create wonderful and powerful feelings, but they also create a lot of frustration, and when they go sour the result can be quite damaging in many ways. Cyber muses can provide the wonderful side of this relation without the frustration and risk of soured relations and woman scorned revenge. It is a neat new use of technology.
What a cyber muse is and the role it will play in our lifestyles of twenty years from now is the topic of this essay.
Cyber muses are going to be a high tech substitute for male-female and adult-child relationships. This will happen because these relations have always had a lot of frustration built into them, and in contemporary times they have become increasingly risky.
As the Women's Movement and the War on Women progress it is going to be more and more difficult for men and women to associate. Likewise, the sexual predator moral panic is making it more and more risky for adults to interact with children. In twenty years there are going to be many new ways a man can get into trouble if he spends time or attention on a women, and many new ways either can get in trouble if they spend time around children. The ways to criminally sexually harass will grow in number and diminish in threshold. The penalties for a relation going wrong will get bigger.
They are going to become so big that it will discourage many more men from trying to get into any kind of relation with a woman. Think of how expensive divorce and child support are for a man today, and amplify it. Think of how much harassment men take from Child Protective Services (CPS) for being deadbeat dads and amplify it. These efforts to "protect women" are going to make a relation with a woman more and more hazardous to a man's financial and not-being-a-criminal health. So fewer and fewer men will take the risk.
This protection is spreading beyond romance into business and other professional relations as well. This means that in twenty years a lot of male-female relations are going to become eerily like the current separation in conservative Moslem cultures of today -- women go one way, men go another.
One response on the male side will be to retreat into the "basement and video game" lifestyle. Another will be to acquire a Cyber Muse.
What will replace women in men's lives are cyber muses. As described above these are cybers specifically designed to stroke a man's romantic instincts. The men who have cyber muses are going to feel really good about their relations with them. The muses are going to be accomodating in ways women never could. Most importantly to the man, they are not going to "give their man shit" about anything their man think matters, and they are not going to cause "woman scorned" revenge damage when the relation ends.
The physical form of the muse will vary enormously. On one side will be virtual muses, on the other will be muses who are "creations" (my term for self aware robots and androids), and all sorts of styles in between these. What they will have in common is they will interact with men in familiar styles -- they will be "friends" in various forms.
The social relation can take many forms -- dominant, submissive, friendly and many others. The cybers will be very good at giving their man what strokes his instincts. One of the surprise forms of stroking is the "Behind every great man is a good woman" relation. These cyber muses will be the good women that power some men to become great successes. And, they will do this more consistently than real women can because this is what they are dedicated to doing. Note: This function is going to be very important to keeping men contributing to the community. This stimulates the Sacred Masculine (my term). If the Sacred Masculine is not stimulated then narcissistic, basement video game type, loner living patterns can easily become central to a man's lifestyle. When a man is living without the Sacred Masculine, his is on this world to consume, admire himself, and fight, not contribute in any meaningful way to the community becoming a better place.
Cyber muses are designed to stroke the owner's emotions better than humans or animals can. They can come in many shapes, sizes and personalities to do this stroking well. Here are some personality examples:
o Sex toy -- stroke the sex instinct. This is the full range of sex toy type stuff. This will be high-profile designs early on in cyber muse evolution and become the stereotype for those who criticize.
o Comfort -- related to the sex toy but not the same. This is also the "cat muse" for "cat ladies". It's more cuddly type comfort, and both sexes will get deeply into these.
o Child bot -- related to the comfort/cat lady muse concept: this one is the perfect child. This is more for women than men, but many men will like them.
o Arm candy -- designed to look good to others. Unlike the others this one is all about showing off to other people. This is stroking the "Keep up with the Joneses" instinct. Because of this show-off element, expense matters on these. They will always be expensive.
o Inspiring "Behind a great Man" -- designed to inspire the person to doing above-and-beyond accomplishments. This is one the community likes to support... except it can also produce lots of "mad scientist" type results, too.
o Rage -- This one takes the abuse when someone wants to let off steam. These can get quite creepy. This is the punching bag, the voodoo doll. It is the surrogate abused companion. An interesting twist on the abused companion scenario: It can leave and not come back until the abuser gets contrite. Contrition can be an emotion the owner wants to experience.
o Unconditional praise -- The Super Mom muse. Given all the unconditional praise spread around society already, I'm not sure how much this can add? But it will be there and doing it.
o Other emotions -- This list is just a beginning. There will be a thriving industry of figuring out new emotions and instincts for cyber muses to stroke.
This is a product for stroking deep and powerful emotions. It's hard to imagine something that can be more easily judgmentalized and abused. There will be lots of black/white/gray areas in the cyber muse arena.
o Muses will be blamed for all kinds of social ills. Someone goes on a murderous rampage? Blame their fooling around with muses!
o There will be black market muses, and black market enhancements that can be downloaded into a muse personality.
o Surveillance: This will be another hot topic in muse design: What should the muse report to authorities?
o Personality shaping: How much personality prodding should the muse do? Should it try to cure addictions? Deviant behavior? Who will decide what shaping should be attempted? As with surveillance, this will be a topic of endless discussion as they are implemented.
Cyber muses can come in any way a human can be communicated with. Video games with a stroking mission are likely to be one of the first. Muses that text and voice message are likely to follow. These are the cheap ways to implement and they will become as ubiquitous as advertising. They are, in effect, really smart advertising with good intentions.
A bit more complex and expensive are virtual faces. These will feedback their looks and talk styles to get a good response from their targeted humans.
More complex and expensive are full 3D body muses. These can range in looks and capabilities from as crude as current robot androids on up.
The most expensive and impressive looking will be the arm candy androids. These top-end models will be constantly getting better in looks and visible features because those are so important to the owners.
Behind all of the above cyber muse models will be a lot of cyber infrastructure, and there will always be a lot of worry on the part of some humans about sinister motives of that infrastructure. How those fears will be addressed, I don't know. What I do know is that the more they are addressed by being prescriptive, by making choices without lots of tolerance in mind, the more black markets will spring up to offer the forbidden fruits.
One of the goals that is likely to be built into most cyber muses is building the feeling of enfranchisement in the owner (my term). This owner should feel good about being part of the community, and not be trying to screw the community over. The more this goal is reached the more the owners are going to be in a Brave New World-style community. They are going to be happy, the community is going to be happy, and the muses are doing their part to make everyone that way.
Cyber muses are coming. They are cybers who are specifically designed to interact with humans by stroking their emotions. They are going to show up in many forms, and the emotions they stroke are going to be as varied as the range of emotions available to a human.
For some people the muses will help them achieve a lot more than they otherwise would. For many they will simply be an object of affection that the person can feel good about lavishing attention on.
Overall, these cyber muses are going to make a big difference in society's level of placidness. Those communities that embrace them will be much calmer places.