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Realdoll is building a fleet of AI-powered sex robots with customizable personalities

Sex doll manufacturer Realdoll is dipping its toe (and we don’t want to know which other body parts) into the world of artificial intelligence and robotics with a forthcoming robot sex assistant that promises to form a “real bond” with its, erm, users.

The new system is made up of several components, which will roll out over the course of this year and next. It will begin with the Harmony AI app, scheduled for release on April 15, followed by the company’s “first robotic head systems,” set to launch by the end of the year. A virtual reality platform will ship sometime in 2018.

It’s not going to be cheap, mind you: the head alone will set you back $10,000. No pun intended.

“We are developing the Harmony AI system to add a new layer to the relationships people can have with a Realdoll,” Realdoll CEO Matt McMullen told Digital Trends. “Many of our clients rely on their imaginations to a great degree to impose imagined personalities on their dolls. With the Harmony AI, they will be able to actually create these personalities instead of having to imagine them. They will be able to talk to their dolls, and the AI will learn about them over time through these interactions, thus creating an alternative form of relationship. The scope of conversations possible with the AI is quite diverse, and not limited to sexual subject matter.”

From the sound of things, the Harmony system may be back-compatible with some of the existing dolls the company offers, although we’re sure that more clarification will be made available at a later date. With the AI system, users can choose from a range of personality traits (kind, sexual, shy, naive, brainy, etc.) and then choose how strongly these characteristics are engrained in their new acquaintance.

“We feel that this system, and this technology, will appeal to a segment of the population that struggles with forming intimate connections with other people, whether by choice or circumstance,” McMullen continued. “Furthermore, it will likely attract those who seek to explore uncharted and new territory where relationships and sex are concerned.”

We do worry about the resale value, though.

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Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
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