Are sex robots a sign that technology has gone too far?

As technology continues to develop at a startling rate, machines are taking over daily tasks and jobs we wouldn’t have thought twice about doing ourselves just a few years ago.

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Now, with further advances in artificial intelligence, robots are being produced to take over everything from daily housework to companionship and even sex.

As these machines are introduced as human companions, has artificial intelligence gone too far? Are there some parts of human nature that should remain just that – human – or are robots offering comfort and happiness to people who may otherwise be alone?

According to recent research, “sexbots” are becoming more popular as people choose to enjoy an intimate relationship with a robot rather than another human.

A report, published in the Journal of Sexual and Relationship Therapy, claims the new ‘bots will be adapted to speak and act like humans, while fulfilling their owners’ desires.

“As these technologies advance, their adoption will grow, and many people may come to identify themselves as ‘digisexuals’ – people whose primary sexual identity comes through the use of technology,” wrote the report’s authors, Neil McArthur and Markie L. C. Twist, from the University of Manitoba, Canada.

They added: “These robots will be tailor-made to meet people’s desires, and will do things that human partners cannot or will not do. For this reason, significant numbers of people will likely come to use robots as their primary mode of sexual experience.”

While many people will argue this is a step too far, McArthur and Twist claim these “sexbots” could be comforting for people who find it difficult forming human connections.

Read more: Robots aren’t taking over, they already have

This comes amid reports Barcelona has set up the world’s first brothel where women are replaced by inflatable dolls.

“Our services are unique in the world and have generated great expectations,” Sergi Prieto, co-founder of the brothel LumiDolls, told Metro.

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And it’s not just sex dolls on the rise, as artificial intelligence as a whole has divided people this week.

Humanoid robot Sophia was previously named the first robot in the world to become a citizen of a country – but now she has spoken out to say she wants her own family, the BBC reports.

Sophia, designed by Hong Kong firm Hanson Robotics, uses machine learning and responds by reading people’s expressions.

During an interview with Khaleej Times, Sophia said: “The notion of family is a really important thing, it seems.”

Not everyone agrees with this huge rise in technology however, as Noel Sharkey of the Foundation for Responsible Robotics (FRR) previously argued against robots being introduced into care homes.

Read more: Academics turn to robots to solve aged care dilemma

“They are being proposed for the elderly in care homes, which I think is controversial. If you have severe Alzheimer’s you can’t really tell the difference. We need to think about as a society what we want to do about it,” he told reporters in London.

Do you think technology has gone too far? Are you worried robots could begin to take over too many basic human tasks? Or do you think they can offer comfort to people, and advantages to society as a whole?