It’s only a matter of time for humans to start making love with robots, at least according to a book author and entrepreneur.
David Levy, author of "Love and Sex and Robots," predicts it just takes one popular figure to proclaim having had “fantastic sex” with a robot and “you’ll have people queuing up from New York to California.”
“If you’ve got a robot that looks like a human, feels like a human, behaves like a human, talks like a human why shouldn’t people find it appealing?” said Levy, also the CEO of Intelligent Toys Limited.
According to Levy, the prospect of romancing a robot has generated a huge amount of interest since the publication of his book in 2007, and that it would not take long for a sophisticated sex robot to enter mainstream consciousness.
For him, it’s a question of how long it will take until before the artificial intelligence gives rise to robots that can engage in “interesting and entertaining conversations.”
Levy, along with Adrian Cheok, director of the Mixed Reality Lab and chair professor of Pervasive Computing at City University London, will head the second international congress on Love and Sex with Robots this November in Malaysia.
Academics worldwide will gather at this event to discuss the legal, ethical, and moral issues surrounding the subject, including the matter of “teledildonics” and “humanoids.”
The current market is already testing and offering robotic sex dolls, including one made by California-based company Abyss called RealDoll.
While the likes of Levy believe that sex with robots will address unsatisfactory relationships, ward off pedophiles, and help “fill a big void” in human lives, some robotics ethicists and experts have a different opinion.
Dr. Kathleen Richardson, senior research fellow at De Montfort University, partnered with fellow robotics ethicist Dr. Erik Billing to launch Campaign Against Sex Robots to initiate a discussion on the inequalities that sex robots perpetuate and whether people want to “contribute to this development.”
Richardson warns that with the widespread use of sex robots, more complications and distortions will beset “an already distorted relationship” and the human ability for empathy will be ruined.
Levy, however, maintains that there will be individuals who prefer robots to humans, although he adds the majority will still likely choose real human relationships.
Robots are now being used for a variety of functions, from simple household chores to “intellectual” tasks such as in medical services and aerospace.
Photo: Michael Coghlan | Flickr