There’s not a day that passes that we don’t have a new reason to suspect humanity is dying off. Scientists have warned of the ‘sixth extinction‘ for decades, but now there is at least one man who believes an ostensibly beneficial innovation — sex robots — could lead to the human race getting screwed.
This is not a Terminator scenario. If humans begin spending the majority of their intimate hours with sex androids, they will reduce both the energy and biological resources needed to perpetuate the human race. At the Second International Congress on Love and Sex with Robots, Swiss researcher Oliver Bendel issued the following, fairly simple, warning:
“If the machine over-exerts the human, it reduces the possibility of human sex.”
At first glance, this seems to be almost a tongue-in-cheek reference to loving your new toy just a little too much. However, there is actually some meat to the theory. If robots satisfy all of our sexual demands, we will be less reliant on physical intimacy with other humans.
Consider also the coming virtual reality sex market, which will allow us to spend countless hours in fictional worlds that rival or supersede our wildest fantasies. Add this to a reduced need for the physical contact critical for most biological reproduction, and it’s easy to conclude that population rates may dramatically decrease in the coming decades.
Perhaps, some would say, this is a good thing. However, if, correspondingly, humans are incubating themselves alone in their homes with androids and occupying commercial virtual environments in perpetuity, we could see the fabric of human interaction and civilization further weaken. At the very least, exponential change to our biological social safety nets — in terms of reproduction — appear imminent.
Perhaps, some would say, this is a good thing.