What's the Latest Development?
In the decades to come, humans will begin patronizing robot-staffed brothels, say researchers from New Zealand’s University of Wellington, removing the guilt and social stigma associated with visiting flesh-and-blood prostitutes. Much of the technology needed to achieve working sex robots is currently under development: "Realistic skin, the ability to make eye contact, faux breathing (to avoid that 'walking human corpse' feel), convincing conversational skills and dexterous manipulation of objects." But to what extent are we already content with robotic human relationships?
What's the Big Idea?
Thanks to the proliferation of mobile technology and social media networks, much of what passes for human relationships already depends on the transfer of electronic data. And we are also accustomed to creating online profiles that boil our lives down to sets of data points. "New streamlined interactions between human beings may open the door for machines to join us as social peers and not just sex objects. ... In the end, perhaps it will be the true romantics, not the nerds, who choose to flee from a world of impersonal, digitized relationships and into the arms of simulacrums with manners imported from simpler times."
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