A sexy robot could be in your future.
By 2050, if you don’t have a sex robot, chances are your neighbor will.
In less than 15 years, humans will be having emotional and casual sex through virtual reality (VR), at least that’s the opinion of futurologist Ian Pearson as reported in online magazine Breitbart.
In the meantime, as scientists and programmers figure out artificial intelligence (AI) of these robots to make them socially interactive, others are debating the ethics of this new development to satisfy a basic human need.
Human sexuality and intimacy with robots were discussed at Thursday’s The Human Choice and Computers Conference in Salford, UK.
A contingent of those opposed to robot sex, the Campaign Against Sex Robots, maintain that AI contained in a humanlike synthetic body would never substitute the need for a person’s relationship and intimacy. There are even calls for sex robots to be banned.
Dr. Kathleen Richardson, a senior research fellow in the ethics of robotics at De Montfort University in Leicester, UK, and who heads the campaign told Sky News, “One of the first impacts of something like sex robots would be to increase human isolation because once you try to tell people that they don’t need other human beings anymore, one of the consequences of that is more isolation.”
However, such a ban might be interpreted as denying rights to technology for someone who could benefit from it. Such a person may be anti-social, have sexual phobias or have a medical problem.
In December, the second International Congress on Love and Sex with Robots will be held in London to discuss topics such as roboethics. The event will be for academics and industry professionals to share thoughts on human-computer and human-robot interactions.
Unlike today’s unemotional sex toys, it’s predicted robotic sex partners will be an important part of someone’s life by engaging with that person through AI. “There’s not just going to be two models on the market, you’re going to be able to pick robots where you can customize their appearance…they’ll be customizing the appearance of that so that they find it attractive,” Pearson told Breitbart.
From ethical and social standpoints, questions arise on whether regular human relationships will become less important. Pearson told Breitbart, “I don’t have any reason to expect that people won’t still want human partners, I don’t think we’re gonna just have sex with robots. It’ll be very much human relationships I think that still dominate, people will still prefer humans.”
Curated by Erbe