Her: ScarJo: The Woman, The Actress, The Operating System

Scarlett Johansson is notorious for playing characters outside of her race, but in Spike Jonze’s 2013 movie Her, she takes it to a whole other level. She plays Samantha, an unbelievably human-like operating system who falls in love with a human named Theodore, played by Joaquin Phoenix. After pondering the mechanics of an operating system-human relationship, Gabe and Aliza talk about what virtual girlfriends look like in 2019, from sex robots to girlfriend apps. 

While the girlfriend apps on iTunes are a bit underwhelming, sex robots are anything but. On the contrary, they’re incredibly advanced, costing at least $10,000 and taking a few months to make. Every single sex robot is custom built and their conversational abilities are surprisingly impressive. For example, robots from Roxxxy TrueCompanion can ask people about their personal preferences and remember them in future conversations. And like a real woman, the robots aren’t always in the mood, if you catch our drift. Gabe and Aliza also talk about the psychological impact of dating inanimate objects or softwares, which can actually be positive and improve social skills. Like anything else though, this technology is best used in moderation.

Time Stamps 

  • Gabe and Aliza introduce the movie, 2013’s Her and it’s characters and recap the plot (0:50) 
  • Discussion of the movie’s tech begins with real virtual girlfriend apps, My Invisible Girlfriend, My Virtual Girlfriend, and other apps available for iOS and Android  (6:17)
  • What do psychologists say about these apps that simulate being in a relationship? Spoiler: they can help people with social disorders or anxiety, but ultimately they can’t replace people (16:00)
  • Discussion of sex robots begins with discussion of this new $30 billion industry (17:00)
  • Deep dive into Roxxxy TrueCompanion, a sex robot company that makes robots that can actually move and get to know their “owners” (18:45) 
  • Discussion of Rocky, a male sex doll from the same company, and whether or not it’s healthy to have a sex robot (23:00)
  • Should an operating system as advanced as Samantha exist? (24:00)
  • The titular question, “are we in the future?” is answered {(26:00)

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