As a tool, there's value in sex robots. But what if people develop real feelings for their humanoid dolls? "If my partner develops an emotional affection and preference for intimacy with a robot over me, I'd be reconsidering what our partnership meant," she says.
Exploring and reaffirming what your partnership means, and articulating your feelings around intimacy, fidelity, and commitment, are healthy exercises for any couple. Says sex therapist Ian Kerner, writing for CNN: "Some will probably view sex with a robot as a threat to their relationship, while others will see it as a fun addition."
Robots don't cheapen relationships; people do
What do all of these advances mean for human beings? What can we expect from interpersonal human relationships once we've gone intersextional with AI?
"I don't think robotic technology cheapens interpersonal relationships," Cole says. "I think humans cheapen interpersonal relationships! We are constantly looking for shortcuts to the next emotional connection, the next hit of dopamine, the next way to satisfy ourselves and technology can be used to escape from ourselves, and our partners."