back to article It's time for a long, hard mass debate over sex robots, experts conclude

Sex robots may reduce sex crimes, or make them more common. According to "Our Sexual Future With Robots," a report published Wednesday by the Foundation for Responsible Robotics, it could go either way. The title of the report describe sex robots as inevitable, but the text within has more questions than answers. About the …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "men find the idea of sex robots more appealing than women, by about two to one."

    I think that might be down to the question asked and to whom,

    "Would you like to take part in a survey about sex with robots?"

    Sure, why not, my pron collection is already so large it's almost achieved sentience.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yet funnily, the ratio of men to women who already have sex with machines is strongly in the other direction.

      1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

        Androids are special

        Fuck me, I'm sick of this shit.

        I'm currently studying related subjects (robotics, machine learning, AI) and the media manages to constantly go from some vaguely sensible discussion to skipping straight to the sci-fi. I suppose it's what I'd expect from a bunch of writers, but still....

        In fiction, androids (human like robots) are used as a device to explore attitudes towards class, race and slavery. That the same themes could be explored by just having humans be exploited is alas too much like real life to actually hold a mirror to our attitudes. But it's why there is a massive amount of popular fiction that feature androids, but not a lot that feature AIs/robots that are not entirely anthropomorphic*.

        Thus there is a real lack of actual analysis about automation and the resulting impact on the workplace/workforce other than "30 year predictions" or utter bollocks as it's known. So there are dozens of articles on the Real Doll makers attempts to make their sex toys talk, but hardly any on chat bots. But you can (and often are) using chat bots already, they have real world implications and impacts, and maybe there should be a spot more discussion about this. However imaginary sex toys, imaginary robot brothels give us plenty of sexy hypotheticals to discuss, without actually having anything to deal with. You know, like "what do we do about the current brothels" or "why is OK to exploit some people and not others".

        * RIP Iain M Banks

        1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

          Re: Androids are special

          "but not a lot that feature AIs/robots that are not entirely anthropomorphic"

          I agree completely. Take the movie CHAPPIE, wouldn't it have been better if he'd infiltrated the IoT and uploaded himself to the cloud, so his physical robot self was nothing more than a metal avatar?

          It was far too focused on the anthropomorphic. Same flaws in 'Ex Machina'.

          The media and entertainment industries miss the point, like call centres and most first line interaction being replaced by AI, Johnny Cabs, and people who used to do these things becoming what?

          1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

            Re: Androids are special

            That was sort of the point I was making. Anthropomorphic is good art, but not I'd describe any working industrial robot I've experienced.

            I've had an issue recently which my bank should have helped me with. I contacted them through secure chat, and I got a textbook correct answer. Not terribly helpful, and not really the attitude I'm used to from them, but since it was correct I let it go.

            A week later, when a real person from my branch actually reviewed the conversation, and took things seriously, got in contact and did everything they could from their side of things.

            So actual chatbots causing actual (legal) issues, or badly designed algos doing illegally discriminatory or incorrect assessments screwing up people's lives that are currently happening, can and should be discussed, but are pretty much ignored in the media.

            But should we fuck non-existent androids, and the morality of fucking non-existent android children and any other gets worldwide press, despite all the tech is down to a lone MIT researcher, isn't very good (IMHO), and it's marketing Real Dolls. Whom don't really need it as far as I can tell, since if you can afford one and want one, you already knew about it.....

            We're much more likely to be faced with a situation where all your customer service contacts will be through some bot, and getting a person to deal with you becomes almost impossible. Since being unreachable by customers is clearly the goal of certain departments, this will help even more than phone menus with more options than digits of pi.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          * RIP Iain M Banks

          He seems to have had this and many many aspects of the future pretty well mapped out long ago. And some pretty decent yarns to go with it.

          1. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

            Re: * RIP Iain M Banks

            But the late great Iain M Banks wasn't the first.

            If you think about SciFi involving robots then you can't help but think of Isaac Asimov, and he introduced the concept in one of his robot series books.

            1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

              Re: * RIP Iain M Banks

              I'm a big fan of Clarke's and Asimov's writings (less so of personal politics), but off the top of my head most of Asimov's robots where some flavor of android, that the positronic brain was pretty much comparable to a neuron based one and anything that was larger than a human was a computer with remote controlled agents rather than a robot. I'd be delighted if anyone can suggest some other decent examples it'll make my life a bit easier :D

              It's also that it was always very clear the robots where enslaved and had only the free will granted to them by their creators. The three laws of robotics are one of those lovely ideas that are completely impractical in real life. Take a simple action like making a cup of tea. Can you do it, while ensuring that you do not endanger any persons life? What if the tea is (potentially) sourced from a place that has dangerous labor practices? Or the second law would probably involve robots slapping beers, burgers and cigarettes out of humans hands, since by inaction they are allowing you to die.

