The possibility of sex robots in the future is a surprisingly controversial issue. If artificial intelligence evolves to the level of consciousness, then amour with an android might qualify as cheating if you’re in a relationship, and owning one for personal pleasure would basically be slavery. Regardless of the sentience issue, some feminists have argued that, “If women are the model on which most sexbots are based, we run the risk of recreating essentialized gender roles, especially around sex.” (We don’t know what “essentialized” means, but apparently they’d only approve of Jude Law‘s Gigolo Joe from “A.I.“?)
For the time being, those debates are all theoretical, because nobody’s too worried about the philosophical implications of the “automatic sperm extractor” at Zhengzhou Central Hospital in China’s Jiangsu province, a $2,800 height-adjustable machine (with additional settings for speed, amplitude and warmth) designed to “give patients [a] very comfortable feeling.” Unveiled in 2012 and recently gone viral on the internet, this isn’t the sexbot future you envisioned. Perhaps genius “I, Robot” author Isaac Asimov envisioned it, but not you.
The hospital’s director of urology explained to reporters that the automatic sperm extractor is meant to help sperm donors who feel intimidated to masturbate in such a clinical setting, but we’re not sure it’d help with relaxation. Maybe Tricia Helfer‘s “Battlestar Galactica” blonde bombshell bot Caprica-Six is an unrealistic fantasy, but we’d honestly rather f*ck R2-D2 than this: