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Fix of the Future - addiction to robot sex

Catch Team | Updated on: 5 September 2016, 22:52 IST

It's basic instinct, except with more complicated consequences. That robots are increasingly being developed into human droids that can satiate carnal desires of people in the very near future, is a already scary reality .

Now, there's some more bizarre news to make you wonder about where humanity is really heading - an American research fellow from Kirkwood College, Joel Snell, has said that sex with robots might spiral into a dangerous obsession. Since it's a robot and well, won't tire easily, people might become seriously addicted to it.

Hardcore hardware

Is your partner not feel ing up to it because they have a headache? Robots don't get headaches, so no worries there. Yearning for some action minus the responsibility of an adult relationship? Sexbots have you covered there as well. As Snell tells the New York Post, " Sexbots would always be available and could never say no, so addictions would be easy to feed."

" People may become obsessed by their ever faithful, ever pleasing sex robot lovers and will rearrange their lives to accommodate their addictions," Snell tells Daily Star .

A robot - just as in others avenue of learning - might well trump humans as far as performance is concerned. After all, a deep-learning robot would constantly improve on technique, leaving human performance far behind. As Snell says, " Like many other technologies that have replaced human endeavours, robots could surpass human technique."

Changing what sex means

In the landscape of doomsday theories floating around the sexbot phenomenon, one particular theory really makes you think. What if your first ever sexual encounter is with a sexbot? How would that affect you psychologically? Would that, in any measure, influence your intimacy levels with human partners?

Earlier this year, Noel Sharkey, an expert in artificial intelligence, raised the question of losing one's virginity to a robot. A former adviser to the United Nations on robotics, Sharkey questioned the value individuals would place on human partners should this happen. How differently might they view members of the opposite sex if they associated sex purely with self-gratification?

Experts also warn of possible performance anxiety caused by these high-performance sexbots. After all, how is one to compete with a robot that doesn't tire and can be customised to suit an individuals likes? Body image anxiety will also increasingly be a factor as sexbots can be built to meet beauty standards.

A sex therapist at Relate, a UK relationships charity, Gurpreet Singh doesn't see anything completely wrong in the concept. He tells Daily Star , "Who are we to judge people who want to have sex with robots? Let people enjoy sex robots - they will work in the same way couples introduce a toy into a sexual relationship. And if both parties are agree, I see nothing wrong." However, Singh adds a cautious rider: "It takes on a whole different meaning if sex robots are used because of a fear of intimacy or because a person wants to be isolated. Then the addiction needs to be addressed."

Giving the world's oldest profession a new look

If sex with robots can take on such a serious social dimension, then this news shouldn't be too surprising - earlier this year a paper was published in an academic journal called Futures, about how red-light districts will be transformed by 2050 with the introduction robotic sex workers.

Ian Yeoman, a scientist specialising in futurology, and Michelle Mars, a sexologist at the University of Wellington, co-authored the paper which was titled: Robots, Men and Sex Tourism. The paper reimagines an Amsterdam brothel in the year 2050 - it's a dystopian setting where all the sex workers are robots and the humans have no employment in the brothel as a consequence.

International Business Times quoted Sharkey lamenting earlier this year: "These robots are deceiving and fooling people into thinking they love something that can't love them back." Here's hoping the game of deception doesn't blur the lines between what is real and isn't. At least when it comes to sex!

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First published: 5 September 2016, 22:52 IST