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06/15/2016 / By Greg White
Young people may have their first sexual encounter with robots in the near future, according an expert, which could hinder their ability to form meaningful relationships.
Speaking at the Cheltenham Science Festival, professor Noel Sharkey from Sheffield University cautioned that android sex dolls may have damaging reverberations for society.
“Sex robots are accessible now and certainly [will be common] within the next 10 years. I think there will be an age limit. Certainly there should be, but if your dad or mum had one, you could sneak in and use it,” he said.
“‘It’s not a problem having sex with a machine. But what if it’s your first time, your first relationship? What do you think of the opposite sex then? What do you think a man or a woman is?” he added.
“It will get in the way of real life, stopping people forming relationships with normal people.”
Robotic sex dolls are currently available in both the US and Japan. Professor Shark pressed that although these dolls ought not to be sold to individuals below the age of 16, they would still fall into the hands, and in turn beds, of teenagers.
“Sex robots are accessible now and certainly [will be common] within the next ten years. I think there will be an age limit. Certainly there should be, but if your dad or mum had one, you could sneak in and use it,” he said.
In the US, the company True Companion manufacturers sex robots for each gender. The female sex robot is named Roxxxy and the male sex robot is named Rocky for £6,900. The dolls can be customized to suit customer preferences, including the robot’s skin tone, face and hair colors.
In addition, Real Doll is developing Realbotix, an artificial intelligence android anticipated to be released next year. However, robots capable of thinking will not be available for years.
Other robot experts, such as Dr. Kathleen Richardson of De Montfort University, have called on a ban for sex robots to be imported to Britain. She told the BBC:
“Sex robots seem to be a growing focus in the robotics industry and the models that they draw on – how they will look, what roles they would play – are disturbing indeed.”
“We think that the creation of such robots will contribute to detrimental relationships between men and women, adults and children, men and men and women and women.”
Currently, new research has discovered that an estimated one in four young people in the UK would not mind dating a robot. The survey consisted of 18 to 34 year olds. The only conditions were that the robot must be a “perfect match” and look like a living human being.
The number of young people who would happily date a robot is substantially greater than British adults. The survey found only 17 percent of British adults were willing to date a robot.
“Our bodies, our identities and our senses are enhancing thanks to technology and societal shifts,” Ghislaine Boddington, co-founder and creative director of body>data>space, told Mirror.
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