A virtual companion may seem like a boon for the lonely, whether controlled by humans or AI.But their total availability represents a futuristic, mine-filled Candy Land for people in real relationships, and especially for people such as Weiner who may thrill in the virtual hunt rather than actual sexual acts, said Robert Weiss, founding director of The Sexual Recovery Institute in Los Angeles.Video games and online programs also offer virtual girlfriend (or boyfriend) experiences on smartphones and handheld video game consoles.The crude connections may signal a "robotic moment" for society where humans begin turning to artificial intelligence to fulfill emotional needs, said Sherry Turkle, director of MIT's Initiative on Society and Self. And that a robot would be a safe choice." Virtual lovers Such "seduction by social robots" forms a key theme in Turkle's latest book, "Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other" (Basic Books, 2011).Sexuality in the Digital Age can mean sexting on smartphones, hookups through Craigslist and Facebook, and transmitting lewd photos like Anthony Weiner or Brett Favre.But while humans continue to define the do's and don'ts of online lust, a new generation of computer programs may have already figured it out.
Virtual girlfriends and boyfriends already abound in Japan, where dating simulator games have enjoyed popularity among females as well as males.
Once, people identified infidelity by obvious signs such as lipstick on a shirt.
"The biggest issue technology has created for people with compulsive sex issues is easy access," Weiss said in a phone interview.
"It's like having cocaine in the medicine cabinet." Infidelity 2.0 Definitions of infidelity have evolved alongside technology for psychologists such as Weiss.
Thanks to advances in artificial intelligence, a scandal like Anthony Weiner's doesn't even necessarily need two humans anymore.Online chat bots already send come-hither messages to users of social media or dating websites.