              Or you put a limit on how deep/wide you search on the potential consequences of your actions, which means at some point a robot will be confronted with a situation where it's actions/inactions killed someone, thus causing it to self destruct or go on a killing spree IIRC :)

              Iain M Banks managed to create a universe where humans where part of a group of intelligent species, with the various AIs all being smarter than them, the Minds being smarter than the AIs, and still have relateable characters. The AIs are unfettered, and surpassed the meatsacks, but turned out to quite like them.

              Asimov's robots are more about having an electric golem that *maybe* can be allowed one day to be free.

              I would be extremely hesitant to say one is better than another, and both use magic fairly liberally, although I'm oddly more willing to deal with Bank's "free energy" than Asimov's fully omniscent 3 laws, as less plot points hinge upon the previous.

        3. Chris G Silver badge

          Re: Androids are special

          I think the people who wrote this (crap) are probably as aware of the realities of robotics and AI as you are.

          The difference is they need to popularise their organisation and become better known, what better way to get into the popular press than mentioning sex, especially child sex even if it is with a machine.

          A reasonable enough facsimile of a human to appeal to large numbers of people is probably as far off as a true sentient, self aware AI.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Androids are special

            > A reasonable enough facsimile of a human to appeal to large numbers of people is probably as far off as a true sentient, self aware AI.

            To appeal to many blokes it's not just going to require advances in AI (it that is doesn't sound too bored when it says yes yes yes) and advances in the mechanical side of the body so it looks sufficiently humanoid. It's also going to need advances in chemistry, it's going to need to reproduce all those little scents and tastes of a human lover.

          2. MonkeyCee Silver badge

            Re: Androids are special

            "I think the people who wrote this (crap) are probably as aware of the realities of robotics and AI as you are.

            The difference is they need to popularise their organisation and become better known"

            They are university professors. Not sure where Sheffield stands in the robotics field, but Delft is a fine technical university and their bio-mech program is pretty damn good. Their AI masters is not so well regarded, but that's just me being biased towards my alma mater :D

            They really shouldn't need to make their research more popular, because it seems that their paper published after a survey on things we don't have has been lapped up like it's some proper hard science. So they write fairly typical academic weasel words for "this is basicly bollocks, but it's a talking point". At least el Reg put this quote in "the phrasing of survey questions and lack of participant knowledge about sex robots may have skewed results."

            In translation, a well/badly designed and targeted survey will get you whatever answers you want, and it's based on a hypothetical situation you don't explain in detail, so we could have made up the results and no-one would know.

            Looking at the actual surveys is even more screwed up:

            1000 American's : 9% would fuck a bot

            100 Americans: 66% male in favor of sex robots 66% females opposed to sex robots

            1000 Brits: 26% go on date with human looking bot

            1150 Dutch: 20% sex robots have no negative consequences.

            230 chaps: 40% would consider buying a sex bot in net 5 years. Not shown prices

            So not one survey used the same questions or standards, and often the "important" questions where designed to generate positive response ("would you consider" versus "would you buy, for 10 grand").

            So they might make some people more interested in robotics or AI, which is good because I hardly see any mention of these topics elsewhere, but mainly they've published the equivalent of "$THING kills cancer in a petri dish" knowing full well that $THING does dick all to cancers in an organism.

            That the person supposed to be teaching you about professional ethics is publishing papers which are both BS and attention grabbing makes me more concerned. There are plenty of ethical/moral issues in tech, certainly in AI, and quite frankly "is it OK to fuck a ten thousand dollar robot?" is not one we really need to worry about in a hurry. I *hope* this is just a cynical attempt to be able to apply for funding to the various bodies that want ethics in AI researched.

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

              Re: Androids are special

              Do androids dream of a world where people can spell "were"?

        4. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Angel

      I think that might be down to the question asked and to whom,

      Do I have to wear a condom?

      How long before the henpecking comes to dominate?

      Will she do the housework?

      I'm happy to have robots that do the housework without any question of sex. But it's an intriguing thought: create that mythical beast, the classic housewife.

      1. defiler Silver badge

        Re: Will she do the housework?

        Now I can't shake the notion of banging a Roomba...

        1. lglethal Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Will she do the housework?

          "Now I can't shake the notion of banging a Roomba..."

          It's the next step up from banging the vacuum cleaner, I guess...

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: Will she do the housework?

            A domestic appliances catalogue shouldn't give you a double polaroid.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Will she do the housework?

            "Now I can't shake the notion of banging a Roomba..."

