Sex Robots On the Way, Says Japanese Scientist

Dateless virgins rejoice! A Japanese robotics professor may finally have the answer to your lonely, pathetic prayers.

At this this month’s Tokyo Designers’ Week, Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro unveiled his latest creation: Asuna, a startlingly life-like android:

Ishiguro, working in conjunction with robotics firm A-Labs, was able to achieve a long-sought breakthrough in the field of humanoid robotics: overcoming the so-called “Uncanny Valley syndrome,” the feeling of unease created when seeing something that is almost lifelike, but slightly off. Asuna is so realistic, in fact, that

many bowed respectfully before requesting politely to take her photo or join a selfie.

Unable, for now, to use some of the advanced artificial intelligence (AI), face and voice recognition systems that some Japanese robots coming on the market now use, Asuna relies on a camera rigged behind her that is relayed to a remote human controller to give her life.

This so-called tele-presence enables Asuna to come alive, taking on the operator’s personality.

A fully independent version of the geminoid [Ishiguro’s name for his creation] is expected in 10 years using all the above technologies to make her virtually indistinguishable from humans says Mr. Takeshi Mita, CEO of A-Lab in Tokyo, the company working with Prof. Ishiguro to make Asuna and her kind commercial.

‘We already have 20 year’s experience making androids in the lab. So in 10 years we will marry AI and life like geminoids in perfection,’ he told MailOnline.

‘We had been focusing on perfecting her skin, facial expressions, and so on, so for now Asuna is really just a head. Now we are working on her arms and torso to give very natural, fluid body language.’

Which, of course, leads to this:

[A] spokesman working with Ishiguro’s lab says it is not a great leap of imagination to think similar robots, given the advancement in robotics and silicone skin technology, will be used for sex.

‘Physical relations will be possible in general with such androids,’ said Takahashi Komiyama.

‘Androids for the sex industry are a definite possibly. Some have even fallen in love with Ishiguro’s geminoids. So we can’t rule those relationships out.’…

‘It is not inconceivable,’ said an Orient Industries spokesman, ‘that we will be making android life partners in the near future.’

David Levy, author of Love and Sex With Robots predicts that as robots become more sophisticated, growing numbers of adventurous humans will enter into intimate relationships with these intelligent robots.

Speaking at the First International Conference on Human-Robot Personal Relationships, held last week, he says that AI will progress to the point where human-robot dating will be commonplace.

‘Being loved by a robot?’ Levy says. ‘It sounds a bit weird, but someday, for many, many people, being in love with a robot will be just as good as love with a human.

When pondering our future co-existence with lifelike androids, I’ve often wondered about two things:

  • Who will be the jerk who tries to be funny by building a robot that looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger, and how long before that robot turns on us?
  • Once sex robots are made readily available, how soon before male creative output plummets? Think about how many guitar players the world has gained as a result of men trying to impress women, and how many will be lost when guys can simply program a robot who looks like exactly like Kate Upton to fulfill their every wish and desire?

At least with regard to question 2, it looks like our answer may only be a decade away.