The next generation of artificially intelligent cybernetic companions will bring about a Westworld-style future where some people will actively choose robotic partners over real humans.
Engineers, experts, scientists and philosophers gathered at the Free University of Brussels this week to discuss how we get from here to there, and how we should deal with those huge, far-reaching changes.
Daily Star Online recaps here the major talking points from the 4th International Conference on Love and Sex With Robots. Italian philosopher Maurizio Balistreri asked whether humans could ever love robots, and if they could, would the robot ever be said to love them back?
He envisaged a future generation of sex robots that will look less and less “robotic”. He said: “Robots will also start to imitate the physical appearance of humans in a more convincing manner and become ever more ‘humanoid.’ Their skin will be soft and endowed with numerous sensors that make it sensitive to touch, with a heating system to keep it at a natural temperature.
“Their behaviour will also become more realistic…we can believe they reciprocate our affection. “They will not only listen to us but they will be able to sustain conversation and be responsive to our smiles.
“At this point, many people may find it hard to resist their appeal: the robots would actually give everything and ask for nothing in exchange. For some, it could be the ideal love.” He went on to speculate whether, once robots are “perfect” companions that never upset us, they will come to replace other humans in our emotional life altogether.
Meanwhile mathematician and scientist Rudolf Arnold focused on the human side of sex technology. Teledildonics, the technology of connecting sex toys via the internet for remote erotic play, is to him an important part of mankind’s interconnected future.
He discussed “Play Me” – a new device consisting of a tiny pneumatic anal probe connected to a pressure sensor and a bodysuit with integrated vibrators. The device would enable people separated by geography or, perhaps, disability to share intense sexual experiences. He explained: “When both partners are wearing the devices, a real-time exchange of emotions and corporeal feelings is possible.”
Leonardo M Gomes exhibited a similar touch-sensitive system called TouchYou which, he said, in combination with actual sex robots explored “the concept of using the body as a remote sex interface.”
Finally, Eleanor Hancock discussed the emergence of a feminist movement against sex robots – Kathleen Richardson’s Campaign Against Sex Robots.
Hancock argued that radical feminists are wrong when they refuse to accept Sex Robots and Sex-technology, a point echoed by Alice Fox who suggested that the spread of sex robot brothels may provide more help to sex workers and sex trafficking victims than any other strategy employed in the last 100 years.
SOURCE: News 24/7, YouTube