Humans and robots are on the cusp of a sexual intimacy we may never reverse

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If you could construct a sexual partner that was faithful, beautiful, and responsive to your every wish, would you? It's a question Aimee van Wynsberghe, co-founder of the Foundation for Responsible Robotics, thinks a lot about. In July 2017, she and fellow ethicist Noel Sharkey published a report (pdf), Our Sexual Future with Robots, that delved into the state of the robot sex industry and its future. Quartz met van Wynsberghe, a professor of robotics and ethics at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, on a trip to London in a busy café, just before she headed to the Science Museum's Robots exhibition, to discuss how close humanity is to sex and even love with robots, and the risks involved. The interview is edited and condensed for clarity. Quartz: Your report mainly deals with "precursors" to sex robots. How are the dolls and devices that already exist connected to possible robots of the future?

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