Cover image from New York Times coverage on the Real Doll factory. 2 minute read.
According to a new report, about 27% of Millennials say they think it’ll be normal and acceptable in the near future to have friendships and romantic relationships with robots instead of humans. Crazy, right?
The report was created by Paris-based Havas, and examined the future of artificial intelligence and people’s attitudes to the future of technology. The multinational communications company surveyed 12,000 people of mixed ages worldwide, and had some very interesting findings overall. For example, it found that in the UK, men were three times as likely to agree they could have a relationship with a robot in the future, compared to women.
But aside from robot-relationships, the report also had several other predictions for the future.
The data suggest that in the UK, men are also more likely than women to prefer their social media lives to their real ones, with nearly 20% preferring the virtual world of social media, reports the Daily Mail. The survey also largely revealed that 70% of respondents believe that smartphones are weakening human connections with each other, rather than strengthening them.
It’s almost like having a screen in front of your face all day, looking at unrealistic and Photoshopped images actually drives a wedge in between real-life relationships…weird.
Is Having A Sex Robot Ethical?
Needless to say, the prospect of sex with robots is unquestionably something that has been influenced by the normalization of pornography in our society and represents new ways to justify the exploitation of human beings, if not in person, certainly in idea. And what a dangerous idea it is.
Some think that the ethics of watching virtual reality porn—simulating sex acts with a fake, 3D person—are no different than the ethics of having sex with a robot. After all, people are constantly looking for new ways to “spice up” their sex lives. This is proven by the $15 billion dollar and growing sex toy industry, and now, it’s proven by growing interest in lifelike sex dolls that will eventually be able to talk and respond to verbal commands.
Spain’s sex doll brothel that opened up shop this year is just the first public example of the fast-growing trend of sex that’s removed from intimacy with another person. Now, manufacturers around the world are working to create uncannily realistic sex robots programmed to fulfill the fantasies of people who want to get with a lifeless machine.
Robot Relationships? We’re Already There.
Think about this: you’re staring at a screen, right now, reading this. You’ll probably go on to look at something else after this or scroll through social media. It’s just what our generation does, in our spare time and in moments throughout our day. Mindless scrolling on different sites likely takes up hours of our day.
So, while the internet has paved the way for unparalleled opportunity to learn new things and meet new people, technology has robbed us of valuable time to connect with others. How much of our time do we spend staring at a smart device rather than into the eyes of the person right in front of us? Many in our society are freaked out about the idea of a relationship with a robot, but how many of us already have one with the device we’re holding in our hands and scrolling through right now? How many in our society go to their device, rather than a person, when they need love or affirmation—probably from porn performers whose real names they don’t even know?
As a collective society, the sad reality is that we spend more quality time with devices who probably know more about us than even our closest friends and family than we do with real people. With our present society in perspective, and considering the fact that technology is literally being designed to replace real relationships, how far off is it really that humans will turn to robots in the future for romance and friendship rather than real people?
That doesn’t sound like a world we want to live in, so we’re shaking things up and raising awareness on the ways porn and technology are dividing relationships. We can’t be okay with devices taking the place of real, healthy human relationships.
Whether it’s a computer screen or a sex doll, we need to be educated and take a stand for healthy sexuality and human connection. Let’s all decide to disconnect from fantasy, and connect to reality.