from the what-are-these-girls-you-speak-of? dept.
RealDoll, after almost 20 years of selling "the world's finest love doll," is developing an animated, robotic, artificially intelligent head that can be switched onto existing RealDoll bodies. The purpose, according to RealDoll's founder and CEO Matt McMullen, is to "arouse someone on an emotional, intellectual level, beyond the physical."
If you haven't heard of RealDoll before, the company makes expensive ($5,000-$10,000, £3,200-£6,400) but very realistic sex dolls. The dolls (which come in male and female varieties) have fully poseable skeletons, silicone skin, and are roughly the same weight and size as a real human. The dolls have interchangeable faces and orifices.
The reality that Westworld and AI imagined decades ago has arrived. What are the ethical implications? Would you be willing to use one?
In 2024 we are not yet completely inured to the latest technology — smart sex toys that track your orgasms, virtual-reality hookups, chatbot sexting — but we may be on our way. In less than 10 years' time, "app dating" became simply "dating."
Feeding, fighting, fleeing and sex — in 1958, the neuropsychologist Karl H. Pribram identified these as the four basic drives that underpin human behavior, influencing everything we do. There are thousands of apps, websites and devices for food, arguing and transportation, and maybe even more for sex.
When dating apps like Grindr and Tinder first arrived, some speculated that they signaled the dawning of a new era of technosexuality, in which our sexual and romantic lives would be mediated by machines. Now it seems quaint to worry about how online dating might shape us, not because it hasn't, but because technology has become so entwined with human desire that it's challenging to separate our sexuality — itself inextricable from what makes us human — from the technology we use to express it.
We may like to imagine a distant future where humans and robots merge in virtual realms, but it may already be here. We meet dates on our phones, watch pornography on our tablets and bicker with our partners over text.
[...] The boom in sex tech has coincided with what some have called a sex recession, the pronounced slowdown in sex for Americans that started in the 1990s. In 2024, with A.I. and V.R. creating more hyper-stimulating sensory expenses, the chasm between the sex we have online and the sex we have I.R.L. may be widening.
- The Virtual Girlfriends That Are Sweeping East Asia
- You can soon have 'sex' with Amazon's Alexa
- RealDoll is Working on AI and Robotic Heads for its Next-gen Sex Dolls