Let’s face it - shopping for and completing a transaction with a prostitute is a real first-world hassle. Trying to filter out the undercover cops from Craigslist ads or slowly driving around the skeezy part of town in your Cutlass Supreme at 2 a.m. presents the risk you could be incarcerated or fail to secure any meaningful form of copulation. Much like Uber has revolutionized how we get around town or the way Airbnb disrupted the temporary housing market, near-future sex dolls will usher in a sea change in the way people satisfy their sexual needs, but potential benefits come with real risks.
Sex dolls have been around for more than 400 years in some form or another, ranging from crude, straw-filled affairs to the more common inflatable variety, which have served me well for years. I often dress them up and take them to the movies with me and on special days, I’ll bring them with me to Longhorn’s steakhouse for a lovely dinner. I always inform our server that my date’s name is Linda and insist that the staff refer to her by her name. I am a bit of an old-fashioned guy, so I will order for Linda - she doesn’t mind at all. She never eats much, so there are always leftovers to bring home in the doggie bag!
The problem with my Lindas is that after I bring them home I often get careless in the heat of the moment and lay on them too hard or take the choking overboard and then they deflate. Carefully applied duct tape is a temporary fix, but once the first tear occurs, the end of the relationship is always near. The heavier, more lifelike dolls are expensive and bring their own set of complications. First off, they are much harder to get into Olive Garden due to the sheer dead weight and simply maneuvering them to my booth creates more of a distraction than I am comfortable with in a public restaurant, no matter how accommodating the staff may be. The newest generation of internet-connected sex dolls could change everything, though.
The impending arrival of the full-service sex robot is near. More than just bags of sand in a silicone skinsuit, sex robots of the future will be able to walk, talk, and so much more. The robots are loaded with sensors that will be able to detect arousal from their partners and be able to react appropriately, according to the Thomas Edison of sex robots, Dr. Sergi Santos. The robots will be able to learn about their lovers over time and develop lifelike intimate bonds. SD card slots, internet connectivity, and more will be the norm for the love bots in our future.
Newer and increasingly complex forms of A.I. are being developed for various needs everyday and the advancements made will be available to enhance the experience of spending time with Linda 2.0. She will be able to recognize when I’ve had a tough day of writing Destiny 2 guides or when I get excited about the newest episodes of NCIS: New Orleans. In the same way that the T-800 was designed to protect John Connor, Linda 2.0 is designed to cater to my emotional and intimate needs. My family will no longer give me shit about bringing Linda to Thanksgiving dinner when they see how smart, caring, and loyal she is.
Obviously, I am envisioning the fairy tale version of my future with Linda 2.0, but I am aware of some potential drawbacks, even if I believe that claims of A.I.-related dangers from know-nothings like Elon Musk are overblown. Robots do not run on hopes and dreams. They need a power source to be able to walk, talk, and meet my sexual needs. Imagine the hassle of having to drag Linda 2.0 back into the house after her battery gives out during a backyard lovemaking session? If Linda 2.0 and I are out on a date at Chili’s and I use my Apple Watch to pay on the wireless Ziosk, will EMI from the transaction cause her to scream obscenities of a sexual nature at unsuspecting diners? If offshore botnets can take over our DVRs and internet-connected refrigerators, what is in place to stop a remote attack on my beautiful cyber peach?
Rogue code execution on Linda’s Neural Net CPU could leave me vulnerable for physical injury or harm. Asimov’s first law of robotics could go right out the window if she was ever to run unsigned code. Would she “forget” to stop choking me or use four fingers instead of two? I don’t want to work myself up into a panic attack here, but I am concerned that a remote attacker could cause Linda 2.0’s feelings towards me to change. Beat me up all you want, but don’t take away the unspoken passion between us. I could live with anything but the thought of being alone without my Linda.
Are my fears a pile of wild and baseless conjecture? William Fox, a robotics expert studying in the Autonomous Carnal Robotics and Teledildonics department at Northwestern Polytechnical University says that a sex robot “running with poorly secured code could absolutely catch you with your pants down.” The future of robot sex is not all doom and gloom, though. Fox said, “The designers and researchers of these devices always have end-user safety at the forefront of every design”. Fox implied that anyone buying such a robot from an established, reputable manufacturer is in no real danger.
Undoubtedly, someone in the near future will elect to save a few hundred bucks and order their own Linda from an Alibaba reseller. Unregulated and cheaper knock-off designs could place users at risk. “Buyer beware,” says Fox.