Sex robot specialists RealDoll promise their latest model will “stare into your soul”.
In a recent survey, almost half of the men who responded said they would happily have sex with a robot.
Perhaps more surprisingly, not only are 48% of men keen to get physical with a sex robot, but 43% can imagine themselves falling in love with one.
Perhaps that emotional connection is why RealDoll felt why their eerily lifelike doll is “staring into your soul, asking why you haven’t got one of her yet for your own…”
Sex robot expert Dr Kate Devlin, a lecturer at King’s College London, says that despite the extravagant claims of the manufacturers, sex robots are still in their infancy.
“As for what Harmony can actually do,” she told Cosmopolitan magazine, “it’s not very much. She can’t even stand up on her own. The only robotic bit is her head; she can smile, blink and turn her head.
She has a standalone AI personality,” explains Dr Devlin, “which works through an app on your phone – and then she basically has the body of a sex doll. But you can talk to her; she’ll get to know you and store information about you, like a more sophisticated, sexy Alexa.”
But while Dr Devlin thinks sex robots have got a long way to go before they achieve anything like free will, Dr David Levy, author of the book Love and Sex with Robots, is already concerned about what happens when they get there.
He told the Daily Star: “Although people have been writing that robots should be able to give their consent, there’s also the question about humans giving their consent.
“What happens if you have a randy robot that says to its human owner ‘I feel randy at the moment’?””
He says that the idea that sex robots could one day attack their owners is “not completely unfounded”.
Even before full AI is achieved, it’s possible that sex robots could become a threat.
In a report from Hong Kong law firm ONC Lawyers for Lexology, there’s a chilling warning that said that sex robots that people buy and take home could under some circumstances be “as dangerous as military AI”.
Dr Nick Patterson said: “Hacking into many modern-day robots, including sexbots, would be a piece of cake compared to more sophisticated gadgets like cellphones and computers…
“Hackers can hack into a robot or a robotic device and have full control of the connections, arms, legs and other attached tools like in some cases knives or welding devices.”
So as long as the robot’s just staring deep into your soul, and not cutting your heart out, there’s probably nothing to worry about.