Sunday, March 09, 2008

Amores circuitos

The potential replacement or supplementing of humans by advanced robots or androids for love and sex is not shocking, it is preferable. It could be more satisfying for everyone, sexually and emotionally. Just as the simultaneous relationships of polyamory require a more mature level of self-knowledge and interpersonal communication, so too could synthetic partners take human skill sets to a whole new level. What would it be like to have a relationship with an AI that knows you better than you know yourself?

Sex with robots is far more efficient, it avoids the whole search problem and many other problems. Randomness, variability, and exploration are lauded, applauded and possible, not shunned and shamed. Not to mention far more acceptable than being gay or non-mainstream sexually in any way in current society.

Adios taboos. How could sex with robots be avoidable in a society demanding ever higher levels of self-expression and fulfillment?

There are too many other dynamics in interhuman relationships for ongoing sexual fulfillment, a quick glance at craigslist will easily confirm this. Sex could become like going to the bathroom, something most people prefer to do alone without other humans around. It is very personal.


John M. said...

I wouldn't have any problem with people having relations with robots, but would it really be sex?

It seems like it would be a convenient method to relieve sexual tension in a more realistic way, but not really sex, strictly speaking. There seems to be some emotional and energetic component to intercourse that is missing in onanistic pursuits.

It would be analogous to sex in a similar way that taking drugs is to being happy. It's a simulation.

I can see many social benefits to surrogate sex, for busy career-types it would obviate a lot of wasted time in pursuit of gratification/relief and it would eliminate risks inherent in the commercial sex trade. Robot sex could have beneficial therapeutic applications and it could be a healthy outlet for those with abnormally high sex drives, to name just a few examples; but I wonder, how long would it take to grow bored with a robotic sex partner? (Perhaps High-end models could change their look and certain features for more variety, while the rest would have to deal with same ol' Robo-Ben/Betty every night. I guess when the lights go out, most won't notice.)

I suppose for many, it will be just fine.

samantha said...

Since humans have all manner of mammalian pair-bonding tied up with sex I doubt very seriously that the sex bots would remain just fancy toys for sex. Sex is intimate. Intimacy demand mutual perception and/or illusion. Intimacy takes a measure of sameness and difference that I am not sure you would have with a robot. A robot sufficiently close to humans in intimacy critical ways would arguably be human for practical purposes.

Sex and intimacy are also tied up with companionship and sharing life together. As just a sex and physical intimacy release there would doubtless be a place for sex bots. But for most of the other attendant aspects I can see this working out in a very satisfying way.

Giulio Prisco said...

"Sex could become like going to the bathroom, something most people prefer to do alone without other humans around."

Melanie, this is GREAT!! If Oscar Wilde were around he would write this.

But I would consider a really conscious robot as another human. So perhaps I would need to get the robot drunk to the point of unconsciousness first!

Guy said...

One of the more moderate potentials here isn't necessarily having sex with a robot, it's the potential for immersive telesex.

If your usual partner was away in Hong Kong, for instance, you could both hook up through robot surrogates that would feel and sound (a lot) like the real thing.

Or how about this for freeky: Tens of thousands of people could hook up through a distributed surrogate sex network. Simultaneous parallel sex channels. Make a Roman orgy look like a tea party.

Hey, you brought it up.

LaBlogga said...

Hi John, Thanks for the comments.

At some point, it would likely be indistinguishable, and in fact more fulfilling, to be having sex with a robot, self-aware or not, or in virtual reality, particularly given the greater range of stimulation and variety available.

LaBlogga said...

Hi Samantha, thanks for the comments.

An intelligent robot may be indistinguishable from a human, and have every means of developing whatever levels of intimate companionship pair-bonding a human desires. Sex bots would likely appear first, then full partner replacements.

In fact, humans may become quite attached to their social robots. I can see the advent of the robot funeral, a societal marking of the passing of a robot, even for the transition of personality from one to another; a transition ceremony.

LaBlogga said...

Hi Giulio, thanks for the comments.

It is an interesting point, if robots are of human-level or greater than human-level intelligence, some creativity may be needed to convince them to interact with humans.

LaBlogga said...

Hi 'the guy' - thanks for the comments.

I would expect immersive telesex, teledildonics and so on to emerge before sex robots which could be useful in diminishing inhibitions and taboos.

Ray Kurzweil discuses permutations of this such as having sex with multiple people simultaneously, or feeling the experience of others in the "Age of Spiritual Machines"

John M. said...

Hi Melanie et al,

In case you haven't seen it:

Robot love has now officially entered meatspace.

I also posted a short write-up. (just click on my name.)

LaBlogga said...

Hi John, thanks for the note. Yes, I saw that Gizmodo post this morning too. Reading David Levy's interview was interesting too. He makes the point, which is usually true for most NewTech, that it supplements rather than replaces the former way of doing things, but I expect that people of all genders will find sex with androids to be far more fulfilling, comfortable and liberating than sex with other humans.

LaBlogga said...

More advances towards love and sex with AI/robotic others:

Sergio the Virtual Boyfriend

Kari the Virtual Girlfriend

developer comments about expanding the options for love and sex

Project Aiko

Violet Blue discussing the topic

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