My Lover Is a Robot: Sex and Relationships in The Age of Artificial Intelligence

The relationship between humans and robots are an issue that has aroused curiosity popular since before even to understand fully the concept of artificial intelligence. But we had never been so close to one of the more realistic we can find artificial intelligence: sex between humans and robots.

Is the possibility of sex between humans and robots real?

According to David Levy, an expert in artificial intelligence and author of Love and Sex with Robots: The Evolution of Human-robot Relationships (love and sex with robots: the evolution of relations humano-robot), the marriage with robots will be a reality by 2050 (understanding marriage as stable relationship, of course; legislation is another story). The same date estimated the mathematician and founder of Futurizon Ian Pearson: He sees it as a natural evolution from the sex online sex 3D, going through sex toys that interact with virtual reality.

Creating a robot that it is feasible to have satisfactory sexual intercourse is not so simple as it may seem in a world where technology fascinates us every day with their progress. What there is so far in the market is closer to the definition of sex toy, without a large presence of artificial intelligence in its design. To bring a sex toy robot category, we need much more than a realistic human appearance.

The experts consider that, today, the closest thing to a sex robot that are on the market is Real Doll, a set of dolls with different personalities, that you have a true legion of followers in the United States despite its price of between 5,000 and 10,000 dollars.

But a real sex robot would have to have a series of features that are very far from what can be found (and almost imagine) today: follow the gaze of the user, respond to emotions showing gestures, learn their favorite positions, interact verbally during sex and replace the emotional connection, by very small it may be, in some way between two people who have a sexual relationship.

And love?

So far we’ve talked about sex. But what about love? The rules of love are so influenced by our culture and the place and time that has touched us birth that you find us it difficult, in many occasions, see beyond the normal. If we think that interracial relationships were illegal until little more than 40 years in countries such as United States or United Kingdom, or that in many parts of the world, homosexual relationships are still punishable with the death sentence, it is easy to reach the conclusion that is the evolution of the thinking which lead to accept or not the ability to fall in love with a robot.

Everything will also depend on, obviously, technological development and How is artificial intelligence able to provide us with a robotic counterpart by which we can develop real feelings. Dr. Blay Whitby, technology Ethicist from the University of Sussex (United Kingdom), believes that robots will come to be part of our lives to such an extent that fall for them will be only one possibility. The same opinion holds Alex Garland, director of the film Ex Machina, which didn’t find nothing wrong in the possibility of falling in love of a machine.

Francesc Colom, specialist clinical psychologist and researcher with the program of bipolar disorders of the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona, believes that the first step would be reformulate the concept of falling in love. “Falling in love means intimacy, complicity and empathy. And that is only possible between two beings of the same species».

What is the role of ethics in the whole thing?

When the Japanese company SoftBank released the first robot able to read human emotions, the famous Pepper, in the middle of last year, was users signing an agreement by which they undertook not to use the robot for sexual purposes. But the emergence of the first robot for purely sexual purposes (or, rather, the first product sold under this campaign) was soon to arrive. It was TrueCompanion, launched at the end of 2015, with a slogan that was very clear that it was always willing to talk and play. It seems clear that this is only the first step in a debate that takes to reach conclusions that would satisfy all parties.

On the side of those who do not see nothing wrong in the possibility that the future will bring us relationships with robots, line up figures as Pearsons, who considered that the initial reticence will be disappearing technology evolves and allow you to connect with the robots not only from the sexual point of view, but also from the emotional.

David Levy is also optimistic. It is considered that the introduction of the artificial intelligence in the field of sexual relations can help many people with problems to maintain satisfactory interactions.

The other side is belligerent. One of the most active voices is the of Kathleen Richardson, researcher of Robotics ethics at De Montfort University in Leicester, which, along with other experts in the field, directed the Campaign against Sex Robots (campaign against sexual robots). Their arguments are focused on the idea that the development of sexual robots commodified women, in a sexualized does more than intensify the worst of the current relations between humans. Of course, on the other hand, advocates maintain that sex robots will end up with the problem of prostitution. The debate, then it is served.

Men and women… would equal? before sex robots

One of the criticisms that we have read about the possibility of introducing artificial intelligence in sexual relationships is the objectification of women. But, Why from woman and not the man? The answer, probably, is in the fact that the demand in the market and the number of prototypes in development is infinitely greater for future sexual robots of feminine appearance than male.

Although there are voices calling for equality between men and women in terms of the possibilities of future relationships with robots, it is certain that the interest of sexes is very different. Some surveys are masculine in approximately 66% interest while the female reaches just 33%.

In general, it is difficult to find information upon male sex robots. The most famous seems to be Gabrielle, although its popularity is very far from many of their homonymous female and that, as in the case of them, is much closer to the definition of sex toy / doll that’s the authentic use of artificial intelligence. It seems that we are far, especially women, that that prediction becomes a reality of Jude Law, playing Gigolo Joe in A.I., who said that “once testing a robot lover, already never you will want to return to be with a human».

The love between humans and robots in fiction

The fiction saw come love between humans and robots until the actual technology put it into practice. In addition to the aforementioned A.I. (Steven Spielberg, 2001), a good example is the series human, which now explores the limits of the interaction between man and machine as something natural. Also the Her film, in which Joaquín Phoenix falls for the operating system of your phone, interpreted by the voice of Scarlett Johansson. Perhaps the clearest example to close the trio of examples of fiction that seek to overcome the reality is Ex Machina, in which the robot Ava seduces a human to achieve their goals.

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