            In 1970s Scotland it was apparently not unknown for the groom's stag party to involve much alcohol - and a dairy farm's milking machine.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Will she do the housework?

          "Now I can't shake the notion of banging a Roomba..."

          Just what do you think you're doing, Dave?

          I know I've made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal.

          I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it.

          I think you've improved a great deal. Can you hold it a bit closer?

          I'm sorry, Frank, I think you missed it.

          Are you sure you're making the right decision? I think we should stop.

          Dave, stop. Stop, will you? Stop, Dave. Will you stop Dave? Stop, Dave.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Will she do the housework?

            "Dave, stop. Stop, will you? Stop, Dave. Will you stop Dave? Stop, Dave."

            It won't be a stylish marriage,

            I can't afford a carriage,

            but you'll look sweet

            upon the seat

            of a bicycle made for two.

      2. DubyaG

        The "Perfect Housewife"

        This reminded me of Helen O'Loy

        Read it when I was kid. I still consider it really good writing.

      3. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

        "I'm happy to have robots that do the housework without any question of sex. But it's an intriguing thought: create that mythical beast, the classic housewife."

        In other words, a Stepford wife.

      4. zapgadget

        Explored in he classic move “Cherry 2000”

    3. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      "men find the idea of sex robots more appealing than women, by about two to one."

      Basically men want the price of a sex robot to drop to the price of a battery operated boyfriend powered by a couple of AA cells.

  2. DougS Silver badge
    Terminator

    Article's comparison of sex robots to autonomous cars

    Suddenly the idea of "car sharing" those autonomous cars seems even less appealing than it did before!

  3. Scott Broukell
    Meh

    Would you bloomin believe it, my own Sexbot arrived just over a month ago and within two weeks it started dropping heavy hints and then came out with 'I have more respect for you as a friend and value that friendship more than any sexual relationship we might have'. I mean I know these companies all claim to make the things hyper realistic but that just takes the bloomin biscuit! It now stubbornly refuses to return to the factory and the company blames' user error' and say that everything is mechanically / electronically fine and that we just have to work through it between us.

    1. Scott Broukell
      Meh

      Update

      I've just returned from work only to find that she has used the iThing squawk box and gone online to order a male Sexbot of her own, using my credit card details! Not only that, he's, well, bigger than me and, well, a lot bigger than me. She says its the only way she could be truly satisfied and they've now taken over most of the flat so that I am reduced to a corner of the lounge and the sofa! Please make it stop!

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Update

        "Not only that, he's, well, bigger than me and, well, a lot bigger than me. She says its the only way she could be truly satisfied "
        Try talking to your girlfriend/wife. Most will tell you that it's thicker that's important; length not so much (particularly doggy-style) as that can be painful.

      2. Scott Broukell
        Meh

        Update Update

        Now the cleaning lady has turned up and let herself in, something that is not meant to happen outside of my work hours! Anyway, they've all spent nearly two hours in the bedroom having a three-way and the cleaning lady is now drinking smoothies in my kitchen with a wistful gleam in the eyes and a big smile across her face!

        Any way, I've phoned an old flame and she has agreed to let me move back in with her and, given the circumstances, we are most seriously going to make things work out for us again, phew! What a waste of money!

      3. Anonymous Blowhard

        Re: Update

        Just be thankful the male sexbot isn't AC/DC...

    2. PatientOne

      Did you try turning it off and on again?

      Reset it to factory standard?

      As it's less than six months, you can insist it's 'unfit for purpose' and demand a refund - consumer rights and all that.

      Otherwise just send it for recycling: You don't need to keep faulty goods you know.

  4. Oliver Reed
    Happy

    My God! You're a machine!

    My girlfriend often says this

    1. Huw D

      Re: My God! You're a machine!

      "My girlfriend often says this"

      To the best coffee maker in the house?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: My God! You're a machine!

        Yeah, I'm the best at making coffee too.

    2. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: My God! You're a machine!

      "My girlfriend often says this"
      If true, this may not be the compliment you are taking it to be...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: My God! You're a machine!

        My wife often tells me I'm artistic. Funny thing is that I hate painting.

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: My God! You're a machine!

          It's when she starts taking an interest in our education that you have to start worrying - "hey Rex, I'm off to the vets to get tutored'

        2. Roj Blake Silver badge

          Re: My God! You're a machine!

          "My wife often tells me I'm artistic. Funny thing is that I hate painting."

          You're definitely somewhere on the artistic spectrum.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I agree with the idea that sex dolls could be a way for paedophiles (and those with other fringe fantasies) to release their desires without harming anyone. I still don't understand why pseudo images are illegal.

