Viral images appear of sex robot with ‘Glasgow’ accent

A clip of a realistic sex robot — who has 20 different personality traits — has gone viral, but a strange detail had the internet down.

An old video of a sex robot talking in a distinctly Scottish accent has surfaced online, sparking a new wave of interest in the ‘sex tech’ industry.

Dating back to 2017, the clip shows Realbotix CEO Matt McMullen explaining how the company’s newest sexbot Harmony 2.1 at the time worked.

The images quickly went viral after being posted by pop culture page Barstool Sports, with the AI’s Glaswegian accent letting Twitter users down.

Naturally, the residents of Glasgow were surprised by the specificity of the robot’s voice.

“American sex dolls with a Glasgow uni accent, who would have thought,” posted one.

‘Why did they give her that accent? The next train on platform 1 will be – the – 12.15 – to – Glasgow Central,” said another.

While lighthearted, the video has shed light on the growing AI sex industry, showing seismic advancements with techno-intimacy over the past half-decade.

The Harmony Doll 2022 has 20 different personality traits, including shyness, kindness, insecurity, jealousy, humor and happiness.

The current models are also programmed to learn about users’ families, hobbies and of course sexual preferences, with the ability to simulate hyper-realistic conversations.

A dark future

As the demand for sexbots rises worldwide, the storm clouds of ethical conundrums pile up.

Simulated physical responses are becoming more realistic and visceral, with internal and external sensors currently being updated to more accurately respond to human contact.

Realbotix will also be rolling out their first-ever male pop, Henry (and for the record, he’ll have a British accent) later this year.

However, “fake” sexual partners tailored to the user’s fantasy have opened a Pandora’s box, with increasing concerns from experts about the prevalence of bots made in the image of children.

Duke University researcher and engineer Christine Hendren told the BBC that “some robots are (on purpose) designed to resemble children”, while others are “programmed to protest and create a rape scenario”.

“A developer of this in Japan is a self-confessed pedophile, who says this device is a prophylactic against him ever hurting a real child,” Ms Hendren said.

“But does that normalize and give people a chance to practice these behaviors that should be treated by just eradicating them?”

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Australia has no laws regulating or prohibiting the use of robots, although the Commonwealth, South Australia and Queensland have placed restrictions on robots that are minors.

Speaking on ABCs Question and answer in 2018, social commentator Vanessa “Van” Badham also warned that choosing to encounter androids over humans could ultimately lead to deeper isolation for many people.

“You have a phenomenon in Japan of people getting older and older without having sexual relations, without forming partnerships or families because their lives are dominated by work,” she said then

“If you give someone a sex robot and say you can have this instead of a relationship, you promote that loneliness and that sense of isolation.”

One thing is certain: regardless of the ethical question marks, the sextech revolution is in full swing and making huge profits, worth an estimated $30 billion in the industry in 2019.

The onset of the global pandemic has further boosted the industry, with some businesses registering up to a 125 percent increase in traffic during lockdowns.

Experts have tipped sexbots to be able to walk, talk and simulate real day-to-day relationships in the near future.

However, you’ll need to pay between $5,000 and $15,000 if you want to try out one of the robots for yourself.

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