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Artificial Intimacy

Virtual friends, digital lovers and algorithmic matchmakers

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People have long told machines what to do by pushing buttons. Now, with advances in technology, machines are pushing our buttons.

In Artificial Intimacy, evolutionary biologist Rob Brooks takes us from the origins of human behaviour to the latest in artificially intelligent technologies, providing a fresh and original view of the very near future of human relationships.

Sex dollbots, digital lovers, virtual friends and algorithmic matchmakers help us manage our feelings in a world of cognitive overload. Apps can sense when users are falling in love, when they are fighting, and when they are likely to break up. These machines, the ‘artificial intimacies’, already learn how to exploit human social needs. And they are getting better and faster at what they do.

So how will humanity’s future unfold as our ancient, evolved minds and old-fashioned cultures collide with twenty-first-century technology?

Fantastic: funny, informative and very, very timely.’ — Kate Devlin, author of Turned On

‘In this fascinating exploration of the past, present and future of sexuality, Rob Brooks shows how new technologies can expose ancient features of human nature.’ — Steven Pinker, author of How the Mind Works

‘… a great example of how to use an evolutionary perspective on human nature to illuminate an emerging, evolutionarily unprecedented area of modern human life.’ — Steve Stewart-Williams, author of The Ape that Understood the Universe

‘The AI we need to fear is, as Brooks rightly predicts, Artificial Intimacy not Artificial Intelligence. Get ready for machines to hijack our emotional lives. Indeed, read how they already are starting to do so.’ — Toby Walsh, author of 2062: The World that AI Made

‘Witty, accessible, always fascinating but surely contentious, this is popular science that will appeal to readers of Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens.’ — Books + Publishing