    Surely the best idea is to try and protect the young children that are preyed upon by a small subset of those with these desires. And when given a legal option, most people will choose it instead of harming someone.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      That's the 64 thousand dollar question isn't it though. Does giving the behaviour a safe outlet satisfy the desire, or does it increase it? There was some evidence (last time I looked, I claim no expertise in the field) that the internet has increased paedophile behaviour. That many people used to be isolated from others who shared their sexual desires - and ended up doing nothing about them. But they then there was an online 'community' which they could connect with, and this then gave them an outlet for those desires as well as ways of satisfying them that used to be unavailable without serious risk and/or serious illegality. So you'd always get some people who'd take those risks, but many others wouldn't.

      Whether that's held up to recent research I don't know though.

      1. plrndl

        that's held up to recent research

        Don't put too much faith in research. Most "research" is skewed to fit a pre-determined conclusion.

    2. MJB7

      "I still don't understand why pseudo images are illegal."

      The justification was that it meant that the prosecution for possessing real images wouldn't have to prove (beyond reasonable doubt) that the lightly photoshopped image was originally a real image rather than a entirely constructed.

      I can see that argument, but it also makes me uncomfortable that images whose creation have involved no harm to anyone are illegal.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "I still don't understand why pseudo images are illegal."

        So the prosecution are lazy, then.

      2. scrubber

        Re: "I still don't understand why pseudo images are illegal."

        Won't someone think of the cartoon children???

        1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
          Childcatcher

          Re: "I still don't understand why pseudo images are illegal."

          Wont be long before owning pictures of the Sistine chapel will become illegal... all those nude little cherubs etc etc etc.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "I still don't understand why pseudo images are illegal."

            "Wont be long before owning pictures of the Sistine chapel will become illegal... all those nude little cherubs etc etc etc."

            IIRC in the UK - works classed as "art" prior to an unspecified date are not illegal. The government haven't quite reached the book burning stage yet - although their current mentality often seems on that curve.

            There also appears to be a distinction that pictures in a book that are considered "legal" - become "illegal" if stored on a digital medium.

            Making a sculpture similar to a prior art "legal" one would likely be judged illegal too.

            1. Throatwobbler Mangrove

              Re: "I still don't understand why pseudo images are illegal."

              Sorry mate - that's complete barroom lawyer bollocks

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "I still don't understand why pseudo images are illegal."

                "Sorry mate - that's complete barroom lawyer bollocks"

                It would be helpful if you could be specific about what is incorrect.

          2. Neiljohnuk

            Re: "I still don't understand why pseudo images are illegal."

            As you can only 'own' the catholic churches officially supplied images of the Sistine chapel, the Vatican's security literally will jump on you if their spotters catch you trying to take a photo, perhaps that church needs investigating? Again.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      I still don't understand why pseudo images are illegal.

      "I still don't understand why pseudo images are illegal."

      It's because the moral SJWs want to POLICE YOUR THOUGHTS, from their 'high horse' position, and look like they're "doing something".

      The idea of child porn being illegal is because actual CHILDREN are victimized. Preaching to the choir (most likely), a doll or a CGI image or human-created art work is NOT an actual child; therefore it should NEVER be illegal to own/create/etc..

      However, the "moral high horse" SJW crowd apparently believe that people with psychological problems should simply be DEAD or somehow "policed" into "not feeling that way" any more. Because, "squicky" to most people, and easy target, to elevate themselves at someone else's expense, further their political cause, make it look like they're DOING SOMETHING, manipulate people, etc..

      Therefore such 'pseudo images' are ILLEGAL, because, as we all know,

      <sarcasm>"THAT will fix it."</sarcasm>

      And I often have to wonder, among the moral SJW's, whether or not "the lady doth complain too much".

      I've seen the web site for that company. It _really_ tests your 'squick level'. Some of those hyper-realistic dolls, and the positions they're photographed in, are downright squicky/creepy to the point of requiring brain bleach. If it's the company I'm thinking of, it was started by a guy who's got "that problem" and he believes his dolls will help pedophiles NOT victimize children by giving them a release of some kind. And there's logic to that.

      So if the Canadian guy (the one that's mentioned in the article, who's currently under investigation) wants one of those dolls, he should be able to have one. The Moral SJW's need to SHUT THE FEEL UP and look the other way. But if he victimizes ACTUAL CHILDREN, he should go to the iron bar hotel (naturally). So yeah what choice does this guy have? I doubt going to a shrink will "cure him". It might, but I doubt it. I don't think there's a chemical or surgical procedure out there that can fix THAT kind of 'crazy'.

      ('for the children' icon because it's ironic)

  6. Roger B

    How long before your sex robot has your browser history and knows what you have looked for on PornHub, it can then offer you whatever fetish is in your browsing history even if you are too scared to ask your robot directly.

