Robot Sex Revolution

The robotics revolution is coming. In the not-to-distant future robots will completely transform our world in more profound ways than the internet did in the 1990s and 2000s. The evidence for this coming revolution have already started to develop. For example:

All of these examples represent the tip-of-the-iceberg in terms of what is currently possible. Furthermore, this does not even begin to scratch the surface of what will be possible in the 2020s and 2030s. As a result, I believe that research into the future of A.I. may be the most important area of research at the moment.

However, even if robotics technology continues to evolve at its current pace, will robots ever be conscious entities that we have real relationships with?

In a recent Aeon Magazine article, George Zarkadakis wonders whether the ultimate goal of A.I. is to create conscious machines that we can love. I will leave it for philosophers to decide whether that is our “ultimate goal” with the development of A.I. However, I do believe that we will create robotic beings that we will fall in love with. Whether or not they will actually be conscious is irrelevant.

In a recent book titled Sex and Love With Robots by artificial intelligence expert David Levy, Levy posits that this will happen by around 2050.

“Love with robots will be as normal as love with other humans while the number of sexual acts and lovemaking positions commonly practiced between humans will be extended, as robots teach us more than is in all of the world’s published sex manuals combined.”

— David Levy

Levy realistically expected that many people would have an intense negative emotional reaction to these ideas, stating that:

“It would not surprise me if a significant proportion of readers deride these ideas until my predictions have been proved correct.”

— David Levy

For the most part, I agree with Levy. In fact, my views on this issue are likely considered more extreme (or taboo) than his. In my own theory of technological evolution, I feel as though this decade will witness the complete blurring of the online and offline worlds. In the next decade (2020s), I feel as though the same will happen with the biological and technological worlds.

This blurring will include intimate relationships with robots.

Human-like robots will most likely be physically and intellectually indistinguishable from humans towards the end of the 2020s. This will inevitably spark massive societal conversations about the rights and role of robots within our society. But perhaps more interestingly, this will also inevitably lead to situations where humans will have deep personal relationships with all kinds of robots.

At first, I suspect people will view sexual partnership with robots in the same way people initially judged online dating last decade. Over a relatively short period of time, once more and more people become accustomed to the new normal, the stigma against intimate relationships with robots should disappear.

And this is why my views are probably more extreme than Levy’s. Whereas he believes these intimate relationships will develop by 2050, I think that is a ridiculously conservative estimate. By the 2030s robot-human sexual relationships will likely be quite pervasive. I suspect that these sexual relationships will range from casual sex or prostitution to long-term bonds and marriage.

Henrik Christensen, founder of the European Robotics Research Network, thinks that sex with robots is only five years away. Since he is referring to a very primitive type of robot, I pretty much agree. He stated:

“There are companies that already sell realistic sex dolls, and its just a matter of adding some electronics to them to add some vibration, or endowing the robots with a few audio responses. That’s fairly primitive in terms of robotics, but the technology is already there.””

— Henrik Christensen

Today, we have started to have conversations with robots). What happens when the mind of Watson) (or more advanced) is uploaded as software inside a robotic brain similar to the one designed by the University of Waterloo? What happens when that brain is in the body of a human-like robot not dissimilar to those that already exist today?

The conclusion may seem extreme and controversial to many. But that won’t stop it from happening. The robotics revolution is coming. And human-robot sex will be a part of that revolution.

You can find more of Cadell’s futuristic ramblings on Twitter.

Also posted via Svtble:

Related Advanced Apes content:

The Substrate of Mind

Singularity Failure

Thoughts on the Future pt. 1

Advertisements

About Cadell Last
I am a science educator, freelance science writer, and founder of The Advanced Apes based in Toronto, Ontario. In the past my academic research focused on the evolution, ecology, and behaviour of non-human primates (i.e., chimpanzees, gorillas, ring-tailed lemurs). Currently, my official blog, The Ratchet, can be found via The Advanced Apes and Svbtle. I enjoy exploring recent research in human evolutionary sciences, as well as biology, ecology, astronomy, physics, and computer science. My work has been featured in Scientific American, American Humanist, Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, and Jane Goodall Institute of Canada. I am also exploring science popularization in new mediums in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios with an animated YouTube channel. You can contact me on Twitter (@cadelllast) or via email: cadell.last@gmail.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: