Wanting the impossible

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In a recent book entitled Love and Sex with Robots, the British scholar David Levy has argued that relationships with robot Companions might be more satisfying than relationships with humans, a claim which I call “the greater satisfaction thesis” (GST).  The main reason Levy provides in support of GST is that people will be able to specify the features of robot Companions precisely in accordance with their wishes (which I call the total specification argument or TSA).  In this paper, I argue that TSA is wrong.  In particular, the argument breaks down when we consider certain behavioral characteristics that we desire in our partners. I illustrate my argument with a thought-experiment involving­ two kinds of robot – the FREEBOT, which is capable of rejecting its owner permanently, and the RELIABOT, which is not


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