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Turned On


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An exploration of humans, sexuality, interaction and technology through the lens of the sex robot.

About the Author

Kate Devlin is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Digital Humanities at King's College London. Having begun her career as an archaeologist before moving into computer science, Devlin's research is in the fields of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), investigating how people interact with and react to technology in order to understand how emerging and future technologies will affect us and the society in which we live. A few years ago, Kate began to explore the particular ways in which sex, gender and sexuality might be incorporated into cognitive systems such as sexual companion robots; since then she has become a driving force in the field of intimacy and technology. She has written articles on the subject for New Scientist, Prospect and i, appeared on BBC Radios 1-5, and made a number of TV appearances. @drkatedevlin


Illuminating, witty and written with a wide open mind. * Sunday Times *
A lively, waggish guide to these uncharted waters, tracing ethics, sexuality, intimacy and the uncanny. * Tatler *
A highly readable romp through the history of computers, robots and sex toys [...] A fascinating introduction to the state of sex-tech. * Science *
For fans of Humans, Westworld and I, Robot. Or anyone who's ever enjoyed a flirtation with Alexa. Devlin takes us right through the AI revolution and its potential impact on our relationships [with] a relaxed and chatty tone. * Cosmopolitan *
An engaging survey of the history of humanoids. * Financial Times *
A timely, vital treatise [...] With charm and wit she tackles thorny issues. * Wired *
An unusually cool-headed tour of the current sexbot terrain. [...] Devlin's calmer, more evidence-based middle path seems appealing, especially in an area where so much polemic has already risked deadening the nerves. * Harper's Magazine *
One of Devlin's achievements is to humanise the sex robot makers and users - we are invited not to laugh at them, but to understand them. * The Times *
Big on breadth and charm ... loaded with facts and anecdotes. * The Saturday Paper *
This brilliant book is an intelligent, clear-eyed and often very funny deep dive into the history and future of love and machinery. -- Warren Ellis, author of Transmetropolitan
After millennia of fornicating with foreign objects, the ultimate sex toy has finally arrived. Kate Devlin unpacks the very long, very dense history of the sex robot with style and wit. Spoiler alert: we haven't reached Westworld ... yet. -- Christopher Trout, Editor-in-Chief, Engadget
In Turned On, Kate Devlin - the thinking person's navigator to the complex and potentially life-enhancing terrain of the sex robot - looks at the history of AI-enhanced erotic toys, then ventures far beyond our wildest imaginings. -- Rowan Pelling, Editor of The Amorist

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