Whitney Cummings “cannot f***ing wait” for the rise of sex robots, and she’s getting things started by bringing a sex robot of her own onstage. In the second half of Cummings’ new Netflix comedy special, Can I Touch It?, Cummings imagines a future where sex robots are commonplace before introducing her sex robot twin to the audience.
“I’m a very busy person. I would love for the day to come when I could be like, ‘Babe, I’m very tired. Please go f*** R2-D2. Mama’s gotta bang out some emails,’” Cummings says in the special. “I’m so pro-robot it’s ridiculous. People are very stressed out about sex robots. I have yet to hear an argument against them that I buy. Everyone’s worried, like, ‘Aren’t you worried they’ll replace human women?’ Get the f*** out of here.” She adds, “If you’re worried about being replaced by a giant piece of plastic, you’re not bringing that much to the table in the first place. I need you to watch a TED Talk.” (A fair argument for people who don’t want their partners to use vibrators and other sex toys, too.)
After going through the pros of sex robots — they could be taught to make guacamole, they could be programmed to teach teenage boys about consent before those boys are allowed to date humans, they’ll lower the price of makeup as men realize how expensive it is, they can have sex with new partners when a human woman doesn't feel ready yet, sex robot weddings sound fun — Cummings introduces Robot Whitney, aka Bear Claw. “I don’t know if she looks really human or if I’ve just always looked like a robot,” Cummings says.
Robot Whitney proves she can get just as many laughs as Human Whitney, too (“Why did the robot cross the road? To kill all the humans”). But Cummings reminds us that there’s no danger Robot Whitney will steal her career: if worse come to worse, Cummings can always remove the robot’s head.
While walking, talking sex robots might seem like they belong in Westworld and Ex Machina, the technology is on its way. Although you won’t mistake them for real humans (except maybe at a distance), sex doll companies including California-based Abyss Creations and China-based WMDOLL have launched artificial-intelligence-powered dolls that can speak and move their limbs. “Of course we’re not expecting to make our AI dolls that human-like, after all we’re just making adult products,” Liu Ding, WMDOLL product manager, told Reuters in 2018. “But we will surely add more advanced technologies… for example, making the limbs move more naturally.”
And when Cummings jokes about being jealous of a Scarlett Johansson-lookalike sex robot, she’s talking about a real story: in 2016, a Hong Kong designer named Ricky Ma built such a robot at home using 3-D print technology, along with other software. The creation of sex robots has raised a number of ethical questions — for example, could Johansson sue Ma for making a sex robot in her likeness without her consent or a licensing agreement? Others see sex robots as a natural extension of sex tech and are excited about their future… especially, as Cummings says, if these robots learn to make guacamole.