For decades, sci-fi works like The Stepford Wives, Blade Runner, and most recently, West World have imagined worlds inhibited by both humans and realistic human-like robots. While at first, this concept may seem a little outlandish and even improbable, it could soon become a reality due to companies like Realbotix, whose upcoming new release is set to blur the line between humans and technology in our own world.
While Realbotix has long been producing their signature RealDoll companion dolls, users will soon be able to subscribe to the company’s newest product, Harmony AI. The sex robot is an improved version of the dolls, as it includes a form of sophisticated artificial intelligence that had been absent in their previous models. Harmony will allow users to choose from 18 different character personalities and limitless possibilities for looks in hopes of creating a perfect companion. The AI learns from its user over time, making it able to have conversations and have a “relationship” with them. The newest dolls have also been painstakingly designed to look as human as possible – even capturing the nuances of subtle expressions like blinking, cheek movement and even be able to orgasm.
While the development of human-like AI is pretty fascinating, Realbotix’s latest product is also causing a lot of controversy, with many worried about the potential social consequences.
Of course, the main social argument surrounding this topic is that those who are attracted to these dolls are people who may be experiencing some form of social isolation. The major concern here is that with the technology becoming more advanced and its ability to mimic a personality, those users may end up preferring the company of their dolls and not try to seek out any human interaction at all. However, some argue the complete opposite—that these dolls may help those who are socially awkward to practice social skills before trying them out in the real world.
Others believe these dolls are also a good outlet for those who feel as if they are too busy for a relationship but still want to feel some type of companionship. It may also help people who are disabled or otherwise shut in and have limited opportunities to meet potential partners. Or it may just please those who want to try out things but are too embarrassed to do them with a human partner.
Currently, the upgraded dolls are available for pre-order through the company website for $10,000, while subscription to the Harmony AI app starts at $20 per year. Additionally, a virtual reality experience is in the works where users will be able to interact with their virtual companions in an “alternate way.”
By Natalee Anjarie