Adult male chatbot
There are plenty of entrepreneurs wanting to make big bucks out of this market." Levy points to the slumping porn industry as a possible future source of investment in smart sex dolls, with producers forced to examine new revenue models after the rise of free internet porn.
He believes the realism of his software will differentiate it from cruder adult chatbots already available online. When Levy published Love and Sex with Robots, the culmination of his years of research into android-human relationships, many thought he was positing machines as a stand-in for human relationships. He said: "I get asked, why is it better to have sex with a robot than with a human?
But that’s not the question, the question is - would you prefer to have no love at all, or to have love and sex with a robot?
A chatbot isn’t a real-life robot, but a programme that uses natural language processing to talk convincingly to humans, via a chat room or an app.
Levy’s earlier, non-sexual chatbots have twice won the Loebner Prize, an annual competition for AI programmes.
Siri is just one indicator of how easily the idea of talking to robots, and the machines talking back, has crept into everyday life.