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6 Technologies That Are Setting out to Replace Women

It seems that whenever mankind is confronted with something new and possibly alarming, the immediate instinct is to make fun of it, and/or make it sexy. And that's exactly what we're doing with Artificial Intelligence.

To paraphrase "Zoolander," robots are so hot right now. They're in our movies, they drive our technology, they even pop up in our beloved Twitter memes:

 

 

It seems that most of our emerging AI technology is focused on making robots female, and not just female, but totally sexy. Siri and Alexa are the leaders in soothing robot voices, and that they're women's voices doesn't seem to be an accident. 

"And as widespread problems with the online harassment of women in social media and gaming has illustrated, female voices aren’t comforting in and of themselves, especially when they have something autonomous to say that’s not in the manual," Salon wrote for Salon earlier this month. "It’s plausible that tech is funneled into passive, agreeable female interfaces because we want our women — like our interfaces — to be passive and agreeable. Along the way, a compliant, servicing female voice establishes comfort with AI."

Let's take a look at this growing trend of replacing women with non-threatening, "compliant" technology by first taking a peek at robot culture in the media (yes, robot culture.)

Movies

The role of robots in movies has changed. We had HAL's quietly menacing voice in Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey." Then came the emergence of friendly bots, from droids in the "Star Wars" films, to Robin Williams tying his best as a gentle robot in "Bicentennial Man," to Haley-Joel Osment playing out a technologically advanced Pinocchio situation in Steven Spielberg's "A.I."

But female robots are all the rage now. "Her" (2013) was the story of a man who fell in love with the voice of an operating system (basically, a super advanced Siri) and "Ex Machina" (2015) suggested the dangers of making robots who are too realistically female. 

Here are six real life technologies that are replacing women

1. A Scarlett Johansson robot

Scarlett Johansson, who voiced the operating system in "Her," is now available in real-life robot form. Ricky Ma, a 42-year-old product and graphic designer of Hong Kong, told the Mirror it was a childhood dream to build a functioning robot, but offered no explanation as to why he modeled it after actress Scarlett Johansson. If you tell the robot it is beautiful, it smiles and says, "Hehe, thank you," reports Reuters. It is alarmingly lifelike and serves no real purpose, aside from making Ma happy.

2. VirtuaDolls: An Adult VR Game Controller

VirtuaDolls controller screen grab

VirtuaDolls is, to quote the company, "a game controller and adult toy in one incredible device." They introduced their concept on Indiegogo and financed their original campaign by 134 percent in March of 2016. It appears as though you play a video game in which you have sex with women, and you control the game via a device you put around your genitals. It's designed for men only. 

On the FAQ page on VirtuaDolls' Indiegogo, someone asks if the team is planning a female version, to which they reply, "if we're successful here, yes, we plan on releasing a female version of the product which can be used with adult gaming, or multiplayer experiences."

3. Advanced Fleshlights

A typical Fleshlight is a masturbatory aid for men that serves the purpose of an artificial vagina. Since their patent in 1998, they've been ripped off and expanded upon, and now we have things like this Blowjob machine:

"ENJOY UNLIMITED BLOWJOBS ON DEMAND" proudly proclaims the Autoblow website on their homepage. It's "THE CROWDFUNDED BLOWJOB ROBOT
EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT!"

Crowdfunded. Blowjob. Robot.

The Autoblow 2+ ranges in reviews, from a glowing 5 star rating from one Jay S. reading, "My very own blowjob robot!! HAHAHAHAHHA I am a happy customer!!!!!" to an angry (or perhaps merely frustrated) 1 star review from Gabe that reads, "HATE IT! PREFER MY HAND!"

4. A robot you can have sex with

The New York Times made a short film about Matt McMullen, who is developing realistic, robotic dolls that you can have sex with, called Realbotix

close up of sex robot

McMullen is also noted for bringing the RealDoll into the world. RealDolls are hyper-realistic sex dolls, and Realbotix would be a step above that, in adding movement and voice.

Digital Trends reports that the first wave of Realbotix would only feature animated heads (as opposed to entire bodies). They are about 2 years way from being available to purchase, and will cost anywhere between $10,000 — $60,000.

5. The Android Geminoid F, first robot actress

You can make endless jokes about certain actresses seeming robotic on screen, but Geminoid F is the first literal robot film actress. She appeared in the Japanese film "Sayonara" in 2015 and was listed in the credits along with the rest of the cast.

She was created by Hiroshi Ishiguro, the master of the Uncanny Valley (a reference to the sense of unease that people feel when robotic things look almost too real). 

But don't worry — Geminoid F, despite all her amazing technological advancements, was still nicknamed "world's sexiest robot," because of how many people want to have sex with her.

6. Virtual reality sex suit

As ATTN: previously reported, male masturbation is reaching new heights (or lows?) with Tenga's virtual reality sex suit. The body suit, called Illusion VR, allows the user to experience virtual sex via the Oculus Rift VR headset (for use with the Oculus game "Sexy Beach") combined with the special sex toy attachments made by Tenga.  

Tenga's tagline is "Masturbate Better," so it's no surprise that the company sells other astounding devices aimed at pleasuring the adult male. 

For example, there's the "AIR-TECH Series" of toys that feature "an amazing Air-Flow Structure that allows air to escape upon insertion, but also trap pockets of air to create stimulating feedback!" — if that's what you're into. 

Tenga air suction sex toy