Will male sexbots make men obsolete?

Will men become obsolete? (Picture: Liberty Antonia Sadler for

It seems quite fitting that 2018 marks the centenary of the publication of the seminal horror story by Mary Shelley; Frankenstein.

After all, we have just had an announcement by a Harvard professor that men are due to become obsolete, as well as the fact that a realistic bionic sex doll for women is, er, coming on the market this year.

Which means we could soon have unstoppable frankenpenises rocking women’s worlds – and seriously putting a downer on men’s lives. After all, the makers claim this man will never, ever tire.

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So he can be up doing the housework straight after sex. Result.

Let’s face it, previous male bots have looked like teenage boys and have had major failings in the trouser department.

But RealDoll’s new hunk is passable. Plus you can customise his look to cater to your tastes. They also have ‘interchangeable heads with a 7-inch oral capacity’. The mind boggles.

As yet, these dolls are purely sex machines – just rather attractive-looking vibrators. But who knows where this Franken-tech could lead us?

Now, I’m not suggesting you cobble together your man from dead parts, like Dr Frankenstein’s original invention. These creations will be more sophisticated.

But will they be able to hold fascinating conversation? Well, it will probably be a lot better than that Essex lad’s banter last Saturday.

Professor Cathy O’Neil certainly thinks so. She even reckons she would get one for her daughter, ‘preferably one who can do the dishes and guard the door’.

Is your love life about to change dramatically? (Picture: Liberty Antonia Sadler for

In an age of #MeToo and Time’s Up, I can certainly see the attraction – at least you can be sure that Mr Sexbot won’t harass you.

Plus, like Prof Griffin says, men will be forced to up their game.

Maybe there’s a case for not living with an actual partner and instead have a sexbot to cater for your needs? Men can just be a fun distraction.

But male tech gurus are, on the whole, unconvinced.

Richard Stone, of Stone Junction,  an expert in public relations for robotics, automation and AI, told me: ‘My personal view is very different from my professional one.

‘Personally, I would hope menbots don’t make men obsolete, but I can’t see why they wouldn’t.

‘After all, a manbot is less likely to get up in the middle of the night and send aggressive tweets to North Korea or download porn on Westminster computers.

‘However, my professional view is that the introduction of technology, particularly robotics or AI, into an application, always results in an increased requirement for productivity.

‘So, on that basis, we might hope menbots will increase the need for men, but perhaps with subtly different roles.

‘However… I suspect that it’s really the need for emotional closeness, not the option to replace physical closeness, that will stop men becoming obsolete for a little while yet.’

Tej Kohli, tech entrepreneur and principal backer of robotics and AI fund Rewired, agrees.

‘In the same way many people still prefer to peruse an actual newspaper versus the digital alternative… I believe most of us will continue to favour a companion made of flesh and blood.’

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The good old fashioned approach isn’t going anywhere (Picture: Ella Byworth for

While Richard Mitchell, Professor of Cybernetics in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Reading, also thinks women won’t be fooled just yet by the bionic tech.

‘We are still, I feel, a long way from having a robot that is sufficiently like a human.

‘We can get great appearance on the screen, thanks to the advances in computer graphics, but actual physical robots look very unrealistic still.

‘The examples cited showing someone carrying around what looks like a dummy seem rather pathetic.

‘Robots can do some things well, some in fact better than humans, but are a long way from being as versatile.

‘Also, there is much more to a relationship than sex.’

However, there may be more to worry about than the robot’s orange nylon wig falling off at a crucial moment.

What if you ask it to stop and the bot, reminiscent of Hal in 2001: A Space Odyssey, replies with: ‘I’m, sorry, Davina, I’m afraid I can’t do that.’

What if it really is unstoppable?

But then, looking at domestic violence stats, could it be that risky to have a robot replacement?

Prof Griffin adds another danger. What if they got hacked by murderers?

Kohli adds, however: ‘I don’t think we need to hit the panic button just yet.

‘While the rise of digisexuals may very well soon be a real concern, AI replacement lovers, so called ‘menbots’ and ‘fembots’, will only ever appeal to a limited market.

‘Where robotics and AI should excite us the most is in their capacity to assist, not replace the human race with much more complex needs, by completing tasks in hazardous environments or with supporting our existing roles such as the development of exoskeletons which allow us super human strength – Iron Man brought to life.

‘My view is that any advances in AI need to complement our society as a whole, allowing us to accomplish more and continue to innovate especially in the medical field.’

A bionic Iron Man? Bring it on, I say. Can’t say Pete from Solihull will have much appeal on Tinder in the face of that competition.

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