Saturday, February 25, 2012

Dawn of the sexbots

I am about to take us into dicey territory here but I believe it is germane to the blog.

Remember Pris from Blade Runner?  Of course you do.  She was the replicant who was the "standard pleasure model" for the offworld colonies.   I was unaware of this (honest) but it appears that our society is drawing nearer and nearer to actual Pris models...even if not quite as lifelike.

The sexbots are here.  Customizable, anatomically correct, robotic girlfriends with programmable personalities.  That's right.  Dress them up in costumes and everything.  The sexbot described in the link, named "Roxxxy", is even Wi-Fi enabled so that you can go online, alter what you don't like about the bot's...uh..."performance," and then download the updates.  What brought on this questionable innovation, aside from base urges that is?  Uh, would you believe "terrorism?"  Here's what Popular Science says:

"Oddly enough, the inspiration for Roxxxy stems from the September 11 attacks, during which artificial intelligence engineer and Roxxxy inventor Douglas Hines lost a close friend. An attempt to preserve that friend's personality forever laid the groundwork for what later became Roxxxy's AI. Costs for the robots range from $7,000 to $9,000 depending on features, as everything from hair and skin color to bra cup size is customizable. As for the ladies out there wishing to create the perfect male, remember, patience is a virtue; a male version dubbed Rocky is already in the works."

Good to know that they're at least being fair.

One of my best friends once managed a local adult gifts and lingerie boutique.  Or as we call it, a "lingeree booty-q."  He told me once about full torso mannequins with correct genitalia that were composed almost entirely of surgical latex.  That means it's the closest thing to the feel of human skin without being the real thing.  Soaking the device in hot water only helps to complete the tone or so it is said.  Those models, however, were not capable of motion and they certainly didn't have AI.  In light of these new...uh, "advancements," what will this mean?

First of all, you Kip Haggis neo-Luddites can chill.   I highly doubt that people will ever stop doing the face-to-face real thing.  Actual mental interaction during the act beats any kind of AI out there.  For now.  If these "sexbots" can one day perform on a truly human level, would prostitution become obsolete?  Why take the chance of getting arrested or getting killed in a seedy part of the city when you've got the real thing on stand-by at home?  For men or even women who partake in relationships only for the sex, this could revolutionize things.  Why bother bandying about in the trenches of actual relationship work just to engage in coitus?  A Blade Runner-like pleasure model of the sort that Roxxxy embodies will never yell at you for leaving the cap off of the toothpaste or complain that "we never go anywhere" or want to know "where do you see our relationship heading?"  From this male's point of view, it definitely has a few merits.

Another question arises.  Is sex with a sexbot even sex at all?  I mean, does it "count?"  Or is it in that gray area that Bill Clinton hid in for a time?  What happens in a marriage if a man...or woman...brings home a sexbot and argues, "'s just for times when you don't want to do it."  Yet the sexbot can give that person every single thing they could want in a partner.  Will bots start breaking up marriages?

Short answer: I don't know.  Again I must stress, I can't see androids ever taking the place of real people in terms of meeting emotional needs in a relationship.  That is of course, not until fully aware AI comes about.

Follow me on Twitter: @Jntweets


  1. relevant to the conversation, and brought to you by the Spacepope...

  2. Oh bra-vo! Excellent tie-in.
    You're right. I'd hate to hear what Rick Santorum would say about this. He would regulate our private lives the way that extreme liberals would mitigate our right to own firearms. Talk about "big government."