Like it or not, the robots are coming and they are here to stay. Take over the world, even. They have slowly crept into our world under the guise of Artificial Intelligence and we use them everyday without even thinking – phones, computers, they even fly us across the world. But use human-looking sexbots for our own sexual gratification? We’re already doing that. Apparently, one in four Americans now have sex with a cyborg.
Yup. Posable, impossibly perfect looking synthetic dolls now come complete with sexual gyrations, pre-programmed personalities and hell, they even have heartbeat. While some of you might think the sex-bots are just another fabulously advanced sex toy (and they’re not cheap, starting at £4,909), other may feel a tad creeped-out or slightly depressed it has come to this. Or, to quote a famous movie line, “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” What does it say about us as humans? How will it affect us down the line? Do men and women view this differently?
However, few people have given as much thought these confusing ethical conundrums as Imperial College’s Dr Hutan Ashrafian. He’s published several fascinating reports on the subject and the BBC recently spoke to him abut the potential pitfalls of participating in hanky panky with an cyborg.
“If you look at the history of mankind, our technological advances have mostly been driven by healthcare, war, and sexual consumption. The internet was created as a military application but one of the biggest drivers of the technology, from its earliest days, has been sexual activity.
“With robots, there’s every probability we’ll soon create robots with human-like consciousnesses that can interact with us on several levels, including sexually. It’s not going to be tomorrow, but we’re getting there, and that creates many ethical dilemmas, in terms of how we interact – sexually and otherwise – with them.”
“Should people be able to sleep with robots? If you have these robots with human-level consciousness and you’re using them for sex without their consent, that’s a slippery slope for mankind, and, I would suggest, dangerous. It’d be dangerous not only for the robots themselves, but for us as humans, as a reflection on our society.”
And is it considered cheating to sleep with a robot? “If the robot has a human-level consciousness, and it’s able and willing to give consent to a sexual relationship, then yes, sleeping with a robot would also be classed as adultery.”
So, will robots eventually edge us out of society? Could we turn up at a date to find a walking talking sex machine awaits us? Last year, both Bill Gates and Stephen Hawking came out with warnings as to how far society should be taking robotics. “Once robots have reached the level of sentience whereby they know who and what they are – and they feel a “self” – it’s a whole new society. It’s a whole new (west) world….”
Eeek. Let’s hope they specifiy ‘Robot’ on their online dating profile…
What do you think about it all? Tell us @Lovestruck