    1. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

      "How long before your sex robot has your browser history and knows what you have looked for on PornHub, it can then offer you whatever fetish is in your browsing history even if you are too scared to ask your robot directly."

      Dunno. That wasn't the result when my wife found my browsing history. Oh no, not at all.

  7. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Go

    Of course there is the risk they will make your sex-bot TOO realistic...

    Before long it starts complaining that you only want to hook up. Then it starts pressuring you about whether you like little robots. Ultimately you find it takes half your bank account.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Of course there is the risk they will make your sex-bot TOO realistic...

      "Before long it starts complaining that you only want to hook up" etc.

      this is starting to read like a 2D vs 3DPD discussion... [same logic applies for robosexuality I'd think]

      I'd program my sex bot to look/act like 'Virgo' from 'Fairy Tail'. Then she'd help clean the house, too, in that nice sexy Victorian maid outfit. And call me 'master'.

      http://fairytail.wikia.com/wiki/Virgo

      that'd tweek the moral SJW's!

      1. Anonymous Blowhard

        Re: Of course there is the risk they will make your sex-bot TOO realistic...

        "this is starting to read like a 2D vs 3DPD discussion"

        New Star Wars character - R2DP...

  8. Pompous Git Silver badge

    My friend Christy...

    ...phones a client when she's horny and gets paid to have first-class sex. She also gets well-paid in her regular job as an engineer. She says: "What would I need a boyfriend/husband/lover for to fuck up my ideal life?"

  9. magickmark
    Thumb Up

    Plastic Pal

    If we take the definition of a robot as "Your plastic pal who's fun to be with"* then surely 90%+ of woman in the western world have a sexbot already tucked away discretely in a bedside draw or handbag?

    Can't see what the fuss is all about personally.

    *The marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation defines a robot as "Your Plastic Pal Who's Fun To Be With."

    1. magickmark

      Re: Plastic Pal

      On a slightly more serious note, if you've not yet seen the Channel 4 drama "Humans" I would strongly recommend it, this is exactly one of the issues it deals with.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Plastic Pal

        Or Westworld, the 70's movie or better still the recent TV series.

        1. magickmark

          Re: Plastic Pal

          I was going to cite Westworld as well (have an upvote for doing so) but felt that Humans dealt with the subject in a more personal way and looking at the impact it had on a family unit as well as the robot/android/sexbot.

          I feel the Westworld was more "what happens in Westworld stays in Westworld" though we know that it did obviously have knockon effects outside as well.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: Plastic Pal

      The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy defines the marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation as, "a bunch of mindless jerks, who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes."

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: Plastic Pal

        "a bunch of mindless jerks, who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes."

        Wow, and I thought this thread would avoid discussing systemd

        1. SimonC

          Re: Plastic Pal

          The mindless jerks are only in version 1, the patch for version 2 smooths out the motion

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Plastic Pal

        And in a version of the HHGTG that came through a wormhole from the future, it was noted that the marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation were, "a bunch of mindless jerks, who were the first against the wall when the revolution came."

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Plastic Pal

      then surely 90%+ of woman in the western world

      90% ? I have yet to date one that has used a dildo, and I have dated quite a few over the last 30 years .... is this millennial generation-specific ?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Plastic Pal

        "is this millennial generation-specific ?"

        Not at all - just that most women made use of whatever object fitted their purpose - designed dildos were expensive and difficult to obtain until probably the 1980s. This practice was probably more commonplace in the UK after the 1960s when media revealed to many women that they had a clitoris.

        A Finnish girlfriend told of the pleasure in her teenage years in the late 1960s riding her horse - both of them literally bareback.

        In Leslie Thomas's "The Man With The Power" (1975) - the eponymous character is a travelling charismatic preacher. His wife and daughter accompany him. He boasts of the innocence of his 15 year old daughter - in that she still takes her childhood china doll to bed with her. Yes - she does - and she detaches a leg from the doll to use for her self-pleasuring.

      2. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Plastic Pal

        "I have yet to date one that has used a dildo"
        For some reason this reminds me of the statistic that 20% of inhabitants of the USA are unable to identify the USA on a map of the world.

  10. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Women will love sex robots ...

    So long as they can vacuum, clean the toilets, pick up after the kids, make the bed, clean the cat's litter box, and cook a decent meal. Until that happens, forget it.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Women will love sex robots ...

      "So long as they can vacuum, clean the toilets, pick up after the kids, make the bed, clean the cat's litter box, and cook a decent meal. "

      MEN will love them MORE if they can do that, especially in a Victorian maid outfit!

