"The 'sex tech' market is worth an estimated $30.6bn - and across the globe, firms are racing to create a radical new type of robot they say could change sex forever.The Guardian also has the story, their extensive article suggesting that (unfortunately?) hype is still running way ahead of reality.
"From AI personalities capable of holding a conversation to models with a functioning G-spot, firms are hoping consumers will pay up to $15,000 for a sex doll that never says no.
"Among the most impressive is RealDoll's Harmony - an artificial intelligence based sex bot that can hold conversations, remember what she's told and even has a customizable personality. ..."
I was always puzzled (quick disclaimer: when I thought about the subject at all) as to how the sexbot's responses would be programmed.
I imagined over-excited yet poorly-paid programmers toiling in robot control language, trialling this limb movement in response to that input.
Silly me: still trapped in that old GOFAI paradigm.
They'll simple enroll thousands of couples, wire them up to a dense mesh of sound and motion sensors .. and set them to go.
With so much fine-grained big data at their disposal, they'll unleash a DeepMind-style artificial neural net .. and just learn optimised responses.*
It'll be 'Go' all over again.
* I seriously would not want to be on the test team ... .