Gender and Intimacy in the Age of Generative AI

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Sex and technology have long been intertwined – millions of us use dating apps to find partners, and some of the earliest commercial online activity revolved around pornography.

So, it’s no surprise that creative AI — the technology that enables computers to create realistic, life-like content in many forms — is already creating new avenues for exploring digital sex and intimacy. .

From chatbots and image generators to AI-powered sex toys and even lifelike, functional robots, new opportunities to explore intimacy and fantasy are quickly becoming a reality.

Of course, this raises some important ethical questions. How will this explosion of possibilities change our perceptions and attitudes about basic human experiences like sex? What role does consent play when we incorporate intelligent machines into our intimate lives? And what effect might having sex with technology have on our emotional and psychological well-being?

AI-powered intimacy and relationships

Virtual influencers are widely used by brands to promote and sell products, but today, they are also regularly selling sex. OnlyFans rival Fanvue hosts virtual models — who also promote themselves on Instagram — offering adult content and chat to a growing fan base.

Sika Moon is one such model who has over 300,000 followers. Other sites like, DreamGF and VirtualGF let users create their own virtual girlfriends who will then engage in candid conversations with them and even send revealing photos of themselves. When I spoke to them a while back, the people behind DreamGF said they were gearing up to take it to the next level with AI-generated video.

As well as virtual influencers who exist entirely in the digital realm, these sites also offer real live models the opportunity to create AI versions of themselves to waste time chatting with fans. Will handle the job.

While virtual partners may happily exist in the digital world, some are already doing their best to bring them into the physical world. Sex robots have been in development for a long time, and while they haven’t hit the market yet, models like Harmony are getting close. While the development of these robots initially focused on replicating the “look and feel” of humans, the advent of creative AI means they are now equipped with their own personal personalities.

Interestingly, Dr Kate Devlin, author of Turned On: Science, Sex and Robots, says her research shows that potential buyers are as interested in the companionship these robots offer as they are in the sexual possibilities. I am

For dating app users who are fed up with ghosting, Floor has come up with a solution. Their AI, Anna, is “always on” and promises to give each user her undivided attention. It allows users to exchange an unlimited number of messages and images, all personalized to their own tastes.

Generative AI is also making its way into sex toys. Manufacturer Lovense has created the ChatGPT Pleasure Companion, which has the ability to tell erotic stories based on its users’ preferences while in use.

It has even been reported that an increasing number of people are identifying as “digisexual”. This means that their sexuality is primarily defined by their use of technology—whether it’s online pornography or cybersex.

The ethics of AI sex

All of this clearly shows us that human sexuality is evolving alongside technology – just like every other aspect of our lives.

But is it all harmless fun? It’s easy to see how some people might become too dependent on virtual or AI-based relationships to the detriment of their ability to form bonds with real humans.

This can create problems if we consider that AI partners have the potential to be very personalized and compelling. Programmed purely to please and to the specific desires of their users, they can be very addictive, and some people may even find themselves falling in love or falling in love with their AI partner. are dependent.

Another problem is that the ease with which AI can fulfill fantasies means that these simulated, virtual experiences can easily distort real-life expectations of sex and intimacy. Once someone gets used to an AI partner who always puts them first, how would they feel about taking a human partner’s needs and feelings into account? Just as early exposure to pornography affects sexual expectations, this may be especially true when we are talking about young people who have limited experience with relationships.

And where is the consent in all this? After all, an AI partner can’t say no – or at least, can be programmed to never say no. Does it have the potential to normalize unhealthy or one-sided power dynamics within the relationship?

The questions raised by the issue of consent within human/AI relationships must be carefully considered to ensure that they do not compromise our ability to build real, human relationships built around mutual feelings, desires and respect. do

AI and the future of intimacy

AI’s impact on sexuality and intimacy is likely to have far-reaching effects.

Thinking beyond recreational sex, AI has the potential to enable new forms of therapy and sex education. It can help individuals learn about themselves and heal from negative experiences in a safe, simulated environment.

However, the hyper-realistic experiences that may soon become available—especially as we combine technologies like generative AI, robotics, and virtual reality—create the need for ethical guardians who will ensure that this responsibility is fulfilled. To be done by

One thing that is certain is that sex sells, meaning that businesses will always be happy to provide products and services that fill this niche.

This means we must learn from past experiences, such as the impact on society of the explosion in the availability of online pornography.

Importantly, the ethical concerns we have identified here must be proactively addressed to ensure that we establish clear guidelines and move into a new era of human sexuality and relationships. Reduce the chance of damage during

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