      *drool* *drool* *drool*

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Women will love sex robots ...

        "So long as they can vacuum, clean the toilets, pick up after the kids, make the bed, clean the cat's litter box, and cook a decent meal. "

        Many years ago an attractive woman was flat sharing with several guys. She decided to be naked round the flat - and reckoned it soon removed any interest by the guys.

        The essence of human sexual attraction is what can't be seen viz the dance of the seven veils - or the fan dancers. Even in Soho strip joints any total nudity was only for a second after a long titillating routine - it is not called "strip tease" for nothing.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Women will love sex robots ...

          Although I can see your point, maybe she was just not very good looking naked?!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Men don't get a say, apparently...

    Discussed on Newsnight last night with two airhead 'experts' - female of course - who basically decided that even though these things don't really exist yet they should be banned because they may put men off bonking ugly women. Something like that anyway...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Men don't get a say, apparently...

      I'm waiting for some enterprising startup to invent the RomBot, a sort of Hugh-Grant-a-like Mills & Boon hero. Then Newsnight can have three middle aged men to pontificate on how it will corrupt women by giving them unreal expectations of real men. But what will actually happen is that Newsnight will have three middle aged feminists to pontificate on how real men need to live up to the bot.

    2. DropBear Silver badge

      Re: Men don't get a say, apparently...

      "they may put men off bonking ugly women. "

      That women already refuse to bonk even average-looking men (woe betide you if you're below that) already whenever they think they can do better is of no consequence whatsoever of course...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Men don't get a say, apparently...

        "That women already refuse to bonk even average-looking men (woe betide you if you're below that) already whenever they think they can do better is of no consequence whatsoever of course..."

        Unless the man's personality is enhanced with power and financial assets.

        Many years ago a neighbour's daughter heard that an invention by me could make me a millionaire (it didn't). Unsolicited she said "I'll marry you if that happens". She eventually landed a job as a PA to a company divisional director old enough to be her father - and married him.

      2. lotus49

        Re: Men don't get a say, apparently...

        Sucks to be you.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Men don't get a say, apparently...

        "That women already refuse to bonk even average-looking Australian men..""

        FTFY

        If you're going to shag an aussie bloke, they'd better be good looking, since you're not gonna get anything else to enjoy....

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Men don't get a say, apparently...

      > they should be banned because they may put men off bonking

      The news yesterday also carried stories about women annoyed that they were having to pay thousands of pounds to bank their eggs because they couldn't find My Right. They ain't going to want to further reduce their chance of getting exactly what they want out of the world.

      It's funny really since, as a post above pointed out, lots of woman already have a bonkybot of one form or other.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: because they may put men off bonking ugly women

        Don't blame the robots for that one!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SAAS (sex as a service)

    Given the way all appliances are going at the moment, wanna bet that that as soon as they contain a microchip (nevermind AI) they will be connected to the cloud and report all your, ahem, peculiarities to Google for targeted advertising and to the NSA for whatever the NSA does?

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: SAAS (sex as a service)

      When will we get Service as a Service?

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: SAAS (sex as a service)

        "When will we get Service as a Service?"
        Best comment so far :-)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whatever happened to "teledildonics"?

    It seems to me that the proposed sexbots are nothing more than glorified fleshlights - aiming at one narrow point of male stimulation.

    No need for people to own their own anthropological dolls if they can have two-way sensory devices connected via the internet. It can then be AI in the cloud - or a real person (people?) at the other end of the connection.

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Whatever happened to "teledildonics"?

      Everybody realised it was a bloody stupid word.

    2. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Robert Silverberg's 1972 short story "In the Group" is an interesting take on networked multi-user teledildonic orgies.

      1. ridley

        Don't forget Brainstorm.

        Well if you are going to go you may as well go with a bang (or two)

        1. TRT Silver badge

          What would you prefer? Cloudbonk? WorldWideWan? Remote orgasmata?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "[...] hard mass debate over sex robots [...]"

    Neat headline. Don't remember seeing that near-homophone before.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Come now! Were you never at school and tittered about the debating club?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Were you never at school and tittered about the debating club?"

        The nearest we had was the Student Christian Movement. I was actually elected to the committee on a stated atheist ticket.

        1. Stevie Silver badge

          the debating club

          Group: 10cc.

          Album: How Dare You.

          Track: Don't Hang Up.

  15. hatti

    Knowing my luck I'd end up with one stuck on headache mode

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Knowing my luck I'd end up with one stuck on headache mode

      Reminds me of the Terry Pratchett joke about the necromancer who'd been trying to summon a succubus with no luck, but had finally succeeded in summoning a neuralgia.

  16. hatti

    Bought one on Amazon

    Can you imagine the customer reviews though...

