Sexbot, Quinlan’s seventh novel, has been compared to early Michael Crichton novels, Michael Bay films, and the 1987 dystopian movie “Robocop.” But Quinlan thinks there’s something more going on.
“Sexbots are coming,” Quinlan says. “Whether we like it or not, people are going to be having sex with artificially intelligent robots in the next few years. And that’s going to change some things, to put it mildly.”
According to Quinlan, the first major breakthrough will probably happen when the makers of the RealDoll sex dolls successfully wed their dolls to artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics. They are working on the process at this moment, and plan to introduce the first AI sex dolls two years from now.
“RealDoll is the gold standard in super realistic sex dolls. In a short while, they’re going to have sex dolls that can mimic an intimate conversation with you. After that, forget it. You’re going to have more and more people who are very deeply bonded with machines. You know how some people feel affection for their iPhones? And you know how men get the chemical oxytocin in their brains after sex, and it helps them feel close to their partner? Their partner is going to be this incredibly sexy iPhone, only smarter.”
According to Quinlan, decades ago, the computer program ELIZA proved that people will quickly make emotional connections with a very simple intelligence that simply repeats their thoughts and feelings back to them. Artificial intelligence is much more sophisticated now.
“People are easily duped,” says Quinlan. “This isn’t going to be Siri calculating the distance from here to Beijing. It’s going to be after sex with a beautiful woman, and it’s going to be a sultry voice saying, ‘You’re the best. You’re a wonderful lover. I’ve never met a person like you.’ And people are going to be like, ‘Hey, this thing understands me.’ Soon after that, they’re going to be like, ‘This isn’t a thing at all. This is my girlfriend, and I love her.’ If you thought life was weird now, get ready because we haven’t seen anything yet.”