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Posted: 1/23/2008 12:04:42 AM EST
Carnal Knowledge: Sex with robots? Soon, he predicts
David Levy is an expert on artificial intelligence and president of the International Computer Games Association. He's one of those people who seem qualified to prognosticate on our technological future. His forecast: In a few short years nearly everyone will be having sex with robots.

I have no trouble believing that men will have sex with robots. If I had a robot I'd make it clean the bathroom and dust.

But Levy, 62, author of the recently released Love and Sex With Robots, says women will want some too. Speaking by phone from his home in London, Levy told me he got interested in this topic after reading an interview with an MIT undergraduate named Anthony.

Anthony said he'd rather play with his computer than deal with girls. That got Levy thinking about how technology could help guys like that - by providing computers that looked just like Angelina Jolie or maybe Paris Hilton.

We're already headed in that direction. Japanese and American companies, Levy says, are making some lifelike "dolls" that can command more than $7,000 (per doll, not per night).

And just recently, he says, a California company added nipple sensors "that give the appearance of enjoying the experience."

Technologically, I can see where this could go with the male dolls . . . but why bother?

Levy, however, foresees dolls imbued with artificial intelligence to give them personality and charm. The first talking sex robots, he says, could just utter a few stock phrases. ("You're huge!")

By 2050, sex robots will be able to have scintillating discussions, he says - hastening to add that for the sex part, "it won't be necessary to wait that long because clearly there are people who don't need sophisticated, intelligent conversations."

Won't guys be put off by the fake orgasm issue? Can a fake human even have a real orgasm?

Levy says I'm thinking about it all wrong.

"The robot wouldn't be faking it," he explains. "I think the experience would be quite convincing, and at the end of the day it's really what the user experiences that matters."

Is this like the so-called Turing test, devised by computer pioneer Alan Turing, in which a machine is considered intelligent if a human judge can't distinguish it from a real human in normal conversation?

Levy says yes.

He also insists that this isn't just for lonely hearts. Couples could have his-and-hers robots for when the other is away on business.

Frankly, I don't relish the thought of my man doing it with a cute girl robot. As for myself, I think I'd want to go on a few dates with a robot before having sex with it.

But could it buy me dinner?

"The robot could take part in your eating experience in different ways," Levy says. It could go to a restaurant with you and keep you company. Maybe it would pick up the check. (Indeed, he says lawyers are already working on issues such as whether robots should be allowed to earn money.)

For richer or for poorer, Levy is convinced that women and men alike will "fall in love" with robots.

"Some people will marry them."

I felt the need to call a psychologist.

Rob Kurzban, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, agreed that robosex would appeal more to men. "Women crave more tenderness in relationships," he says. "They'd need a tender robot."

Men, on the other hand, think in both long- and short-term mating strategies. And when they're in short-term mode, he says, "the perfect partner would be one you could have sex with and never have to talk to again - you could put them in the closet, turn them off and watch football." (Of course, he insists, many men want only a serious, long-term relationship.)

Rutgers psychologist and sex researcher Barry Komisaruk says he finds the entire concept of robot sex depressing.

"It's a sad commentary on where our society is going," he says. "It represents a breakdown in communication." Because you don't have to worry about a robot's feelings, there's no true human connection.

"That's not love."
Link Posted: 1/23/2008 12:06:05 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/23/2008 12:07:30 AM EST by the870isking]
Can't wait. Honestly.

I'll sell my car if I can get one that looks like Keri Sable.
Link Posted: 1/23/2008 12:09:57 AM EST
Getting married soon are ya?
Link Posted: 1/23/2008 12:11:53 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/23/2008 12:12:19 AM EST by TexasRifleman1985]
I'll pass.

Robots obey out of programming... No victory there... I can only get a sense of accomplishment, pride and satisfaction from an actual human with free will.

To put it simply... "Bring me a sammich, bitch" doesn't have the same fulfillment when its to a machine that obeys because it's made to.
Link Posted: 1/23/2008 12:19:02 AM EST
As long as I'm getting the sandwich, I'm happy.
Link Posted: 1/23/2008 12:21:43 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/23/2008 12:27:14 AM EST by vito113]
Somepnes's been watching HEAVY METAL!

Link Posted: 1/23/2008 12:52:03 AM EST
This reminds me of this movie i saw not too long ago, "Lars and the Real Girl". Guys already have dolls to love and have sex with and its sad if you ask me.
Link Posted: 1/23/2008 1:30:06 AM EST
Link Posted: 1/23/2008 1:33:26 AM EST
I am in full support
Link Posted: 1/23/2008 1:49:03 AM EST

Originally Posted By TexasRifleman1985:
I'll pass.

Robots obey out of programming... No victory there... I can only get a sense of accomplishment, pride and satisfaction from an actual human with free will.

To put it simply... "Bring me a sammich, bitch" doesn't have the same fulfillment when its to a machine that obeys because it's made to.

I don't care as long as I get a nut and a sammich.
Link Posted: 1/23/2008 1:57:21 AM EST

Originally Posted By vito113:
Some ones been watching Cherry 2000!

Fixed it for you!
Link Posted: 1/23/2008 2:14:59 AM EST
Soon!?!?!! I just finished, I gotta give it a break...
Link Posted: 1/23/2008 2:18:31 AM EST
It's high time the word "fuckbot" entered the Oxford English Dictionary. I, for one, welcome our new fuckbot overlords (er, underlords?).
Link Posted: 1/23/2008 2:24:17 AM EST
Remember Cherry 2000?

If they evolve to the point where you can't tell the difference (appearance wise) between them and the pissing-and-moaning real deal, then I'll be saving up for one of the more advanced models.
Link Posted: 1/23/2008 2:26:37 AM EST
Didn't Futurama already cover this?
Link Posted: 1/23/2008 2:29:46 AM EST

Originally Posted By adamy:
"... sophisticated, intelligent conversations."...

Why, you could satisfy that need right here in GD.
Link Posted: 1/23/2008 2:30:10 AM EST

Soon we will be having sex with robots

After reading some of the accounts of marital woes on ARFCOM, I'd say some already are.
Link Posted: 1/23/2008 2:31:39 AM EST

Originally Posted By efpeter:
Didn't Futurama already cover this?

Damn robo-sexuals!
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