As scientists hold the world’s first conference on sex robots, one expert warns that making love to machines could become addictive.
Robot experts from around the world will converge on Manchester in northern England this week for the Human Choice and Computers Conference, where they will explore the latest research and theories about how humans will engage with robots.
Academics will also touch on moral issues, such as whether sex robots are potentially harmful and should be banned.
The conference will feature a keynote speech from Professor Charles Ess from the University of Oslo, titled: ‘What’s love got to do with it? Robots, sexuality, and the art of being human.’
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Opinion appears to be divided over whether sex robots might be a positive influence by helping humans to explore their sexuality, or whether their constant willingness to have sex will be destructively addictive.
Robots expert Joel Snell, of Kirkwood College, Iowa, warns the advent of sex with machines will be ultimately harmful for humanity.
“Robotic sex may become addictive. Sexbots would always be available and could never say no, so addictions would be easy to feed,” he told the Daily Star.
“People will rearrange their lives to accommodate their addictions. Because they would be programmable, sexbots would meet each individual user’s needs.”
While some experts believe sexbots will one day replace humans in the bedroom, others are sceptical as to whether it will ever be possible to replicate good old-fashioned human coitus.
“You have to ask the question – how genuinely human can any robot ever be? Love takes two people – it’s about human beings,” Dr Kreps of Salford University said.
“A very large part of the physical and chemical connection between humans relies on eye contact and you’re never going to experience that with a machine, no matter how much AI there is.”
Sex therapist Gurpreet Singh from relationship counselling charity Relate believes robot love could be liberating for humans.
“Who are we to judge people who want to have sex with robots?” he told the Daily Star.
“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 agreed, I see nothing wrong.”
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