Read the full article by Lux Alptraum at Motherboard.Vice.com

 

The fantasy of a high tech lover who anticipates your needs before you’re aware of them is still a long way off.

Once a new technology becomes sufficiently popular—or even just buzzworthy—someone, somewhere, will try to turn into into sex tech. 3D pornsexy VR, and internet-enabled vibrators have all had their time in the sun. Now that AI technology has begun to feel more real life than sci-fi fantasy, a number of companies are attempting to incorporate it into their customers’ sex lives, specifically in the form of AI-enabled sex toys.

What an “AI sex toy” is depends on who you ask. Is it a sex toy that will have a conversation with you, like The Smart Lipstick currently seeking funding on Kickstarter? Or is it a product where the intelligence is concentrated on the backend, like a blowjob machine that can learn how to give you the ultimate blowjob?

For many AI experts, much of what’s being sold as AI erotic devices doesn’t truly count as AI. “You don’t need AI to respond to voice commands,” Annalee Newitz, author of the novel Autonomous and co-host of the podcast Our Opinions Are Correct, told me. She explained that many of the “interactive” toys currently on the market aren’t actually making use of machine learning. But even if we haven’t quite gotten to the point of actually intelligent sex toys, the various products that have advertised themselves as being artificially intelligent offer some idea of what consumers might want out of an AI-enhanced sex toy.

What might that look like? Kyle Machulis, the creator of MetaFetish and Buttplug.io, told me that he suspects that “a toy that you start using and without having to press any buttons, and without having to really even think about it, it starts adapting to pleasure you,” is what most people fantasize about when they think of an AI sex toy.

[E]ven as these products outline an enticing future where an amazing masturbatory experience is as easy as opening a box and applying a product to your genitals, they also face obstacles that might get in the way of achieving that experience. One challenge they face: Where will the creators of these products source all the data to teach their AI what, exactly, mindblowing sex looks like?