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Is the future sex robots?

From VHS to VR, the sex industry has been a huge driving force behind many an innovation. Are household robotics about to be its next big win?

Sex robots are a very entertaining topic, and the perfect subject for a piece of infotainment.  Today I was lucky enough to see a fantastic panel behind the recent TV program for BBC 3 – The Virtual Reality Virgin. The group of academics, manufacturers and journalists, discussed a range of topics, from gender politics to manufacturing techniques.

One thing that really surprised me was the artistry of making these sex robots.  Dr Sergi Santos, a sex-bot manufacturer, talked about how he preferred the material TPT for making skin, as it delivered superior feel and smell when compared to silicon.

There was a great sense of optimism from the panel. They were clearly passionate about the subject. Tyger described his usage of a sex robot as a “fantastic experience”, although admitting he was unable to “finish”.

However, I’m not sure I share their optimism. I have no objection with a form of “enhanced masturbation”, however we must think about what kind of lessons these things teach us.

After all, we are creatures of habit. We learn from repeated behaviour. If we are exposed to a host of subservient, non-consenting, homogeneous, humanoid sex machines, its likely to teach us some bad habits about life, love and how to treat other people (even if we didn’t intend it to).  This can be linked back to virtue ethics – the idea that we must practise morality in order to be any good at it.

The point of a relationship is to be constantly challenged, in a back and forth exchange of information, realisations and ideas.

So, would I use a sex-robot? No. It seems like an expensive downgrade. 

A convincing sex robot can be as much as £70k. I think a mortgage deposit would be a better investment. I'm pretty sure the value of a sex robot depreciates pretty rapidly…. The market for second hand sex robots is likely to be slim… (I hope so).

​Richard Brooker, Data Scientist, Mindshare UK