BY: DUSTIN BATTY
The next generation of sex toys for both men and women will take a huge technological leap from those that came before it. These new models will have a degree of realism reminiscent of HBO’s Westworld. From body heat to conversation, sex robots will provide many of the amenities of a flesh-and-blood partner.
RealDoll, a company based in San Diego, is now making sex robots that look so much like real people that they are being mistaken at first glance for living beings. As The Sun reports, the models currently being developed are built with heaters in them that will imitate body heat. They are also being given sensors that allow them to react to touch, providing an almost realistic experience.
Adding to the level of realism is the fact that these robots are being programmed with an artificial intelligence that not only allows them to learn a person’s preferences and better pleasure them, but also gives them the ability to carry on a conversation. According to The Robot Report, sex robots that are currently on the market “can hear what you say, speak, feel your touch, move their bodies, are mobile and have emotions and a personality.”
And they are only going to improve with time. According to Douglas Hines—the president of True Companion, a company that develops sex robots—these bots will be able to offer not only physical satisfaction, but also “unconditional love and support” by the end of the decade. True Companion already provides both male and female models that are anatomically correct and imbued with basic artificial intelligence. David Levy, an expert on artificial intelligence, says that sex robots “will have the capacity to fall in love with humans and to make themselves romantically attractive and sexually desirable to humans” by the year 2050.
Many experts are concerned that, as sex robots become more popular and more affordable, people will stop having sex with each other. Professor Noel Sharkey, the face of robotics and robot ethics in the UK, suggests that as the next generations grow up, they will have their first sexual experiences with robots. He believes that this will “get in the way of real life, stopping people [from] forming relationships with normal people.”
The early effects of this can already be seen in Japan. According to The Yale Globalist, Japanese culture is suffering from what has been called “celibacy syndrome,” a term that reflects the fact that in Japan, “61 percent of unmarried men and 49 percent of unmarried women aged 18-34 were not in any kind of romantic relationship.” Though there are other factors, the many “alternative outlets” through which Japanese youth “can express their sexuality—most notably, new forms of erotic anime, manga, and video games”—are certainly playing their part.
Mass consumption of sex robots, the most revolutionary “alternative outlet,” is expected to expand this trend around the world. A Mail Online article reported that Dr. Ian Pearson, an inventor known for his accurate predictions, thinks people will be having more sex with robots than with each other by 2050.
This reduction in inter-human intimacy will result in a drastic drop in birth rate, possibly causing the human population to decrease, as it has been in Japan in recent years. It remains to be seen how we deal with this potential threat to the continuation of our species.