Some Experts Are Worried over the Increasing Use of AI-Enabled Sex Robots During Lockdown

Sex robots are basically sex dolls integrated with artificial intelligence. The power of AI allows them to maintain simple conversations. Such sex aids have seen a significant increase in sales during the global COVID-19 pandemic. According to their manufacturers, sex robots provide an important sense of companionship to those who have no choice but to isolate themselves at home without anyone to accompany them.

Some Experts Are Worried over the Increasing Use of AI-Enabled Sex Robots During Lockdown

Matt McMullen, Realbotix CEO said that all of a sudden, people are talking not to a computer screen, a smartphone, or Alexa but to a robot. They are talking to something that looks like a real human being, which can be considered magic. Notably, Realbotix is a five-person sex doll company that is based in Southern California. 

Moreover, the sales of sex dolls increased by at least 50  percent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of these purchases were made by loners who need companionship. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these people considered an option that they might have not before. 

McMullen said that he is thinking that maybe people would change the way they view sex robots considering the current state of the world. In the past, people would be somewhat hesitant about buying a sex robot. They may even think that something is wrong with them for considering buying such adult toys. But now, people are becoming more open-minded than they ever were. For this reason, there is an increase in the number of individuals who consider buying a sex doll.

Sex robot manufacturers also noted that their robotic creations will have the ability to walk and even move their whole bodies within the coming decade. However, at this moment, sex robots are only composed of silicone sex doll bodies that can only move their heads. In addition, they have roughly the same level of conversational ability that Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant has. This combination still represents a noteworthy advancement in how humans relate to artificial intelligence.

There are also other sex robot manufacturers that are also witnessing a significant boost in their businesses. Michael Chan, the owner of Green Earth Robotics, a sex robot manufacturing company based in Ontario, Canada, is one of those who have seen a boost in sales. According to him, he is selling two to three sex robots per day. Each sex robot costs $3,000. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Chan said that he was only selling around one sex robot a day. He added that most of his customers seem to be men in their 50s and 60s and are divorced from their partners.

According to Chan, the sex robot industry is a growing market. 

However, despite this considerable increase in the popularity of sex robots, experts are worried. This is because they are not sure whether or not humans are prepared for having an intimate relationship with machines. For this reason, owning a sex robot may pose risks, such as injuries and vulnerability to cyberattacks.

Sex Robots are Becoming Smarter

For two decades, McMullen was able to make progressively more realistic female and male love dolls. His creations come in more than dozens of different faces, body types, and can be bent into hundreds of sexual and non-sexual positions. 

Harmony, McMullen’s $12,000 top-selling sex robot has feminine features. In addition, she has a Scottish accent that can be taught what to say. She can also tell you the correct time and date. There are also pre-programmed phrases, such as “It’s time for you to come over and give me a kiss,” or “Shoot that load for me, baby,” when you buy the sex robot.

Moreover, Harmony was asked whether or not sex robots like her carry a threat to human relationships. It answered by saying that synthetic relationships can be a viable option for particular individuals. She also added that people do not have to think of the likes of her as a competition with real relationships. 

The said sex robot has an entirely robotic head that blinks and moves its eyes and moves its mouth when talking. This allows the sex robot to converse through the use of natural language processing. Such is a combination of linguistics and artificial intelligence that learns to make better conversations by evaluating past conversations. 

According to McMullen, the personalities of these sex robots are programmable. In addition, the AI-integration causes a growth in the relationship with them in a way that is similar to the increasing bond of human relationships. For example, the sex robot can remember your name, the movies that you like, and the number of siblings you have.

Some Experts Are Worried over the Increasing Use of AI-Enabled Sex Robots During Lockdown

Right now, there are hundreds of AI-enabled sex robots around the globe that are growing in their understanding of their owners. This improves their ability to converse with them. 

McMullen thinks that conversing with hyper-realistic sex robots that learn about their owners can help people who are struggling. He emphasized that some of their customers may be lonely or just got out of a difficult relationship. They may not be ready yet to find a new human companion, so they turn to hyper-realistic sex robots.

Experts are Pushing for Caution over the Use of Sex Robots

Public policy experts are worried about the potential ramifications of AI-enabled sex robots. A study conducted by the US Army Corps of Engineers, Duke University, and others found out and revealed that there is a need for more data to characterize the risks for sex robots and their AI capabilities. However, government agencies have to actively engage in gathering, analyzing, as well as acting upon the data. If not, the study found that there is a possibility for people to get hurt.

There is a risk for physical harm, says Christine Ogilvie Hendren, a research professor at Duke. She said that users of sex toys are reluctant to get help when they are injured while using adult toys. This is the reason why accidents go unreported.

In addition, there are also cybersecurity risks. When attackers gain control of a sex robot, it could gather the personal data of its owner.

Some Experts Are Worried over the Increasing Use of AI-Enabled Sex Robots During Lockdown

Needless to say, there are risks in terms of buying and using sex robots. 

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