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A former Google researcher says sex between humans will soon be obsolete. VR headsets, AI, and robots could take over.
Mo Gawdat, former executive director of Google’s X research and development division, makes a provocative thesis: Artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, and sex robots could soon make human partners obsolete in the bedroom.
Simulated intimacy through VR headsets and robots
Gawdat argues that technological advances, especially when combined with VR/AR headsets such as the Apple Vision Pro or Meta Quest 3, could fool the human senses and simulate sexual encounters that are indistinguishable from real ones. This development, Gawdat says, could herald a redesign of love and relationships.
Combined with a sex robot, Gawdat said, VR/AR glasses could trick people into thinking sex is real in the future. The former Google executive goes so far as to say that even the emotional and mental stimuli associated with intimacy could be artificially generated. “It’s all signals in your brain that you enjoy companionship, and sexuality, and — if you really want to take the magic out of it — it can be simulated,” Gawdat said.
Sex via brain-computer interface?
Gawdat goes one step further with his next science fiction theory: brain-computer interfaces, such as those being developed by Elon Musk’s Neuralink, could enable a direct connection to our nervous system, theoretically eliminating the need for another human.
Addressing the debate over whether AI robots could be sentient, Gawdat asked, “Does it really matter if they’re simulating sentientism so well? Does it really matter if the Morgan Freeman talking to you on the screen is actually Morgan Freeman or an AI-generated avatar, if you’re convinced that it is Morgan Freeman?”