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The Vision

Cyber Muses

by Roger Bourke White Jr., copyright November 2014

Cyber Muse is an up-and-coming relation between computers and humans. As computers (cyber as I call them) become more intelligent one of their uses will be to stroke human emotions. This will be like video gaming, only with more sophisticated goals than just entertaining for hours on end. Cyber will be designed to interact with human emotions first because these are relatively simple forms of human thinking, so it will be easy to design cyber intelligences that can interact efficiently with them.

As this skill is mastered, the next question becomes, "What should this invention be used for?" Answering this question will typically talk first about a "commodity use" (as I call it) where the cyber will help a human do something the human already does, but faster, better and cheaper. Using video games as an example, they help humans stay entertained faster, better and cheaper than alternatives such as nightclubbing and concert-going.

Commodity uses are important, but any invention that becomes noteworthy will then develop surprises uses as well. This second use can be described as, "Eh? You can do that with it too... Neat!" These surprise uses are much more interesting. These are the game changers. Using computers as cyber muses can be considered a surprise use.

The name cyber muse comes from the expression, "Behind every great man, there's a good woman." Realizing that women can inspire men to do great things -- and that if a cyber could provide the same kind of inspiration, this would be a wonderful benefit to mankind -- was the beginning inspiration. But my definition of a cyber muse covers many more kinds of human thinking stroking, and most are a lot simpler. Inspiration stroking will be one of the highly advanced forms.

The first cyber muses will stroke simpler and blunter emotions. The very first conventional ones will simply do video game style entertaining more elaborately than video games do. Right along with them will come those that are enhanced porn. These will stroke sexual emotions. For delight, or for outrage, cyber sex toys will be some of the parade leaders. (This is an example of a commodity use -- getting sex stimulation and satisfaction faster, better and cheaper.)

Coming out in parallel with sex toys will be comfort toys -- "cute kitten" cyber. These will comfort those who are sick, those who are lonely, and others who need caring. Cyber muses will take the place of cats, comfort pets and emotion therapists. For those who are just lonely, not sick and lonely, these muses will take the place of visiting tea houses and Starbucks just to see other people.

Following shortly behind the comfort muses in development will be "arm candy" cyber -- those which are designed to comfort by being on display. These cybers are stroking the "Keep ahead of the Joneses" emotion. This is comforting for the aspiring Donald Trumps of the world.

More complex will be muses for those who want to support a cause and "rail against The Man". Related will be those that help young adults party hearty -- lots of enthusiasm but no cause needed. These will be hedonistic muses.

And there will be cyber muses for those who want to do child raising without the grief side of that activity -- this is a more sophisticated version of the cute kitten muse mentioned above.

Some of the more difficult to design will be those that inspire science and entrepreneurial success. The stroking that successfully powers these kinds of thinking are a subtle mix to figure out.

Getting quick, predictable results and avoiding grief will be the two biggest benefits people see for using the cyber muses. The grief can be either the monotonous and grinding kind such as changing diapers, or the surprisingly deep grief and disastrous outcomes that can happen when complex and committed relations such as marriages go sour. Avoiding "the scorned woman" pitfalls and child molestation accusations are two places where cybers can do a lot to reduce relation risk, for men in particular.

Building Community Enfranchisement

Cyber muses will start as toys for the wealthy, but as experience is gained in building and programming them, they will become affordable for everyone. "Everyone" will include all those humans acclimated to the TES-environments that will be ubiquitous in 2050. One of the big roles for muses in the TES environment is keeping humans feeling enfranchised -- feeling like they are an important part of their community. Stroking enfranchisement is going to be a moderately tricky muse skill to develop, but an important and widely used one once it is developed.

This skill will support both the Sacred Masculine and the Sacred Feminine (my terms) and in so doing keep their humans relatively crime-free and satisfied with their lot in life.

The Origins of Cyber Muses

Computers have had a profound effect on some kinds of human thinking ever since they have become interactive. Reading the results coming off a card punch machine produces limited excitement, but "Space War" and "Doctor/ELIZA" -- both real time interactive programs -- date back to the 1960's and both could entertain some people for hours on end.

