Elon Musk has finally weighed in on the futurist tech question on everyone’s mind.
“Sex robots? I think those are quite likely,” the billionaire founder of Tesla and SpaceX said during an interview with Vanity Fair published this week.
It’s not the first time Musk has mentioned sex robots. In October he made a reference to his ex-wife, actress and model Talulah Riley, as a “deadly sexbot,” while praising her role on HBO’s Reddit-friendly robot-cowboy epic Westworld.
Musk caught a considerable amount of heat on Twitter for that one — while he insisted his comments was well intentioned, it’s still a pretty weird thing to say about an ex. Riley’s character, an android “host” in the futuristic theme park, was a good example of some of the moral quandaries Westworld posed, like the concept of sexual consent with a near-conscious A.I. At one point, Riley’s character offers sex to the show’s protagonist, William, who asks her if she’s a human or not. “If you can’t tell, does it matter?” she asks.
Sex robots are, of course, not just likely but bonafide products on the market today. While we’re far from the Turing-test-passing level seen on Westworld, there has been steady progress in sexbot sophistication — most recently including the debut of a sexbot with a g-spot. And the more lifelike they are, the more of the human need for companionship they’ll be able to meet, for as long or as short of a time as their owner wants.