Sexy android replicas of your fave stars are on their way.
The so-called Information Age has certainly raised a lot of extremely interesting questions regarding personal rights. A few choice ones include: Do you have the right to repair what you own? Do you have the right to be completely anonymous online? Do you have the right to disconnect and leave work behind? And—what we’ll be talking about here—do you have the right to own yourself?
By “yourself,” I’m talking about your physical image. Agreed, it’s not something a lot of us have to be concerned about—at least not yet—but it’s a real problem if you happen to be a celebrity.
Just like the real thing
We’re already seeing the nascent birth of a whole cottage industry of celebrity robot doppelgangers. Android and serious Scarlett Johansson aficionado, Ricky Ma, spent some $50,000 to create what is clearly a robotic copy of the alluring actress. He also recently announced he’ll be releasing information on how you, too, can create your own robotic copy of practically anyone.
Even David Levy, the author of Love and Sex with Robots, said the appearance of personal celebrity look-alike androids isn’t just coming but is inevitable. Interviewed by The Daily Star, he used the example of another sexy celebrity as a candidate for copying: “You can imagine people saying, ‘I’ve got a sex robot who looks like Angelina Jolie and she’s fabulous in bed!’”
We here at Future of Sex even predict that we’ll be seeing lifelike copies of our favorite sexy stars as early as 2033—if not sooner. In fact, we believe adult actors and B-list celebrities will be the first to design replicas of themselves for sexual purposes.
This has raised major privacy and copyright concerns. After all, for many performers, their faces and forms are what they are: their identity as well as their livelihood. The idea of having an unauthorized copy of themselves inhabiting the playrooms, of (at first) a few talented engineers and then (eventually) almost everyone, is more than a tad troubling.
Building your own sexy bot
How we’ll get there is easy to envision, at least in regards to the hardware side of things.
Right now androids, even rather sophisticated ones like Ricky Ma’s, are bespoke: each one created pretty much from scratch. This means that to have your own celebrity sexbot, you either have to be a more-than-able engineer and programmer or have some serious money to spend.
In a few years, though, we’ll more than likely see huge advances, not just in what robots will be able to do, but in manufacturing.
With the engineering bugs worked out, personal robots will have much more human movement and behavior. Once they can do more than just badly clean floors—and scare cats—the demand will skyrocket. With that, of course, will come lower costs: robots making robots.
With a good basic sexbot, it’ll be relatively easy to capture the nuances of a performer’s face, body, voice, and even how they move and react from their films. Add 3D printing into the mix, and practically anyone will be able to create a lifelike copy of just about anyone.
Naturally “just about anyone” will mean a lot of sexy celebrities are going to likeness built into illegal android replicas.
I belong to you
While the idea of making an android copy of your favorite celebrity is definitely a 21st century one, the essential questions involving digital copyright have been around for quite a while.
In the early days of the electronic publishing revolution, there was a huge concern that once a digital copy was published illegal copies would spread everywhere at the speed of light.
Music, video, books, software—you name it—creators and publishers were, and still are, losing sleep over it. Various techniques have been tried, including physical keys (like serial numbers) and DRM (Digital Rights Management), but for every lock there seems to be someone, somewhere, with the skills to bypass it.
The question then becomes, what will celebrities do in the not-too-distant future to prevent themselves from being copied—and becoming proxy sexual playthings?
They are coming, one way or another
Cutting to the chase: the answer is not a thing. If the fight against digital piracy has taught us anything, it’s that if people want something, even an android copy of a celebrity, they are going to get it.
As Antony Scholefield reported here at Future of Sex, while Ricky Ma’s android may look and sound (though not yet move) like Johansson, he’s careful not to use the actress’s name.
This leaves celebrities with one of two choices. The first is that they will fight, tooth and nail, against anyone making a robotic copy of themselves. And, more than likely, they’ll win some of those battles: files will be deleted, owners sued, and bots will be destroyed. But for every victory, they’ll be countless others who’ll enjoy their look-alike sexbots to their (ahem) heart’s content.
Then there’s the solution that many involved with digital media have discovered: let them do it—or, better yet, give them a truly good reason not to make an illegal copy.
Watching a pirated film, for instance—and not that I would ever have any direct experience with that kind of thing—is often an unfulfilling experience. Sure, you can see it but the quality is usually subpar, and you miss out on all kinds of fun bells and whistles an honest copy provides.
So there you are, a hot commodity celebrity with legions of really, really, really excited fans, many of whom are going to create illegal copies of your image. So why not make some yourself? But better than any illegal copy ever could be.
Your personal celebrity sexbot
At first, this will no doubt be done by adult entertainers. But before long we’ll be seeing other celebrities joining in, once they realize that there’s money to be made and that fighting it will go absolutely nowhere.
Fast forward a few years from now, and you could easily see high-end androids modeled after not necessarily celebrities but their TV and film roles. The real Scarlett might be kind of dull, but who wouldn’t want a lifelike Black Widow of their very own? With or without the kick-ass skills: your choice, whatever you happen to be into.
Echoing David Levy, this is all going to happen, whether we want it to or not. The big question then: Are celebrities going to approach this new way of marketing themselves and their roles? Or are they going to try and push against the inevitable and drive the android makers underground?
As with other forms of digital copyright, we’re going to be seeing some legal chaos until the law, and the sexbot fans eager to create their own playthings, come to some understanding. In the meantime, be prepared to see many more celebrity copies popping up, both authorized and as well as labors-of-love—and desire.