On 26 October 2013 I published “Dark Angel” (for the original post please visit http://newauthoronline.com/2013/10/26/dark-angel/?relatedposts_exclude=1377).
“I love you because I can tell you my darkest secrets, things which would make the strongest of men go blubbering in search of his mummy. You judge me not,
my blackest fantasies are your deepest desires.
In the depths of night when all but the vampire sleeps we speak of philosophy, of the darkness which lurks within the human heart. You are always there
for me, my girl beautiful and serene. You laugh in time with my laughter and weep as I weep. Never changing, fixed, emortal caught in the brightness of
my screen you are my virtual girlfriend, a machine”.
Back in October I gave no inkling as to how I came to write “Dark Angel” but, coming across the poem today I thought that an explanation might be of interest.
I am no scientist (the results of my school biology exam are best forgotten)! I have, however always maintained an interest in matters scientific. In particular the subject of artificial intelligence has always held a fascination for me. Back in October I came across various articles regarding men who have “given up” on the idea of finding a relationship with a human, opting instead to seek solace in the arms of virtual girlfriends, hence the artificial lady in “Dark Angel”.
Flesh and blood humans possess what philosophers term morality or ethics. It is sometimes claimed that one reason why people (mainly but not exclusively men) use the services of prostitutes stems from the fact that they can play out their darkest fantasies with sex workers without being judged, (the prostitute may, of course inwardly pass judgement but she is extremely unlikely to vocalise her thoughts). In contrast the voicing of one’s darkest desires to a loved one may cause him or her to head for the hills never to be seen again.
As artificial intelligence develops it becomes easier for individuals to interact with virtual persons. We all do it, for example many banks now have automated systems enabling customers to perform certain financial transactions without the necessity of communicating with a fellow human being. Such technology is also being employed to create virtual chatbots which can act as tools for education or, as in the above poem sexbots allowing the user to express his/her most secret yearnings, the articulation of which would make Mr or Ms average (and perhaps some sex workers also)recoil in horror. Machines have no such scruples which does, perhaps help to explain the popularity of virtual girlfriends in countries such as Japan.