By 2030 the majority of people will have virtual sex, and just 20 years later, by 2050, sex with robots will be overtaking human-human sex, a researcher has claimed.
The change in our behaviors will come as “love and the act of sex” become separated, with relationships retaining the important human element, according to Dr Ian Perason, the author of a paper on what the future of sex will look like.
The report comes as sexual interaction with emerging technology is facing mounting criticism from opponents. Pearson, who is also an author and fellow of the British Computer Society, sees robots and virtual reality becoming involved in our sexual practices, as well as “direct nervous system links, dream linking and body sharing”.
“Although most people will have virtual sex by 2030, some might only use straightforward VR without the sex toys as part of that,” the report: Future of Sex Report: The Rise of Robosexuals, says.
“By 2035 toys will be better developed and most people will be well used to VR sex by then, so will have acquired a collection of sex toys that interwork with VR.” However, the report should be taken with a pinch of salt as it is sponsored by online sex shop Bondara and is not published in a peer-reviewed journal.
By 2050, the report says sex with robots will have the potential to overtake human-only sex as people will want to “embrace relationship-free robot sex”. A large hurdle in robotic sex replacing humans is the cost and production of the robots, however there will be the potential for the human to customise the sort of experience they want.
“An AI doesn’t have to live in a robot, it can be anywhere, so you could use your favourite AI with any robot,” the report says. It goes on the state that artificial intelligence can help people “live their ultimate fantasy” without having any “emotional commitments”.
Serious concerns about this sort of approach and attitude to sex have been raised by the Campaign Against Sex Robots, which says that the robots “further sexually objectifies women and children.” The Campaign says that an ethical approach is needed as sex robots can have a “detrimental effect” on society.
“We propose that the development of sex robots will further reduce human empathy that can only be developed by an experience of mutual relationship,” the Campaign says.
Away from the murky area of sex robots, the report goes on to say that virtual reality, which will see the mainstream sale of headsets begin next year, can help to reduce barriers to sex.
“VR will allow people to have sex who might otherwise have few opportunities: people who are too old or restricted in what they can do in reality. In VR, real appearance and ability cease to be barriers, since AI can fill any gaps.”
At present the potential for VR porn and experiences is very generic, but the report suggests that as time goes on experiences will be able to be customised for individuals. It also predicts that VR headsets will be replaced by contact lenses that are able to replicate what VR headsets can currently achieve.
If a person has a specific fantasy, they will be able to indulge in a VR environment that incorporates that. The author suggests that a person would be able to experience a scenario with their favourite “star” or experience something that their human partner is not open to.
Pearson does conclude by saying that “social values” will change, but says that relationships with humans won’t end – just that “love and sex will become increasingly separated and independent.”