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Love and Sex With Robots

David Levy

1991 expt UCLA where pairs of students who had never met had to exchange intimate info such as most embarrassing moment and how they would feel if lost a parent. Then had to stare into each others eyes for two minutes without speaking. Then left room by separate doors. (Despite this precaution, the very first couple in study were married 6 months later). Self-disclosure and eye gazing are powerful and fast-acting way of getting someone to feel attracted to you.

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10 causes of falling in love:
similarity in one or more impt aspects (we like people better when they become more similar)
women react to personality
reciprocal liking
age match
filling needs
situational arousal (danger/adrenalin)
being alone with love object

People prefer to engage with computer therapist - non-judgemental. Patient puts a lot of trust in therapist - trust encourages patient to divulge personal and intimate confidences and accept advice. This is basis for love relationships, and so pathway for robot love.

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Virtual Girlfriend - modelled along lines of Tamagochi toys, which need constant nurturing. Customer pays a monthly fee but also has to buy her virtual flowers and chocolates. If guy is generous he gets to meet her girlfriends, but if he neglects her, she refuses to speak.

Robot pet dogs as companions, monitors, carers for the elderly. Lots of studies have shown that animals have major cheering effect on Alzheimers patients in particular.

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People are more honest talking to computers. Glasgow survey patients confessed to significantly higher levels of drinking. Carnegie Mellon U study 3% students admit drug use in pen-and-paper study; 14% when done by email.

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Japan leading way with robots which will potentially replace humans. Foresee need nurses for growing number of elderly.. US more dependent on cheap immigrant labor. So US see robots as tools, Japan as beings.

Japan and Korea have 'Dutch wives' - inflatable dolls that are more towards Lars and The Real Girl end of the spectrum. Accepted for the elderly and handicapped, but also becoming middle of the road. Also have sex dolls for guys who want a specific experience - Marilyn Monroe etc - rather than just some hooker. From owners POV the costs are much lower - recover costs in first month.The Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith In New China

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Cultural objections to people having sex with robots. But porn on way to being more acceptable. Seen as alternative for lonely or psychos.

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Socially approved marriage constantly changing - in past interracial not accepted, then same sex, in future, robots.

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U of Michigan study of '20 most effective male acts':
1.good SOH
3. good manners
6. offered to help
14. smiled a lot
18. touched her
19. made her laugh
20. expressed strong opinions

Not just men who pay for sex. Female sex tourism to W. Africa, Caribbean, Central America and Bali. Self delusion process for first-timers - racist ideas about "black men being hyper-sexual and unable to control themselves" to explain to themselves why such young and physically desirable men would want to have sex with older and/or fat women. Only the ones who'd had multiple sex encounters were prepared to admit that it was just the money.

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Multiple surveys of men who use prostitutes say they're looking for companionship and social acceptance as well as physical experience.

Madams of higher price brothels train escorts that they're not just there to provide 'ten disappointing minutes' but to pamper the guy - attention, listening, tenderness. Virtuous circle, self-reinforcing - guy enjoys it more, pays/tips more -> increases girl's self-esteem -> better at pampering the guy.

But each encounter the guy has to get out his credit card, so he's constantly reminded that it is a financial transaction. But if he buys a robot, financial bit dissipates quickly.

Guys preferred version of sex - like variety, oral sex, no complications, not having to play games to get woman into bed. Sex with partner is heavily transactional - not direct monetary payment, but very much 'have you been good enough to deserve it?'

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Rapid change in social attitudes to homosexuality
1835 last time anyone in Britain executed for sodomy
1950 all US states had anti-sodomy laws on books
2003 Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional all laws which regulated what people did in privacy of own home

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Similar changes to attitude to oral sex and masturbation. Attitudes to just about everything connected to sex have changed radically.

Modern tech has 'fixed' most of the cosmetic flaws people used to accept - bad teeth, cleft lips etc - now AI will make it possible to refine personality. Won't have to put up with a partner's moods.

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