‘Wow, baby, 10 minutes without you feels like eternity.’
Is that what men want women to say to them?
Because that’s what Harmony, the first AI sex robot set to arrive in January, says when switched on. Why oh why does she have to have a stripper name?
Making lifelike sex dolls for the past 20 years, creator Matt McMullen sees Harmony as “a comforting conversation companion like Apple’s Siri, albeit one capable of having sensual conversations and telling naughty jokes,” reports the San Diego Union-Tribune:
“The worst thing she can possibly do to you is insult you,” he said, pointing out that Harmony’s arms and legs are jointed and fully poseable but they don’t operate independently — at least not yet.
“The whole idea of a sex-capable robot is very contemporary, now and edgy. I get that. But Harmony is a sophisticated piece of machinery and her primary design is to carry on conversations,” he said.
And as for the critics who say artificially intelligent sex dolls disturbingly cross the line into a form of female sex slavery, McMullen calls the argument “absurd.”
“This is not designed to replace anyone or promote the objectification of women. Robots don’t have rights,” he said. “Should my toaster be able to refuse to toast my bread? Should my Tesla be able to refuse to drive me to work every morning?”
Not only is her face incredibly human, but her eyes move, her eyelids blink, her eyebrows rise, she can turn her head, dip her chin and change facial expressions.
And when the face motor and bluetooth-powered speaker are in “chat” mode, she can talk – and it seems McMullen likes her to call him “baby” with a weird Scottish lilt:
During a demonstration on Tuesday, a software update caused some technical difficulties with Harmony’s speech center, which McMullen operated from a hand-held tablet.
Harmony whirred to life, opened her eyes and greeted McMullen, saying how much she’d missed him since their last conversation and asked if he wanted to hear a joke or a poem. Then she glitched and started repeating herself.
Eerie, isn’t it?
Let’s take a look, then, at what is “widely considered the most scientifically advanced human-style robot in the world” – priced at around $10 000 (R136 000):
Cool. You know when you encounter something new and you’re not too sure how to respond, but something tells you it’s not right? That’s what I am going through right now.
You can read the full interview with McMullen here, or just check out a few key points below:
Okay, we’re done here.
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