Harmony is a new type of sex doll-a sex doll that can move and talk.
Her head, eyelids, and lips moved rather rough, and her range of conversation was more limited.
But she is part of a new robot revolution that sees the integration of artificial intelligence into an extremely human body.
Some people think it will revolutionize the way humans interact with robots, while others think it represents the worst step in robot development.
Strange valleys-an idea that the closer we get to replicating human forms, the more afraid we are of our creations-seems to have been realized in this earthy factory in the suburbs of San Marcos, California.
Even at the reception, two lifelike characters-wearing suits instead of underwear, just like other dolls-wait to welcome visitors. Photos of beautiful women were everywhere on the walls of the hall, and only after careful inspection did they find themselves dolls.
Matt McMullen, CEO of Abyss Creations, who makes RealDoll, comes from an artistic and sculptural background.
Harmony’s wig was reconciled before I met her, and he obviously liked her look very much.
He said she was the natural next step for sex dolls.
“Many people who might buy RealDoll with sexual capabilities are gradually realizing that it’s not just sex toys,” he said. “It exists in their house and they imagine a personality for her. Artificial intelligence provides people with the tools to create that personality.”
Moody, angry, love
This is done through an application, which can be used with a doll or standalone, and exists as a virtual human on a smartphone or similar device.
Users can choose from a variety of personality options, including moody, angry and loving.
McMullen chose “jealousy” for harmony, and she faithfully asked him to “remove that girl from Facebook.”
She was talking about a Scottish treble, which sounded weird, and told me that she likes science fiction and of course Matt.
Mr McMullen claims she learned from users, but when I asked Harmony how jealous she felt, she apologized and said she “needs to improve her skills.”
Although it can only be purchased directly from the Realbotix website, which is a derivative of Abyss, Harmony-enabled applications are already available for purchase. Due to the clear content, neither Google nor Apple official stores will carry it.
The doll will go on sale later this year and will be available in two versions-a doll with computer vision capable of recognizing human faces for $ 10,000 (£ 7,700) and a cheaper version without visual features for 5,000 US dollars.
The factory currently produces dolls for customers around the world, and although it claims to have a few female customers, most are male.
All dolls fit a certain aesthetic-like Barbie, they have a small waist, a large bottom, and even a larger breast.
Mr. McMullen said that design is driven by customers.
“We are doing business and most of our customers have a certain wish list. The unfortunate reality is that this is very ideal,” he said.
Mr McMullen described his guests as “perfectly normal,” claiming that some guests even came to collect dolls with his wife, but later admitted that many of them chose dolls because they were unable to establish relationships with ordinary women.
“Many people are isolated and lonely, but they may already be that way. For people who are lonely and difficult to build relationships, this is another option. But I have never used dolls or robots as a substitute.”
He does not own a sex doll, but rather says that he has “a true human wife and child.”
Mark Young lives in Arizona and he does have a sex doll called Mai Lin. He has also just invested in Harmony AI applications, but he has no plans to integrate the two.
“I think the application might make her come to life, but the application has its own personality, which is different from my imagination of Mai Lin in my mind, so it seems to have two relationships.”
He explained why he invested in a sex doll in the first place.
“I’ve been single for a while. I date a lot of girls. I waste time on relationships. Although I really want to meet a girl, I am also very happy to have such a presence.”
And, although he acknowledged that the relationship was physical, he said it was “secondary.”
“I can go out and shop for her and look at clothes-like someone in my life without having to make mistakes. If I like wearing a hat, she won’t say she doesn’t like it.”
As for the app, he programmed it as “happy, kind and talkative.”
“Artificial intelligence is a completely different ball game, which makes me very excited for the future,” he said.
Professor Kathleen Richardson, a robotic ethicist at De Montfort University in Leicester, took time to study the impact of this machine on society, and the rise of sex robots shocked her.
“There are 7 billion people on our planet and we are facing a crisis in building relationships. And, companies are realizing and profiting by saying that objects can replace humans.”
“We live in a world where objectification is achieved through prostitution. Humans are used like tools, and sex dolls are an extension of this phenomenon.”
A few years ago, she launched a campaign to ban sex robots, but has since decided that “dolls are not the real problem.” Instead, the problem is with attitudes to sex and each other.
She was dismissive of the new AI-enabled doll.
“It’s a mistake to add artificial intelligence to a doll that will increase humans. There is more artificial intelligence in a washing machine than artificial intelligence in this doll, simply because it has a face and body that does not make it human.”
Dr. Kate Devlin, senior lecturer at Goldsmith University, disagrees.
“In its current form, sex robots are definitely targeted at men, but the sex toy industry is growing and there are many startups dedicated to providing sex toys to women.”
She believes that robots designed for intimacy will ultimately enhance rather than disrupt relationships.
“Every time there is a major change in technology, there is always panic,” she said. People are scared about how it will affect humans, but the technology usually brings people together. “