In a recent article published on the Swiss Radio and Television (SRF) website, the potentially disruptive role of sex robots and love dolls in the future of human intimacy was thoroughly examined. The piece featured a detailed interview with Oliver Bendel, a professor at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, who specializes in information, machine, and robot ethics.
The SRF article delves into the growing presence and societal influence of love dolls and sex robots, technologies that are increasingly blurring the boundaries between human and artificial intimacy. Love dolls, as described by Professor Bendel, have come a long way from their rudimentary predecessors. Modern love dolls are equipped with convincing skin, eyes that appear real, and exchangeable body openings. Their metallic skeleton allows them to be positioned differently, although this also makes them relatively heavy.
Some sex robots can provide verbal feedback
Sex robots, on the other hand, are sensomotor machines, mostly programmable, and capable of receiving and responding to inputs. Inputs can range from pressure on a specific spot to a command, resulting in outputs such as movement or utterances. Sex robots are often robotic heads on doll bodies, unable to walk or position themselves in bed. However, some love dolls can be technically upgraded. Some sex robots can provide verbal feedback, for instance, through an intelligent vagina that measures the user’s performance.
The clientele of brothels featuring love dolls are often young, shy men who are uncomfortable with real-life intimacy, as well as men who wish to live out their fantasies with figures from comics and video games. The brothel provides them with this opportunity.
The role of the porn industry
The article also touches upon the role of the porn industry in defining female attractiveness, as many sex robots tend to resemble white porn stars, with oversized breasts, Barbie-like waists, and a somewhat childish appearance. Despite this, the manufacturers are exploring beyond stereotypes, including experimenting with black sex robots and male models. However, these explorations are rarely publicized due to fear of controversy.
In an era where we have plenty of choices, will the demand for sex robots and love dolls increase? Professor Bendel views these technologies as niche products, unlikely to reach the significance of sex toys primarily aimed at women. However, he suggests a potential turning point might occur in the next two decades. If androids indistinguishable from humans and with some degree of mobility are created, the demand might increase, and sex robots could become active partners, thereby making lovemaking much more interesting.
The thought-provoking article is yet another sign of how technology continues to transform our lives in unexpected ways. As we navigate these advancements, the ethical, psychological, and sociological implications of these technologies remain topics of ongoing debate.
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