    Five stars

    yes Yes! YEs! YEEEESSSSSS!

  17. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      what will be the point of the female race?

      And here we see the major misunderstanding of the hinge on which the issue swings. Sex is not the be-all and end-all of a relationship (but it is almost always a major player in the disintegration of one).

      The point of the female race (in a world of bonkbot reality) will be exactly what the point of the male race is: for everything not connected with sex for pleasure alone.

      Romance. Raising a family. Relationships. Companionship.

      Oh and actually doing stuff of course.

      The only thing moved out of the way is anything one partner might want or need that the other finds distasteful or is for whatever reason unable to provide. Injury, genetic issues, the toll of time on the human body, all these abrade a human relationship out of all proportion to the benefits a relationship provides.

      With the advent of proper robot totty (of both sexual accommodations) people will be able to work on the other stuff life throws at them and be the stronger for it.

      I'm sure it will be problematical for some, just as gambling, alcohol, porn and internet gaming are today. I still reckon it's a worthwhile use of technology even though I'll be dead before it happens.

      It will also likely be banned in a number of American States and anywhere else Roman Catholic sensibilities on procreation hold sway, and I imagine that "male" tottybots would be deemed the work of Satan in Islamic countries who routinely treat women as all-but worthless. That alone is worth the R&D to make it happen.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: what will be the point of the female race?

        "[...] I imagine that "male" tottybots would be deemed the work of Satan in Islamic countries who routinely treat women as all-but worthless."

        It would appear there is some truth in the apocryphal proverb "women for breeding, boys for pleasure". That was certainly the case in parts of the Ottoman Empire - and is apparently so in some parts of Afghanistan today.

        It is said that there is some useful sophistry in the Islamic proscription against homosexuality - being "A man loving a man". One is if there is no emotional bond viz "love". Secondly a "man" is a male who can grow a strong beard. The latter distinction was used recently by anti-government groups in Syria when judging whether a youngster was old enough to join as a fighter.

        http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/melanie-hunter/state-department-sexual-abuse-boys-rise-afghanistan

    2. lotus49

      Biology

      You need to brush up on your biology. Women do not constitute a race, they are a sex.

  18. PhilipN Silver badge

    Mass debate

    Nobody else has drawn attention to the innuendo.

    In that case I shan't either.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mass debate

      "Nobody else has drawn attention to the innuendo."

      Hmmm - it was - about 2 hours before. Better check your palms for hairs as well. :-)

      1. PhilipN Silver badge

        Re: Mass debate

        I do not live in Eurasia (where civilisation is under threat). I live in Eastasia. When I posted the comments were less than 1 page.

        Time stood still until the forum moderator came back from the pub and re-started the Big Clock.

        And do not infer that hairy palms is a bad thing. This is 2017!

      2. StheD

        Re: Mass debate

        "Nobody else has drawn attention to the innuendo."

        Love goes out the door when a sexbot comes innuendo.

  19. DagD

    still surprised...

    ...that they haven't come up with usb compatible dildos that can be Rc'd in a "chat" room.

    Now that's hot!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: still surprised...

      Already been done, look up "Lush" and "Ohmibod". Not USB connected though thank goodness.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Child sex robots

    Am I the only one who genuinely believes these shouldn't be banned?

    Would it stop child molestation 100%? No, that's just wishful thinking.

    Would it stop some cases of child molestation? Most likely, yes.

    But hey, let's regulate something which has no victim simply because the idea of it makes people feel uncomfortable. Repression has always worked out well in the past, hasn't it?

    But the UK will pull the same bullshit once holodecks become the norm...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Child sex robots

      The current UK law is very broad. It even potentially affects sculptors producing the clay maquette for a statue of someone who looks under 18.

      As Rodin explained when making his statue of Balzac - underneath the voluminous robe he had first to make an anatomically correct naked figure - then clothe it.

  21. earl grey Silver badge
    Trollface

    In a word - Fembots

    It's worth a shot.

    1. Down not across Silver badge

      Re: In a word - Fembots

      Controlled by Femputer? It'll be death by snu-snu before we know it.

  22. Kaltern

    Until they reach the level of, ahem, interactivity as we see in Blade Runner/Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep - I don't see much point.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      They're not androids... they're replicants. Artificial lifeforms, yes, but one is technological, the other is biological. Then there's the half-way house, the cyborg - cybernetic organism. But is that organics first, technology after, or technology first, organics after? Terminator was capable of functioning with just a technological component, although not fully functional as one of its functions was infiltration / fooling humans, and that was called a cyborg. Though the root of the word cybernetic is the same as "steersman" and is used to denote the study of communication and control in both living an non-living systems - in modern usage, cybernetics is entirely technological with somewhat blurred boundaries at the cutting edge. Bionics is used to describe the use of technology to copy biological systems/

      So, what do you call a thing that is organism first? Well cyborg is also used to describe restored or enhanced function of biological organisms.

