Will robots replace prostitutes?

Professors in New Zealand believe that by 2050, Amsterdam's red light district may be full of android prostitutes, whose prices will be controlled by the city council. Are prostibots in your future?

This appears to be the current state of the, um, art. Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

This is dedicated to all those of youthful vigor and adventurous spirit.

I wish to warn you of amusements that will, apparently, exist in 2050. For, by then, all prostitutes will be robots.

I know there will be some who have craved this notion since the first time they failed to charm a girl at high school. However, this prediction -- made by scientists at New Zealand's Victoria University -- offers that one of the greatest benefits of a prostibot is, well, cleanliness.

My regular reading of New Zealand's Dominion Post reveals to me that these android ladies (and, one presumes, gentlemen) will be made of bacteria resistant fiber and would be, um, "flushed for human fluids."

Naturally, the thoughts of many might be flooded with the question: "flushed by whom?"

My own first thought was that these prostibots were described as "android." Does this mean they will be created by the same fine brains that brought us the self-driving car?

In their paper "Robots, Men and Sex Tourism," Professor Ian Yeoman and Michelle Mars focused with some resolution on how Amsterdam's red light district might look in 2050.

They offer more reasons than mere perfectly flushed fluids for their prognostication. They say the prostibots -- working in a sex club with the very onomatopoeic named "Yub-Yum" -- would destroy the trafficking of human prostitutes from Eastern Europe and elsewhere. They also claim that these new androidesses will offer perfect beauty. I wonder how many beholders will agree.

Oddly, they also suggest that men in search of immediate commercial sexual pleasure would have an emotional connection to their chosen prostibot. This is touchingly difficult to conceive, especially as men will know that these machines cannot possibly respond to them in any true way.

It is surely the hope for at least some men in 2012 that they are transmitting pleasure to their human prostitute counterpart. Some men are still human.

You might wonder why these vast minds are feeling the need to consider futuristic prostibottery. Well, Mars is a sexologist. Yeoman, on the other hand, is a management professor with a deep and abiding interest in tourism.

Perhaps it was he, therefore, who bored down into some of the economic aspects. This utopian scenario involves the local city council setting their rates. I wonder what the council's percentage might be.

It is unclear, though, whether prostibots of particular sizes, hair color -- or even perhaps racy, gruff dialogue -- would demand higher rates than those of more mundane qualities (and, perhaps, bacteria-resistant fiber near its sell-by date.)

However, I wonder whether this new world has yet been sufficiently analyzed. I am indebted beyond price to CBS Las Vegas, which delved deeper into the fundamentals.

It asked Dennis Hof, he who owns the seminal Moonlite Bunny Ranch -- a place where several CES attendees have enjoyed a mopping of their brows -- what he thought.

He said: "At the Bunny Ranch, we say 'it's not just the sex, it's an adventure' -- and oftentimes it's more about the adventure than it is the sex."

Hof is surely a man who could teach the professors a thing or two. His thinking is lateral, but laserlike. His instinctive understanding of human impulses is far beyond that of any potential prostibot engineer.

It will surely be a very long time before a prostibot can look a man in the eye and deduce his sadness, his happiness, his reticence, his incompetence, and, most especially, his appalling dress sense.

It isn't just about creating a robot that takes on a certain identity. No matter how much they hide it, humans are a little more sophisticated than that.

 

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