As technology continues to advance, it continues to meet human needs. Whether you like to admit or not, humans have a lot of sexual needs, and technology is constantly advancing for ways to meet those needs. From the internet, to VR, to sex robots--it seems like technology will change the way we think about sexual gratification. This project in particular, Harmony, threatens to change the way that men think about sex.
Weird or Innovative?
Technology tends to vary between innovating our lives, and making them a little bit weirder. Here is a perfect example of both, as this new invention is meant to be a robot girlfriend and you might that either weird, or innovative.
For context, technology actually has a long history of being furthered by the sex industry. It is believed that the internet, for example, was largely successful in some part due to the availability of pornography online, which was easier than pre-internet alternatives.
I Now Pronounce You Man and Machine
Some scientists have even theorized that at some point people will marry robots. It is believed that as early as 2050 men could be warrying female robots, and vice versa as well. 2050 isn't quite as far away as you might think!
That is where this project comes into play. It is a project by creator Matt McMullen, and the inventor of this new sex robot has given it the name 'Harmony' and has spoken in great depth about the scope of this project.
Reportedly, the robot that Matt McMullen made, aka. Harmony, is pretty darn close to looking, feeling and acting human. It can respond like a person and is designed to have mannerisms that accurately reflect real people.
The 'Ideal' Woman
The robot, Harmony, is designed to replicate an 'ideal' woman and can actually learn things about her human counterpart. Reportedly it can learn and retain information like its boyfriend's favourite color and what type of music he enjoys listening to.
And it doesn't stop there! Apparently Harmony, in addition to being able to learn about trivial things like favorite colors and favorite music, can also learn and remember her partner's blood type and birthdays of all the family members of her partner.
Laughs at Your Jokes
Another bizzare, eerie and admittedly kind of cool factor is that Harmony is able to laugh along with jokes and reply in a seemingly real way to statements made by people. While this is a little creepy and a little bit 'Terminator' like, Harmony is completely peaceful.
The Creator Had This To Say...
The creator had this to say about Harmony, "there are a lot of people out there who, for various reasons, have difficulty forming traditional relationships with other people.They will be able to talk to their dolls, and the AI will learn about them over time, creating an alternative form of relationship."
Harmony actually uses AI learning to improve itself and to be able to learn and respond as humanely as possible. There are questions to be drawn here though, about where a human relationship is defined, and at what point we'd consider Harmony real.
Harmony's purpose is sexual, and the project aims to change the way men have sex. At some point, it is likely that a male version of the robot will exist, but for now the creator is focusing on the sexual needs of men.
Could This Be The Future?
As our relationships continue to be more and more based online, could they eventually be replaced by technology all together. If you have someone that loves you and acts like a person, at what point is it different from a 'real' relationship.
This Is Far From The First
This actually isn't the first project to try to create a 'real' seeming sex robot. There have been many projects in the past, mayn which are under development, but Harmony seems to real that this one in particular has earned a lot of attention.
The Uncanny Valley Effect
Another thing to consider is something called the Uncanny Valley effect. It refers to when robots seem so human-like that it is actually disturbing or creepy. At a certain point, would Harmony feel too 'real' to interact with? It's a question well worth considering.
Regardless of how you feel this project, whether you think it's creepy or if you're a little excited to get a robot of your own--you have to admit it's insane that technology allows this to happen. The future has never looked so weird and so revolutionary.