Credit: Josep Pau Vila
What does intimacy mean in the age of technology? Of sensors, cognitive computing and robots? How will the technological innovations evolving rapidly all around us affect and also change some of the most intimate of human behaviors? How will future generations discover and live out their sexuality? Is intimacy without humanity even possible?
Roles that were exclusively reserved for humans are already being filled by our technological creations. Concepts that allow us to be “lonely together.” The implications of this are staggering. As we speak, technology is enhancing interhuman relationships by acting not only as a sexual educator, but also by bridging physical divides between people. And this is just the beginning. While intimacy has today been digitized to a certain degree, in the not-so-distant future advances in machine learning will give rise to AI-powered avatar and humanoid robots, opening the door for potential human-machine relationships and intimacy.
Artificial Intimacy delves into the topic presenting products that are readily available on the market, providing insight into the companies developing artificial-intelligence companions and artistic works responding to the technology.
End of Life Care Machine is an interactive installation consisting of an empty room, a seating area and a reception desk. Signs, medical bracelets, health information forms and other related medical products are used to transform the space into a hospital-like environment, where people go for their final rite of passage.
Almost there. was constructed using sonically controlled vibrators and some very trusting contributors. Over the last two years, these contributors recorded their voices while masturbating with the vibrators. The artist composed the audio they used specifically for this project.
Amsterdam-based Kiiroo is an award-winning tech company that has been a leader in the teledildonics industry since 2013. Working at the intersection of technology and human interest, Kiiroo developed a unique technology that enables users to be intimate from a distance.
OMGYES is a sexual pleasure research website. After conducting research with more than 2,000 women aged 18 to 95, we created a website where real-life women—not actors—share their stories and demonstrate their techniques. Then users get the chance to practice through touchable simulations.
In her show Slutever, VICE’s resident sexpert Karley Sciortino explores the mysterious labyrinth of human sexuality and checks out the various ways that people around the world like to get off.
In Machine Learning Porn a neural network has been trained using an explicit content model for finding pornography in search engines. The network is then reverse engineered to generate new “pornography” from scratch: an AI daydreaming of sex.
Kissenger is a haptic device for mobile phones designed for people to better express intimacy and emotion over the Internet through kissing. It aims to fill in the missing dimension of touch in traditional digital communication, which largely focuses on verbal and audio information.