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Sex robots and virtual dates could be the future of Valentine’s Day

Metro investigates what impact technology will have on the way we celebrate Feb. 14.
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New technological devices are constantly trying to make life easier and better, with varying degrees of success. The future may also include new devices and apps that will not just improve relationships among people, but also create virtual relationships.

Robots, for instance, are making inroads. Care and companion cyborgs have become accepted into our lives, and people bond with them. As experts believe, in the future, we will become closer and more connected to machines.

“People will converse with apps on their smartphones and in some cases they may lose track of the fact they are talking with a machine, not a person,” Martin Ford, who focuses on the impact of artificial intelligence and robotics on society, told Metro. He is author of “Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future.”

In the near future, however, such relationships could become problematic and may involve a human withdrawing from “normal” relationships, experts say.

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Another concern is the implications of sex robots, for example, and whether they further objectify women or cause people to place less value on meaningful human relationships.

“There is also some doubt over the ethics of sex robots,“ explained Kate Devlin, senior lecturer at the University of London.

“But I think the benefits outweigh those doubts. Sex robots could provide a way for people to be sexually active where they might not have access to socially normative relationships. Sex is a pleasurable, affirming act that enhances our well-being. If we can give people who may not be able to access the opportunity to experience it, then I think sex robots are a wonderful thing.”

Virtual reality technology could have a dramatic impact on our relationships as well, with the rise in pornographic content and applications. That is often accompanied by sex toys, known as teledildonics, that allow people to take part in sexual activity with each other even when they are in different places.

That is why experts believe that soon we could have the ability to meet and interact in virtual reality environments.

For example, on Valentine’s Day, you might be able to have a virtual date in a romantic place hundreds or thousands of miles away from your partner.

Maybe you’ll be able to give the gift of an original work of art, created by an artificial intelligence application.

“Robots and software applications will definitely begin to stand in for other people in [a] specific area,” Ford said. However, it will be a long time before people will start buying chocolates and flowers for their machines. But 30 or 50 years from now … who knows?”

 
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