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April 11, 2013

Would You Have Sex with a Robot?

If that headline caught your attention, you’ve probably thought about the social and societal implications of robot sex before. After all, machines are acting more and more like humans every day, whether they are mimicking our facial expressions, assisting with speech therapy, or becoming our new best friends.

And if you’re a science fiction fan, you’ve been exposed to the concept of sex with robots in movies like A.I. and Blade Runner, or TV shows like the new Battlestar Galactica. But as robotics technology improves, society moves closer and closer to the point where robot sex moves out of the realm of sci-fi and into the realm of possibility.

So the question is, would you have sex with a robot?

If you said “yes” (and some of you did, I’m sure), you are apparently in the minority. According to a new study by the Huffington Post and YouGov, less than 10 percent of Americans would have sex with a robot. And since many couples already debate whether or not sexting, strip clubs and porn constitute cheating, why not add robotic intercourse to the list of controversial behaviors that may or may not fall into the category of infidelity?

Apparently, 42 percent of Americans would consider you unfaithful if you had sex with a robot, even if that robot looked like Grace Park. As for when these sexbots might be available, about 20 percent of respondents targeted 2030 as a possible watershed year for human on robot relations.

Though most Americans are a bit iffy on the subject of robot sex, views on other robotic replacements vary widely. Two thirds of survey respondents see Rosie the Robot-type domestic ‘bots cleaning our homes in the future,’ though only one third of the group was comfortable with this concept. Only 42 percent of those surveyed were keen on the idea of robots caring for the elderly, but nearly half of respondents thought robot chauffeurs were the wave of the future.

We’re already used to robots building cars for us, and many foresee a time when they’ll even fight our wars. But it seems that, when it comes to more intimate duties, like elderly care, we are not quite as comfortable with assigning duties to artificial stand-ins.

So if Dennis Hof, owner of the Sci-Fi Brothel in Nevada, is planning on rolling out a line of robo-escorts, he may have to wait a bit. Still, it seems a better future than the robo-apocalypse to me…




Edited by Braden Becker


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