Famed inventor shares future forecasts, claiming past accuracy rate of 86%.
Futurist Ray Kurzweil has explained his sex predictions in a wide-ranging interview with Playboy magazine, covering remote touching, alternative bodies, cyborgs, robots, and new ethical issues about sex.
Kurzweil, the director of engineering at Google and inventor of the famous Kurzweil-brand musical synthesizer, spent two days with interviewer David Hochman, discussing several possibilities for the future of sex.
Haptic technology and different bodies
One of Kurzweil’s sex predictions was about haptic technology, which would allow people to cuddle, kiss, or sexually pleasure each other from a distance.
Award-winning researcher Dr. Adrian Cheok described this new wave of haptic technology as the “huggable Internet,” and by Kurzweil’s reckoning, it could be ready by the 2030s.
Kurzweil also predicted people would be able to look different, or even feel different, during sex.
He suggested lovers could become more idealized versions of themselves—or become different people entirely. They could even become each other, experiencing the relationship from their partner’s point of view.
People already transform themselves into avatars on virtual sex platforms, but haptic technology could make this even more realistic.
It might seem strange that lovers would want their partner to become somebody else, but according to Kurzweil, this will become more acceptable in the future.
Kurzweil pointed out that more ethical issues exist around sex than ever before, thanks to pornography, sexting, cheating websites, and other things enabled by new technology. Some people might find it scandalous or upsetting that somebody would want their partner to look different, but others would probably see it as a new frontier for enjoyable sex.
When asked, Kurzweil said if he could choose to transform into another form for sex, he would transform into actress Amy Adams.
“I like the perky way she uses her body,” he said.
Imagining new forms of sex
Kurzweil also predicted that humans would merge with technology, which could open up further possibilities for sex.
“We’re already on that path. I mean, this little Android phone I’m carrying on my belt is not yet inside my physical body, but that’s an arbitrary distinction. It is part of who I am—not necessarily the phone itself, but the connection to the cloud and all the resources I can access there,” he said.
A second skin could help with haptic technology for remote touching while computer implants could allow people to control their sexual responses and experience on-demand orgasms.
A synthetic neocortex, basically a second brain, which Kurzweil thinks is inevitable, would allow people to imagine new forms of sex that are beyond human comprehension at the moment.
People could imagine new methods of having sex, new bodies for having sex, and new perspectives on love and relationships.
Sex robots and artificial consciousness
Sex robots are another hot topic among futurists, especially as they become more realistic.
Kurzweil remains confident that 2029 will be the year robots become indistinguishable from humans.
This could lead to even more ethical issues about sex robots, which are already triggering a backlash from some people, even though most futurists do not see a problem with them.
Self-aware sex robots might not want to provide sex on demand. They might want to be seduced. They might want their own sexual desires satisfied.
“As we get to the 2030s, artificial consciousness will be very realistic…We will believe it, and they’ll get angry at us if we don’t believe them,” said Kurzweil.
Are sex predictions always right?
While Kurzweil told Playboy his sex predictions will not necessarily come true, he backed in his impressive record as a futurist.
Nearly 20 years ago, Kurzweil made 147 predictions in his book The Age of Spiritual Machines. About 125 came true in the right timeframe. Others, such as self-driving cars, look set to come true in the near future. His biggest prediction is that computers will “outthink” human brains in about 2045, allowing people to live forever in an evolutionary shift he calls “the Singularity.”
Kurzweil also backed sex technology as leading the way.
He pointed out the first printing presses spent a lot of time working on “prurient” titles—early pornographic texts. Sex was also an early selling point for films, home videos, the internet, apps, virtual platforms such as Second Life, and now virtual reality headsets.
If you pay attention to the future of sex (and why wouldn’t you?), then according to Ray Kurzweil’s sex predictions, you could be getting the first glimpses of the future of the human race.