ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) — In a survey of changing attitudes between human beings and robots, nearly one-in-five people said they were “willing to have sex with an android,” despite more than one-third of respondents saying they fear machines will threaten the human race.
A poll conducted among 2,000 members of the British public by Middlesex University found out what humans think of one day walking, talking – and apparently progressing even further – with robots on a daily basis.
In addition to the 17 percent of people who said they are prepared to “have sex with an android,” more than one-in-ten claimed they would care for the fruits of such labor – with 11 percent saying they want a robot child similar to David in the movie A.I.
One of the study recipients said that science seems to have gotten the edge on sex: “It seems to have got to the stage where people would rather have sex with something that knows exactly what it’s doing, where we know exactly how it will react, and how long it will take, and how good it will be,” said one of the participants, noting that people’s “self-reliance” may have equipped people to seek such far-fetched sexual independence from other humans.
The participant adds: “But this obliterates the excitement of the uncertainty of being with a living person and the risk of it all going wrong, which is big part of having sex with someone in the first place. I’m just glad I got into a relationship before sleeping with C-3PO became the norm.”
However, 41 percent said they think the concept of sexual intimacy with a robot is “creepy” and an additional 14 percent said they don’t think robots should be used in such a manner.
Nearly one-fifth of pet owners said they would replace a cherished animal with a robot.
But despite some survey respondents’ intimate attitude toward robots, many polled expressed concerns.
Almost one-half (46 percent) said they thought technology was proceeding too quickly and uprooting traditional life values. Thirty-five percent expressed fears of unmanned military drones, and 42 percent expect teachers to be replaced by bots in future schools and classrooms.
The professor at the University of Middlesex who oversaw the study, Martin Smith, told The Guardian “While many of us worry about the role of technology and machines in modern society, robots are increasingly being developed for important roles that will help protect and improve our lives.”
“As with the android policemen in new TV series Almost Human, it is true that robots are being increasingly used for tasks that put human lives at risk – a computer-controlled machine can be programmed to approach a terrorist in a suicide vest or clear a building overtaken by gunmen,” Smith told The Guardian.
Nearly one-third of those surveyed also expressed concerns that robots will take over key jobs once occupied by human beings.
Ten percent of those surveyed said they expect to see RoboCop-type police figures in the future.
But Smith said many of these fears should be put aside and replaced with the positive angles of having robots around.
“Though many fear their jobs will be taken over by machines, it is more likely that robots will be used as assistants, and the future workforce could have the benefit of avoiding hazardous and repetitive tasks rather than suffer mass redundancies.”
Several recent studies have shown that technology, especially that of social media services, have cut into the sex lives of many people already.
According to a 2013 study, 15 percent of adults said that Internet use has led to a decrease in nighttime sexual activity. Streaming movies, Facebook and smartphones were the most cited robotic blocks to sexual behavior – between humans.
— Benjamin Fearnow