With the exponential increases in information and technology, the creation of sentient artificial intelligence is a matter of time. I don’t believe that the creation of robots is problematic in principle. But it seems likely that robots will follow the frequently occurring pattern of technology in society. The VCR triumphing over the Betamax, the digital camera coming home for personal use, and even the rise of the Internet: all of these have been driven by our sexual urges. As CNN reported, “Whenever there’s a new content platform, the adult-entertainment industry is one of the first to adopt it — if they didn’t help create it in the first place.”
An inspection of our present sexual mores reveals that we have long since disavowed ourselves of the idea of waiting for marriage to engage in sex. The trend is now promiscuity rather than to chastity. For a trend to penetrate political life, the music industry, art, fashion and taste it must be thoroughly mainstream, and these days you would be hard-pressed to not experience sex references several times a day. In this sex-crazed society, we seem to want to alter our sexual boundaries further. Having successfully removed emotional attachment from sex, we now seek to remove humanity from a human experience. Enter sexbots: artificial life forms designed to fulfill our every desire, without the fuss and muss of a relationship with a human.
This is not a new desire: From Dr. Frankenstein marveling at his “modern Prometheus” to Rotwang’s ominous designs for his machine-man, humans have long been enthralled by the possibility of emotional relationships with their technological creations. And in the twenty-first century, the fantasy has begun to become reality: robotic girlfriend Roxxxy TrueCompanion was unveiled at a Las Vegas’s Adult Entertainment Expo in 2010. She’s 120 lbs, 5-foot 7-inches and has four programmable personalities ranging from Wild Wendy to Frigid Farrah. She can also respond to simple conversation with prerecorded messages — though Roxxxy’s reason for existence is not conversation but pleasure. North of the 49th parallel there is Aiko, a Japanese-Canadian robot that can move and make conversation. Though her creator, Le Trung, claims that she was not built with prurient intentions, he admits that it’s one possible use of the technology; Aiko is, as Trung puts it, “fully functional.”
Given the evidence, sex with robots is almost certainly a part of the future. Gone will be the days that you had to put effort or feeling into sex. What was once considered a binding ritual between human beings is converted into meaningless pleasure with a being programmed to conform to your every whim. What remains is to decide whether this is good, or bad for humanity.
Of course, not everyone believes human-robot relationships are inevitable: some people believe that humans could never develop sexual feelings towards machines, but the sex-bots that already exist certainly prove the contrary. Still others counter the argument that these sex-bots will be able to fulfill sexual desires that people are unable or unwilling to perform by pointing out that we already have sex workers who are willing to serve exactly that purpose. Yet while sex-bots may be unnecessary, it’s undeniable that our fascination with them remains strong. Which leads one to wonder: if humans can have a relationship with a mechanical object that complies with our every whim, what incentive will we have for a normal human relationship?
Presumably, it will be easier to have a robot companion than a human one. According to the UK documentary “My Sex Robot,” by the year 2050, most men will either be screwing or married to a sexbot because “you can not catch a disease from her, she cannot say no to you, she’s always willing to please you.” All this makes a girl think that perhaps Ira Levin’s “The Stepford Wives” may not have been so far off the mark — but then who’s to say it won’t be the ladies jumping ship first? After all, a male sexbot isn’t going to leave his underwear all over the floor.