Will sex robots be the end of us all? The idea of robots eventually taking over the planet and/or subjugating humanity has to start somewhere, and, apparently, the final takedown will occur where humans are most vulnerable -- through sex. According to one expert, the availability, and proliferation of sex robots could eventually lead to a state where humans are having less and less sex with other humans, decreasing the population, and one day, ending humanity.
The Daily Express reported recently that leading Swiss sex researcher Oliver Bendel, speaking at the second annual Love and Sex and Robots Conference at Goldsmiths, University of London, told the gathering that the prevalence of sex robots could have a collective physical effect on their human partners that could lead to the end of the human race. He suggested that machine ethics needed to be in place prior to the proliferation of sex robots due to their ability to do considerable harm to individuals as well as the entire race. Bendel said he wanted ethical guidelines already in operation before sex robots became a sexual norm so that, ultimately, they don't "f**k us to death."
"If the machine over-exerts the human, it reduces the possibility of human sex."The more frequent use of sex robots, the researcher pointed out, would lead to the decrease and even the increase in lack of desire for human contact and intimacy. In short, there would be, over time, less and less sex between humans. Bendel argued that the virtual reality sex market would make matters worse, especially with more and more people spending time having virtual sex with constructs in fictional realities.
Bendel's scenario of over-sexed humans conjures up the scene from the 1983 movie Brainstorm, where researchers have developed a way of recording an individual's experiences through their brain. Others can re-experience the original thoughts, acts, and sensations of the initial experiencer. In one dramatic scene, Academy Award-winning actor Cliff Robertson is found in cardiac arrest after he has put a couple's sexual encounter on a feedback loop.
Bendel said decline in sex between humans would lead to a decrease in the birth rate. Over time, this would only get worse.
As for the virtual sex market, that market is here. Unilad reported in February that Eos, which was taking pre-orders for their virtual reality "controller," had to suspend their account at crowdfunding website Indiegogo for a number of weeks due to being swamped with orders for their VirtualDolls device.
William Spracklin, Eos founder, said his virtual game/sex toy (Unilad described it as a "vibrating fleshlight") was an "adult game controller where touch and feedback are taken to the next level."
With the VirtualDolls simulator, users engage in various sex games and missions where, once accomplished successfully, end with the user having virtual sex. For those not into the hassle of games and missions, there is also a "virtual brothel," where the user can simply choose a virtual reality female with which to have sex.
Just two months later, Japanese tech company Tenga set off an internet firestorm with its video of a virtual reality sex robot suit that depicted an individual garbed in a full body suit and virtual reality glasses called the Full Body Virtual Interface. The Mirror reported that the "sex suit" was outfitted with sensors, and a "masturbation aid" is placed over the wearer's penis. The user then experiences simulated sex with a virtual reality partner whose movements are synched to the sensors and the aid. To add to the simulation, there are also breast-like aids for the user to touch to complete the overall experience.
And the technology for the more believable sex encounter with a robot is getting more advanced all the time. Robotics expert David Levy wrote in the Daily Mail in October that sex robots with the ability to converse and actually respond to an individual's touch would become commercially available in 2017.
"This coming wave of sex robots will be human-like in appearance and size," Levy wrote. "They will have human-like genitals. And they will allow intercourse according to their owner's sexual orientation and tastes."
That particular variety of sex robot, complete with "warm genitalia," is being developed by Abyss Creations in California.
Oddly enough, Oliver Bendel, for all his warnings about the possible end of the human race by being collectively oversexed, encouraged the use of sex robots. Given the number of individuals unable to enjoy regular sexual relationships (for any number of reasons), there will undoubtedly be a market. The concern, as Bendel has warned, is that the lack of ethical constraints, the availability, and the potential for artificially intelligent robots to have sex to the detriment of the human partner.
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