Can VR and artificial intelligence make a sex doll real? (The 3:59, Ep. 78)

We also talk about Facebook's use of old phones to ensure it can reach everyone and Nest's "next chapter" with a new camera.

Roger Cheng Former Executive Editor / Head of News
Roger Cheng (he/him/his) was the executive editor in charge of CNET News, managing everything from daily breaking news to in-depth investigative packages. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade and got his start writing and laying out pages at a local paper in Southern California. He's a devoted Trojan alum and thinks sleep is the perfect -- if unattainable -- hobby for a parent.
Expertise Mobile, 5G, Big Tech, Social Media Credentials
  • SABEW Best in Business 2011 Award for Breaking News Coverage, Eddie Award in 2020 for 5G coverage, runner-up National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award for culture analysis.
Samantha Rhodes CNET Intern
Samantha Rhodes is an editorial intern for CNET. She currently attends Georgetown University, studying English and digital art. Samantha loves all things tech, plus logic puzzles, Lord of the Rings and podcasts of every variety. She is based in New York City.
Roger Cheng
Samantha Rhodes
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Nowadays, everything is getting smarter. Apparently, that includes sex dolls.

We discuss whether a sex doll armed with artificial intelligence might replace human companionship, and whether adding virtual reality creates the illusion that the doll may be more real than it actually is. More broadly, we look at the idea of robots as companions (so it's not 100 percent dirty).

We also talk about CNET's visit to Facebook's data center in Prineville, Oregon, and why it's stocked with roughly 2,000 outdated phones. There's a good reason. Really!

Lastly, Nest releases a new camera, which it hopes represents a new chapter for the company. But how big of a step can a new camera be?

The 3:59 gives you bite-size news and analysis about the top stories of the day, brought to you by CNET Executive Editor Roger Cheng, Senior Writer Ben Fox Rubin and Producer Bryan VanGelder.



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