Sex robots designed to fulfill sexual desires could soon become a mainstream reality.
And yes, it’s terrifying.
This is thanks to rapid advancements in artificial intelligence, computing that enables machines to replicate human affects, and the improvements in high-tech sensors and materials. Think:-00 Bianca from Lars and the Real Girl.
It gets worse: not only will the sex robot of the future feel more like the real deal in the bedroom, they will offer emotional support and can even fall in love with you. According to artificial intelligence expert David Levy, it’s only a matter of time before we love, marry, and have sex with robots, as reported by the Toronto Star.
In fact, new research from the UK revealed that one in four people between the ages of 18 and 34 years old would happily date a robot. The only conditions are that the robot must be a “perfect match” and must look like a real human being. It’s not difficult to create that life-like perfect partner with new technology – one that’s always in the mood and is complete with an ‘off’ switch. Sex robots allow you to custom design the ideal sexual and emotional partner, complete with all your ideal traits and free of any of the potential “flaws” of a real person.
“It’s possible to develop an emotional connection to a life-like doll, and it’s our goal to take that connection to a higher level using user-customizable artificial intelligence to create unique personalities,” reads the Realbotix website.
Why settle for a flawed human, right? Shudder.
Thanks to apps that enable us to flip through people like menu options, we already live in a dating world where many focus on characteristics as opposed to connections.
Technology will be increasingly integrated into most facets of our lives moving forward, but this just takes it too far. The fusion of tech and dating is already bad enough in the disappearance of old-fashioned, organic romanc – this is next-level discouraging when it comes to the disheartening future of love and intimacy.
Creating our “ideal” partner comes with a slew of negative ramifications in relationships with real people. Creating an agreeable partner who is custom-designed to our ideal needs – in everything from accepting our bad moods and feeding our egos – could diminish the basic skills of communication, compromise, and “work” that we learn in actual human relationships.
Fostering an emotional connection with a robot could lead to an inability to both form relationships and have sex with real people.
I’m not the only one with raised eyebrows when it comes to this new, alarming technology. The whole concept of the sex robot is raising ethical, legal, and moral questions when it comes to everything from consent to human psychology. In terms of the treatment of robots, some worry about the potential for a blurring of fantasy and reality, and that sex robots could have a “video game and violence” affect when it comes to consent with a real-life person.
Aside from this, having them designed to “perfection” could mark a step back in the ever-growing body positivity movement. The concept and its adoption can make other humans feel sub-par compared to the “perfect bodied,” sexually talented robots.
One of the biggest players in the U.S. sex robot technology, Abyss Creations, is currently selling fully customizable robots that come with an overwhelming number of options, with 19 faces, five eye colours, 15 hairstyles, and – wait for it – 11 different ‘styles’ of labia. But they’re designed to do much more than offer an easy sexual release and can provide a deep emotional connection and supportive ear.
Basically, it could be possible to actually fall in love with a robot like Ryan Gosling’s character does in Lars and the Real Girl. At a time when most of us are struggling to hold on to any remaining notions of good, old-fashioned romance, this makes me nervous for the future. Not to discriminate, but could you imagine an era where campaigns for the legalization of robot marriage become commonplace?
I just can’t.
With that said, there is one realm where sex robots could indeed have a beneficial impact: prostitution. According to a recent study published in the academic journal Futures, red light districts in Amsterdam will be transformed by 2050 with the introduction of robotic sex workers. The goal is to transform a crime-ridden industry into something that’s safer (curbing human trafficking and STIs) and guilt-free. That seems to make the most sense to me.
When it comes to the integration of robots into our daily life, there is no denying that this is the wave of the future. They have and will continue to replace humans in certain professions.
But when it comes to human intimacy, love and relationships, would it be so bad to try to preserve traditional notions of connectivity rather than move further way from them?
If all this ‘bot talk had you nervous for the future, you can take comfort in the fact that it was just announced that Google will develop a “kill switch” for robots to prevent them from taking over the human race.
So there’s that.