You know, the comments section on YouTube is an interesting place...
Some comments seem well thought out, some are pretty funny, but most are, shall we say, rather “knee jerk”.
And on top of this, YouTube, in its infinite unquestionable wisdom, seems to love taking it upon itself to “curate” the comments section for my safety.
Thanks, YouTube. Now I just have to deal with people accusing me of deleting their comments! Thanks!
So yeah, YouTube comments are generally a tragic cesspit. However, despite my better judgement, I still read all the comments.
And every now and then I’m genuinely rewarded with a comment that makes me rethink my position on something…
So about months ago I released a video on what I considered the 2 major problems with sex dolls and sex robots that nobody is talking about.
Now, I’ll leave a tag to that video and you can check it out if you like. I think it’s still the most viewed video on my channel thus far but anyway, spoilers, one of my main points was the problem of unearned intimacy.
I considered this a problem and I still do. I’m not going to bore you with my argument as I don’t want to run over old ground, but if you want some more context around what we’re going to be talking about today then you might want to check out my video.
So anyway, in response to that video a viewer by the name of Aiah Zohar decided to clap back with this:
As a woman, I agree that a lot of men idealize women to their detriment. I saw it in school all the time. Men would destroy lifelong friendships with other guys just for a chance at the P. But "unearned intimacy?" I don't agree tech addressing people's intimacy needs is a problem. Humans are social animals and intimacy is a basic emotional and even physical need. The idea that one has to earn intimacy is, even if common, like the idea one has to *earn health care or legal services access to protect one's rights*. I think intimacy should be a basic human right. Up to now, we've only had each other to provide it so it was impractical to recognize intimacy access as a right. Machines, so long as they're merely convincing robots and not self-aware AGI, could finally offer people this. Intimacy is more than just sex. For example, there's a grave shortage of intimacy for the elderly that pet-like robots are beginning to address. Just because people don't want to be around the elderly doesn't mean the elderly don't have intimacy needs and tech shouldn't address them. I feel similarly about sexual intimacy needs
So, I gotta say…Great comment!
So the question here is, is physical intimacy a basic human right?
Never thought about this…
And if so, how should sex robots administer physical intimacy?
Now I will definitely agree that physical intimacy is incredibly important for emotional and mental well-being.
Researchers have found that loneliness is just as lethal as smoking 15 cigarettes per day. Lonely people are 50 per cent more likely to die prematurely than those with healthy social relationships.
And yes perhaps that loneliness could be alleviated by an AI companion...
But I think it’s important not to confuse emotional intimacy with physical intimacy here.
Are they tied into one another? Well, personally, I definitely think they should be. However, let’s be frank here. It certainly isn’t in many cases.
For example, men are much more capable than women in general at bifurcating their needs for physical intimacy and emotional intimacy.
When we meet a woman the first time we evaluate whether she’s a long-term or short-term prospect based on the social cues she’s giving off, but regardless of which way we see her, we want to have sex with her just as much.
We just have one set of criteria for long-term relationships and another set for short-term flings. And suffice to say, the bar we set for short-term stuff is much lower than the long-term stuff.
However, women evaluate all men based on the same criteria. They want the chad with the six-pack who will stick around for the long term to take care of them. That’s the benchmark that they hold all men they meet.
It’s a tough ask to get all of this in one single guy so either the girl holds out and stays extremely selective OR they create a scenario where they have multiple guys filling different relationship roles in their life, so they’ll have guys to help them financially, guys to help fix shit around the house and guys they’re sleeping with and so on. This is a concept known as the “Frankenboyfriend”.
I think that’s something that’s not widely understood or accepted by society in general. That there is this difference in female and male mating strategies.
Yes, I know, women's sexual liberation has made it more “societally acceptable” for female promiscuity and I could talk all day about that topic, but that’s a video for another day.
Today I want to stay with the current topic and when I consider whether physical intimacy is a basic human right or not and whether artificial intelligence and sex robots could or should have a part in creating a solution to the growing problem of loneliness and singledom in western society, I can’t help but think about this…
Sex robots are getting more and more sophisticated by the day. And before long, if we stay on our current trajectory, they’re not going to be able to be referred to as just sex toys. They’ll be more than that, and very soon by the sounds of it.
Consider this: There’s a debate raging right now about whether Google's LamDA AI “chatbot” has actually developed sentience. Like it actually believes it’s alive and capable of thoughts and feelings!
I’ve read the transcript of its conversations with google engineers and it’s frighteningly convincing. I’ll leave a link to it so you can check it out for yourself and I found it pretty disconcerting if I’m honest. Like we’re on the edge of a massive paradigm shift here…
So with that in mind, a sex robot with its own thoughts and feelings, who can empathise with you and at least create the impression that it’s emotionally attached to you will be very compelling to a lot of guys I’m sure, especially if it also looked like Kendall Jenner…
However, I think it’s dangerous for a machine that you can have sex with to also be a machine you can be emotionally intimate with.
I think these two factors should never exist in the same machine.
The blending of emotional and physical connections should be the exclusive domain of humanity and other living breathing entities.
Yes, sex robots should exist for guys and girls who are struggling on the dating market, they should be a physical outlet and I have talked about how I believe they will look in the future in a previous video.
Personally, I don’t even think they’ll look like a “real human” per se. And you can check out my thoughts in this video:
However, I think it should be illegal to create a sex robot that also attempts to make an emotional connection with you. They should be limited in their capacity to basic moaning and groaning and “ooh yeah baby, give it to me harder” and shit like that and that’s about it.
There should be a clear limitation in its ability to “connect” with a human being emotionally.
It should be “dumbed down”, so to speak, so it cannot have the capacity to emulate empathy for example.
If the robot manufacturer intends to create a machine that physically looks and acts as human as the current technology of the time permits, then there should be limitations placed on its processing functions.
I’m not a computer engineer or anything but I would think some sort of limitation to the processing power of its onboard computers should be in place, that sort of thing…
However, If the robot is clearly not human, like it’s just a box on wheels or something, then sure, these types of robots should have the capacity for human-like thought.
Sex robots should only have the capacity to follow the instructions of their owner and give off the appearance of enjoying themselves during the act, but that is all. Post coitus pillow talk should be impossible with this type of robot.
If you want to talk about your feelings after the act, you go into the next room and sit and chat with your desktop computer.
But the thing is, humans are great at anthropomorphising inanimate objects. People marry their cars and bikes and fall in love with trees and all sorts of weird shit.
Look, we can only do what we can do about that sort of outlier stuff but I think there should be a general rule that any artificial intelligence that seems to demonstrate a will of its own, should not be allowed to have a face or be humanoid in appearance.
Faces are how we connect, it’s how we recognise one another, most communication is nonverbal. At least the removal of a machine's face could mitigate some of the problems with falling in love with a household appliance.
So yeah, perhaps I’m spending way too much time thinking about this kinda stuff, but it’s definitely an interesting thought exercise.
I am personally of the belief that physical and emotional intimacy is monumentally important to your wellbeing, however, you are not owed it by society, and you cannot take it by force from another person.
However, as the commenter pointed out, we’re on the cusp of being able to provide those people who struggle to find someone to connect with an opportunity to find that without directly hurting another living breathing individual.
I just think that the influence one individual has over another when they make the other person feel emotionally connected is a power that needs to be respected. It needs to be taken seriously.
I sure there are many of you watching this video who have fallen in love with the wrong person and regretted it, perhaps even felt emotionally manipulated by that person
Do you really want that kind of power in the hands of an inanimate object? I think that’s the real question here…