Sex in virtual reality will be common by 2030, with robots by 2050: report

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.


Image and featured image courtesy of Bondara.

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.”

As VR gets nearer to its commercial launch, VR porn has already been made available and has already been the subject of considerable discussion (links SFW).

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.”

Wanted man captured thanks to facial recognition

A Chinese man who was wanted by police for “economic crimes” – which can include anything from tax evasion to the theft of public property – was arrested at a music concert in China after facial recognition technology spotted him inside the venue.

Source: Abacus News

SpaceX president commits to city-to-city rocket travel

SpaceX president and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell has reiterated the company’s plans to make city-to-city travel — on Earth — using a rocket that’s designed for outer space a reality. Shotwell says the tech will be operational “within a decade, for sure.”

Source: Recode

Businessman wins battle with Google over 'right to be forgotten'

A businessman fighting for the "right to be forgotten" has won a UK High Court action against Google.. The businessman served six months’ in prison for “conspiracy to carry out surveillance”, and the judge agreed to an “appropriate delisting order".

Source: Press Gazette

UK launched cyber attack on Islamic State

The UK has conducted a "major offensive cyber campaign" against the Islamic State group, the director of the intelligence agency GCHQ, Jeremy Fleming, has revealed. The operation hindered the group's ability to co-ordinate attacks and suppressed its propaganda.

Source: BBC

Goldman Sachs consider whether curing patients is bad for business

Goldman Sachs analysts have attempted to tackle the question of whether pioneering "gene therapy" treatment will be bad for business in the long run. "Is curing patients a sustainable business model?" analysts ask in a report entitled "The Genome Revolution."

Source: CNBC

Four-armed robot performing surgery in the UK

A £1.5m "robotic" surgeon, controlled using a computer console, is being used to shorten the time patients spend recovering after operations. The da Vinci Xi machine is the only one in the country being used for upper gastrointestinal surgery.

Source: BBC

Virgin Galactic rocket planes go past the speed of sound

Virgin Galactic completed its first powered flight in nearly four years when Richard Branson's space company launched its Unity spacecraft, which reached supersonic speeds before safely landing. “We’ve been working towards this moment for a long time,” Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides said in an email to Quartz.

Source: Quartz

Google employees protest being in "the business of war"

Thousands of Google employees, including dozens of senior engineers, have signed a letter protesting the company’s involvement in a Pentagon program that uses AI to interpret video imagery and could be used to improve the targeting of drone strikes. The letter, which is circulating inside Google, has garnered more than 3,100 signatures

Source: New York Times

Computer system transcribes words users “speak silently”

MIT researchers have developed a computer interface that transcribes words that the user verbalises internally but does not actually speak aloud. The wearable device picks up neuromuscular signals in the jaw and face that are triggered by internal verbalisations — saying words “in your head” — but are undetectable to the human eye.

Source: MIT News

Drones could be used to penalise bad farming

A report by a coalition of environmental campaigners is arguing squadrons of drones should be deployed to locate and penalise farmers who let soil run off their fields. Their report says drones can help to spot bad farming, which is said to cost more than £1.2bn a year by clogging rivers and contributing to floods.

Source: BBC

Californian company unveil space hotel

Orion Span, a California company, has unveiled its Aurora Station, a commercial space station that would house a luxury hotel. The idea is to put the craft in low-earth orbit, about 200 miles up, with a stay at the hotel likely to cost $9.5 million for a 12-day trip, but you can reserve a spot now with an $80,000 deposit.

UK mobile operators pay close to £1.4bn for 5G

An auction of frequencies for the next generation of mobile phone networks has raised £1.36bn, says regulator Ofcom. Vodafone, EE, O2 and Three all won the bandwidth needed for the future 5G mobile internet services, which are not expected to be launched until 2020.

Source: BBC