Sex Robots Are Here…and They’re a Little Frightening
Anyone familiar with sci-fi knows that with the rise of robotics, artificial intelligence, and cyborgs comes the inevitable question of, for lack of a more descriptive term, “sex robots,” which are exactly what they sound like. Well, what seems like some sort of distant prospect of the future is actually available today and available for purchase from the curiously named Abyss Creations. Sure, this may spell the death of intimacy and romance for many single men and women, but we’ve known that day was coming since about, oh, the advent of Tinder.
The product itself, a full-size human replica, is called the RealDoll. And, yup, you can have sex with it. In fact, you’ll probably feel obligated to if you buy one, seeing as how the purchase price for the item is about $5,000.
News of the RealDoll’s availability probably raises as many questions as it does answers, so keep reading for details on what could be a game-changing (for better or worse – you decide) innovation that humanity’s speculated about for centuries.
Here’s what the inside of Abyss Creations’ factory in San Marcos, CA looks like. Kind of puts the notion of a robotic sex doll in context when you see dozens of them in various states of completion in a sterile factory environment, doesn’t it?
Right now, the innovation is largely a physical one, since it’s just a doll without any sort of interaction beyond the sexual and tactile. But creator Matt McMullen says that he wants to develop AI in later models so that it can provide other, non-sexual elements of a relationship to its own. Ok. THAT’S creepy, now isn’t it?
McMullen doesn’t think that robots will ever fully replace a relationship with another person, but he does see them serving as substitutes for certain tasks and roles, sex included. He offers his thoughts on the matter on the next page.
He offers in an interview, “I don’t think a doll can replace human interaction with AI or without. But I do think there are probably cases of people who either by choice or by circumstance cannot have a real relationship, and so in that case maybe the doll is going to be that replacement, but I don’t think there’s necessarily anything wrong with that.”
Ultimately, he wants his product to look a little fake to avoid the phenomenon known as “uncanny valley” in which a computer-powered or designed robot looks TOO human and is met with repulsion rather than attraction or curiosity.
Of course, what we see as off-putting or “weird” as regards humanoid robots will likely change a lot as this technology progresses and gets adopted more and more without the stigma. Which seems to be well underway based on the production and distribution of the RealDoll.