That at least some of us will be having sexual intercourse with robots in the future should be obvious by now. Somebody out there will make love to just about any consumer good that enters the home (and if that’s not the first rule of product design, it should be).
But will our robot-human relations be relegated to the bedroom, or will love enter the equation, too? Is our society headed in a direction that will support this transition? Looking at current trends, I’d say that the answer is a resounding yes.
For most, contemplating the prospect of robot sex is immediately distasteful. The mind conjures up alchemists’ combinations of rubber and silicone and, I don’t know, hair follicles. It is hard to dismiss that slack-jawed, shark-eyed stare of love dolls, their pale arms covered by gummy, petroleum-product skin.
But those aren’t the siren love robots of the future. Realistic skin, the ability to make eye contact, faux breathing (to avoid that “walking human corpse” feel), convincing conversational skills, dexterous manipulation of objects, and the ability to not walk through sliding glass doors—we can assume that these things will be attainable within the next few decades.
I’m going to have to put aside my usual pragmatism here for moment so that I can say “eeeeeewwwww”.