This interest in playing for long time periods indicates they were stroking instinctive elements of human thinking, and this makes them the primitive forebearers of what will become cyber muses in our near future.

In my definition cyber muses are computers which are designed to stroke human thinking. This is a much broader definition than that for the classic inspirational muse. How the muses stroke thinking will be quite varied. The muses can be purely programs, like today's video games, or they can be inhabiting tangible bodies which can range from robot-looking (in the contemporary sense) to more and more human looking and feeling (as in, androids) as cyber design skill grows. The classic muse definition form -- the "Ah-hah! I feel like creating!"-style of stroking -- will be a late and sophisticated evolution of the cyber muse concept.

My Muse Experiences

I've had two memorable muse experiences in my life. The first was with my first girlfriend. I met her early in my senior year in high school in 1965. I dated her, we went out for dinners and movies. I took her back to her place and we'd watch some late night TV with her sitting in my lap, and then I'd go home. Nothing much sexy happened -- she'd slap my hand when I tried to fondle her -- but boy I was enjoying what did happen! She inspired me, and the result was a full letter uptick in my grades for senior year. As a result I got on the waiting list to get into MIT, but didn't make it... that time.

Then life events intervened. I went off, first to college, then into the army, and she found another guy that her parents liked better. I got a "Dear John" letter while I was in Basic Training, and that turned out to be it for that relation. (She married that other guy a year or two later.) I was without muse, and soon after facing a year in Vietnam. And after that life went on. (And I did get into MIT.)

The second muse came to me in the 2000's while I was teaching in Korea. She was a beautiful and smart lady from Malaysia who wanted to teach English while she was studying at a university in Suwon. She wanted to, I wanted her to, the school owner wanted her to... but the Korean government said, "No. She's not from an approved English-speaking country." Ah well.

But while that was being decided upon she and I spent some time together. She was fun to talk to, and she paid attention to what I was saying. My karma soared while I was around her. It said, "If you can hitch up with her, you will have a million babies and they will all be healthy, happy geniuses." And I got inspired to do a lot of Baron Rostov writing. I even wrote a song for one of my stories. Sadly, this relation did not last more than a few weeks. We talked, I wanted to do more than talk, but she didn't, and I couldn't convince her otherwise. We broke off; it ended quickly and completely; I was again without muse.

What these have in common was:

o In both cases the muse effect came as a surprise.

o The relation had exciting potential but did not evolve into something intimate. It was mostly about talking, plus some dinner and movie going.

o The woman showed a lot of interest in what I had to say.

One other point of interest: my most memorably romantic relation did not produce a memorable muse effect. I was sure interested in the woman, and she was sure interested in me, and we did do a lot of cuddling when weekends came. But I don't recall that relation leading to my producing anything bigger and better in my creative life.

In sum, when the creative muse happens in real life is surprising, and this means that designing a cyber muse that can get consistently impressive results out of her man in this way is not going to be easy. On the other hand, designing one that can be part of a heated romance will be a lot easier, so, as pointed out above, this style will likely come first.

Further Reading

It is coming already. This 20 Jan 15 Mail Online article, Nearly half of Japanese adults are not having sex: Fatigue and lack of interest blamed as birth rate continues to slide by Sara Malm, talks about how Japanese men are already doing a lot with virtual girlfriends instead of real ones.

From the article, "In 2013, a BBC Documentary called "No Sex Please, We're Japanese" looked into the declining rate of sex in Japan.

The show explored the emergence of young Japanese straight men preferring virtual relationships to actual real-life women.

'Why would you get into something as messy, as troubling, as disorienting as a relationship when you could have a virtual girlfriend, a virtual experience, that maybe is even superior to the reality?,' one young man, Roland, says in the documentary.

'I do know a number of men in Japan who use the role play games, the dating SIMS, even advances in pornography, and would rather experience the opposite sex that way than go through the challenges of relationships.'

Roland added that the modern Japanese woman 'find men wanting' and that the new generation want independence before settling down."

 

From Youtube, this is how far we have come already Japanese Robot Girl Can Do Anything For You!

 

--The End--

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