Problem: Your lover is a hundred miles away and you’re hard-up for some PG nookie. Solution: The adorable “Kissenger” robot.
The ‘bot, which presumably only shares phonetic similarities with the 56th Secretary of State, essentially serves as a smoochypoo proxy for long-distance affairs. You connect Kissenger to your computer, kiss the decidedly porcine device’s “lips,” then your lover receives your kiss via a similarly-wired Kissenger on the other end. It’s more or less teleconferencing for your mouth hole.
Now before you say anything, let’s give the robot’s creators a chance to explain their creation (and, more usefully, the “Lovotics” concept that spawned it). From the official website:
Lovotics refers to the research of human-to-robot relationship. These relationships offer new possibilities for exploring the concept and possibilities of human love. After industrial, service and social robots, Lovotics introduces a new generation of robots, with the ability to love and be loved by humans.
The site goes then goes into great conceptual detail about robots being able to react to human facial expressions and hormone levels and in truth it doesn’t sound all that weird when you slather the idea in fancy science-words like “Oxytocin” and “probabilistic love parameters.”
Then you hit play on the Kissenger demo reel (embedded above) and everything snaps back into the realm of fish riding bicycles. There is nothing sexy or romantic about the interaction between those two people and their respective pigs. Yes, it’s impressive that Hooman Samani (the AI researcher behind the whole “Lovotics” concept) was able to create a robot that can theoretically mimic the complex muscle movements associated with kissing, but making out with a spherical pigbot just lacks a certain human element, y’know?
Specifically, warmth, saliva, rapid respiration and an entire living human body. Plus, what happens if they actually get this thing right? If the Kissenger can accurately replicate human smooches, wouldn’t it also be able to accurately convey the sexual tension they create? And then what? Everyone goes to bed unfulfilled and surly?
Sorry Mr. Samani, but we’re the internet generation. We already have a solution for our disturbing inability to connect to people in the real world. It’s called “hardcore niche pornography,” and it’s working just fine, thank you.