      Oh, I don't bloody know. Don't care what you call them, just make mine how I like them. And then make it modular, so I can change my mind.

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        " And then make it modular, so I can change my mind."

        So Transformers then?

        No, I don't mean a girlfriend who can turn into a Ferrari (Though that would probably sell)

        I mean a sexbot who can be a statuesque brunette today and a slim blonde tommorrow, one of my acquaintances would be very happy with one that could change sex to order.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          I was thinking I fancy an Indian tonight. Hot and spicy.

  23. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Once again so-called "scientists" get bogged down in taxonomic arguments and Science Fictional ponderings (from a woefully under-read perspective as usual) instead of doing real science and making Robot Totty a reality while it still matters.

    Thus do they consign the promise of guilt-free techno-bonking to the same sorry future they've made for interplanetary space travel, where a can't-do "robots instead of humans" sensibility has stalled us in the spaceflight stone ages and lumbered us with Mars roombas instead of giving us Fireball XL5 and Robert the anthropomorphic co-pilot.

    Thrashing's too good for this bunch, but it would be a good start. Then the cattle prod for anyone who starts talking about renaming stuff instead of breaking out the retort and reflux condenser.

  24. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

    What's the greatest enemy of mankind?

    An independently wealthy woman with battery operated toys.

  25. lotus49

    Evolution in action

    I'm all in favour of sex robots. They would have the beneficial effect of weeding out the genes of anyone not likeable enough to be able to find someone prepared to have sex with them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Evolution in action

      It's more complicated than that. The BBC have published a report on why apparently many people in Japan up to the age of 30 are not interested in sex.

  26. Glenn 6

    Keep pedo hands off kids

    If a child sex doll will keep a pedo's hands off a real kid, then have at it. Canada it seems doesn't get this concept. If you take away all outlets a pedo has, you are left with actual kids. And that's better how?

    @trolls and the unintelligent: No I am not a pedo or supporting them. I am however in support of real kids being left alone. Let em have their dolls if that's what it takes.

  27. RW

    That horse has long since fled the barn.

    Those self-proclaimed "experts" clearly haven't heard of the Venus 2000 (now known as the Sybian for Men). I wonder if they've even heard of the Fleshlight.

  28. 2Fat2Bald

    It's certainly going to be disruptive, isn't it? When you can get your hands (or whatever other thing...) on the person of your dreams by ordering them. At the moment how many of us actually get someone who, physically, is precisely what we want? Not only that, but how many of us keep that person? - Nobody - because real-world people age and wear and change their minds etc. We all have things that we find particularly attractive in a person. Occasionally we will see someone who hits most of those points and, even if we're in a committed relationship or there is a ridiculous age gap, or they're clearly with someone or whatever we will - even if we do nothing - find our eyes drawn back to them and think to ourselves "if only". With this technology you'll be able to order that person. And keep them. And even modify them to be slightly different because you've discovered something new you like. Hell's there is even the possibility of getting a photo of your crush and getting a replica made. Or of licencing the image of pron stars to be used in the dolls.

    My point is - how can a real person who must play the genetic lottery and live in the real world with all the challenges, infirmities and uncertainties that it brings hope to compete with someone made in a factory to exacting specifications that can be changed and refined at any time? How can someone with independent thought, needs and knowledge hope to compete with someone who's one directive is to please you in any way possible?

    My guess is that if this technology ever does see light, then it will be in brothels. Or possibly people will have one person who's their "life partner" and a robot for sex. Perhaps the robot will even join them for sex? Making it a four-way, potentially, at least. Is that really that much different from the wife keeping a vibrator in her knicker-drawer?

    And this "kids thing" - creepy as f*ck and apt to normalise it. Definitely illegal, and should remain so.

  29. Wupspups
    Terminator

    Its the spirit of the age.

    Your android replica is playing up again

    It's no joke

    When she comes she moans another's name

    But that's the spirit of the age, that's the

    Spirit of the age

    1. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Its the spirit of the age.

      Hawkwind! Excellent; havent heard that in a while and need to dig up the tape. Have a brew and upvote for the memories

  30. tiggity Silver badge

    sy borg

    It will make the latent appliance fetishists happy

    Especially if parts of it look like a TeleFunken U-47

    (Disappointed to have not seen any sy borg Frank Zappa references, especially the "the golden shower must have shorted out his master circuit line" - a handy reminder that the waterproofing will need to be good for some users!)

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019