Are robots going to galvanise human beings and replace many a task that will revolutionize our way of life in the not too distant future? Believe it or not, a robotic life is on the verge of taking over the world. Humans are determined to manufacture a machine that will do their bidding to prove their unlimited ability to eventually create life, which hitherto has been the domain of the Almighty. It is perhaps a far-fetched possibility, but one that can reach stages that will cause some benefits, negated however by a greater harm if ill-used by some for their own absurd gratification.
A leading expert predicted recently that teenagers may lose their virginity to sex robots in the future. Professor Noel Sharkey, Emeritus Professor of Robotics at Sheffield University, warns that Android sex dolls may have damaging consequences for society. He said that just as the rise of internet porn took the government by surprise, a similar seismic robotic revolution is on the way with far-reaching consequences.
Professor Sharkey, speaking at the Cheltenham Science Festival, explained that he was fairly liberal about sex. But he added: ‘It’s not a problem having sex with a machine but what if it’s your first time… your first relationship? What do you think of the opposite sex then? What do you think a man or a woman is?’ He went on to say: ‘It will get in the way of real life, stopping people forming relationships with normal people.’
Life-like sex robot dolls with limited speech recognition are already on sale in the US and Japan. Professor Sharkey said these dolls should not be sold to under-16s, but would inevitably fall into the hands of teenagers. He said: ‘Sex robots are accessible now and certainly will be common within the next 10 years. I think there should be an age limit, but if your dad or mum had one, you could sneak in and use it.’
Robot sex dolls currently available vary, but a variety called ‘True Companion’, which come as ‘ROXXXY’ for the female model and ‘ROCKY’ for the male, sell for £6.900 in the US. The dolls can be customised, and the firm offers a plethora of skin tones, faces and hair colours which clients can choose from. However, truly autonomous robots that can ‘think’ and act like human beings are still some years away.
Another expert, Dr Catherine Richardson of De Mountforth University, called for the sex dolls to be banned from being imported into Britain. She told the BBC last year that:‘Sex robots seem to be a growing focus in the robotics industry and the models that they draw on – how they will look…what roles they will play – are disturbing indeed. We think the creation of such robots will contribute to detrimental relationships between men and women, adults and children, men and men and women.’
I’m glad that I’m of a certain age for I am unlikely to witness a world when machines do all the fornication, and rob human beings from the role of instigators to being the passive, degrading incipients to what a mechanical instrument can blandly give them, i.e., an orgasm minus the real magic of natural copulation.