I might be writing stuff that some readers may find offensive, if you do, please do not read on. I also invite anyone with constructive criticism and feedback to share their thoughts with me through LinkedIn too.
The following are thoughts on a future that has sex robots and what it might entail. It may not be true as no one can be definite with the future but it serves as a thought exercise for me at least as I am always curious about Artificial Intelligence and its impact. Plus the thoughts here are inspired by David J. Gunkel's "Robot Rights"
So the sex robots I am going to write about are the physical, tangible kind that is getting more and more life-like as we speak although at the current moment, it is challenging to imbued a suitable character into them at the moment, but based on development, I will not be surprised we can do that in the future.
Perfect Sex Partner
Let's face it, you can have the perfect sex partner, designed and manufacture to your ideals. However, when I said perfect here, what I meant is the body proportion and details. The size, shape and even the face as well, although when it comes to the face, there are going to be some ethical and challenging issues which I am going to talk about in a later section.
As the cost of manufacturing one decreases, its proliferation will go further. That physical connection will go further for sure and as I mentioned before, if we are able to design "characters" into the sex dolls i.e. being able to interact and cater to the whim and fancy of the owner (during action and conversation), the sex dolls industry will explode. The future may be where the owner can, through an app, purchase a "character" that will download into the dolls instantly.
Human-to-Human vs Human-to-Robot Pairing
Currently, for humanity to proliferate human-to-human pairing is needed. For that kind of pairing to happen, there is a wooing period that has to happen first, where one half goes to another, to show they can be partners for life, that they can organize a family together and make a better future as a synergistic unit rather. And when they are together, sex happens when there are two willing parties coming together but before that, there is the need to create the mood first.
Human-to-Robot pairing is purely transactional and much lower barrier of entry to happen (if money can solve a problem, it is never a problem). Plus you only need one willing party rather and sex happens. With this in mind, it leads to the next section.
Drop in Population?
With sex dolls moving towards being a perfect sex partner, people may get desensitized to sex, a similar argument to what is happening in the video games industry where, especially violence are getting more gory (remember Mortal Kombat) and realistic (Unreal Engine 5).
Sex between humans has to happen for the human race to proliferate and it has to happen vastly for "survival of the fittest" to actually happen.
So with the proliferation of sex robots as we move along, will we see a drop in the world population? Of course, population drop whether it is a good or bad, needs to be discussed further but I suspect we might see a drop in the world population.
Public Figures & Celebrities
My thoughts on the group that can be severely impacted with the proliferation of sex dolls are the public figures and celebrities.
Biggest question: Will they sell their image rights (face) to sex dolls manufacturers?
Even if they do not sell their image rights to dolls manufacturers, how can they prevent their image be abused? And if they do sell, especially those that are single, will their future spouse mind? This can be especially challenging in very conservative societies actually.
To reduce the tragedies that might happen, in my opinion, we need to set up a regulatory committee to come up with a suitable regulatory framework, that also has the authority to enforce and prosecute.
Personally I feel the topic on Sex Robots is controversial but since we are moving towards better "intelligence" robots or machines, I think it is time for us to start thinking and discussing about the possible consquences of sex robots and how can we mitigate its risks. Of course, there are other touchy sub-topics I have not touched on but I think the sections touched on above will definitely provide a lot of food for thoughts, especially those who are in the area of AI Ethics (again I don't like this term, you can read here to understand why.)