From human to robot: what is the future of the human race? was formulated around some questions regarding us: humanity. Is pollution causing sperm count drop? Why the population is dropping in developed countries and is there the same trend for the developing countries? Who will be the future guardian of the population? Is technology to blame for men being uninterested in real physical bonds? Why do people prefer living alone?
Are human beings nearing their extinction with the gradual disappearance of nature? The questions bother me greatly, nowadays. Since the fall-out of coronavirus world-wide, millions have faced untimely deaths while millions are uncertain about the number of days they are going to live.
We have witnessed an unprecedented number of deaths since its arrival on the planet earth. No matter how grave is the situation now, humanity is indeed nearing its completion of existence. There have in fact, been multiple reasons to presume so.
In order to avoid human interaction, men started using sex dolls. Even though, the people who back using love dolls say that it can reduce sex-related crimes, is it still capable of building a meaningful relationship? A meaningful relationship between male-female is important on a sociopsychological and biological level to maintain the generation.
In that sense, in order to quest answers to the questions, I have come across a few pressing premises to consider as to why humanity is at the threat of extinction. I think all of the following reasons are somehow related to each other.
According to UN World Population Policy 2013, by 2050, the world’s population is likely to reach an unprecedented size between 8.3 billion and 10.9 billion people. Most of the future population growth will occur in developing countries, particularly in the least developed countries. And more than 6 billion people will be living in urban areas by then.
In contrast, developed countries and some middle-income countries are experiencing below-replacement fertility levels (less than 2.1 children per woman), declining population growth rates, and in some cases, declining population size. 23 countries will see a 50 per cent drop in the population by 2100 due to declining reproduction.
From 1 billion people in 1804, the size of the population will be 8 billion by 2023 with the biggest share for Asia and Africa 4,641,054,775 and 1,340,598,147 respectively. Global fertility rate shrunk to 2.47 in 2020 from 4.97 in 1955.
Among the countries by the population, from 1955 to 2020, count starting with China and India to Holy See, the share of fertility for the top ten countries are China from 6,11 to 1.7, India from 5.90 to 2.2, the US from 3.31 to 1.8, Indonesia from 5.49 to 2.3, Pakistan from 6.60 to 3.6, Brazil from 6.10 to 1.7, Nigeria from 6.35 to 5.4, Bangladesh from 6.36 in 1955 to 2.1, Russia from 2.8 to 1.83 and Mexico 6.75 to 2.1.
As per world population by the lowest fertility countries to the highest, the ranking starts with South Korea with a fertility rate of 1.11 (per woman having 1.11 babies), followed by the highest fertility recoded countries like Uganda, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Nigeria, Burundi, Angola, Chad, Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and Niger, with 5.01, 5. 23, 5.25, 5.41, 5.45, 5.55, 5.79, 5.92, 5.96, 6.12 and 6.95 respectively.
Over time, from 1955 to 2020 middle east has seen a 0.41 fertility drop from 5.84 to 5.53, according to the Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Dynamics. During the 1960s the growth rate was 2 per cent per year but went down to 1.05 per cent in 2019. However, statistics say if the fertility rate continues to drop below 2.1, the populations decrease.
Of course, there are multiple reasons behind the falling fertility rate. Biological, environmental, economic prospect, employment, education, food habit and pharmaceutical to blame for the falling trend of fertility. But if it has to be continued, along with others, the falling fertility will be one of the many reasons for the human race to go extinct. Soon, we may face a time when there will be no young people but an ageing population.
Because of social demand, where husband and wife both work, tend to go with less or no children at all.
Teledildonics refers to is a sex toy for long-distance and internet-connected sex and remote sexual activity using technology. In this process, a man has to use an artificial self-lubricating vagina and when his counterpart fondles her penis-shaped synchronised toy, the man feels the sensation.
Even though ‘teledildonics’ happened to be a one-way cyber interaction, KIIRO, a Dutch company offers a two-way connection between male and female toys at the same time. ‘We bring touch to the internet’ their slogan declares.
Technology has taken sex and human interaction to an authentically new level where people can have sex from being thousands of miles apart. Virtual reality sex is becoming another form of reality. Websites like Red Light Centre and Second Life are there with millions of users. The websites provide people with virtual interaction and sex.
In the virtual world, every participant is to choose an avatar based on gender. Everything, like night clubs, movie theatre, hotels, bars and stores exist in that world where virtual weddings can also take place. Working girls are available there where a member’s avatar can have sex in 3D. Everything in that world is performed by everybody’s avatar.
To The Guardian, professor Bryant Paul of Indiana University says, “We really are on the cusp of being able to have virtual sex that is damn close to the real thing. So that augmentation issue is very important: it offers the opportunity to improve, to augment the type of sex that people are having.”
The Forbes magazine published an article on teledildonics in 2017. The article gives us the reason why people should care about it. “Crudely put, you should care about teledildonics because they will help you have better sex – whether that’s on your own, with a partner, or a porn star”, the article says.
On the other hand, VR overhauls how we interact socially and intimately. Virtual reality is revolutionised by the most advanced gadget, Oculus. Using Oculus one can go inside the internet, and the internet becomes a place and a reality for him or her. One can satisfy oneself with any kind of weird kink, a fetish that turns him on.
In Virtual reality, users can customise their partner avatar according to their liking or can have sex with their favourite porn star. FriXion, a social network for sex toys and a firm, promise to connect people physically over distance through its toys.
“It makes users feel like active sex with advanced technologies on both sides. People would expect to copulate teledildonically before they actually do it anyone”, say Seth VK of FriXion project. Its gadget can let you hold your hand, hug, kiss and consummate ones’ partner like in the real sense.
Now people would not have to try their suit with any girl and try winning any girl for that matter. There is another virtual reality becoming popular through which virtuality is becoming an actual reality: from virtual companion to real virtual sex.
The users of the Virtual world are growing every day. Every virtual reality site has already millions of subscribers. Netizens are being drawn to this addictive behaviour. It has been becoming a new reality for the new generation which create no demand for a real partner in the real world. It is a newly discovered way for human beings to go mateless, companionless, lonely, to enjoy life with something that does not exist in the material world.
Bachelorhood or spinsterhood
After investigating the scenarios of falling fertility, increasing demand for virtual sex, marriage and expression that human being capable to exert through the internet, now we have another possible reason as to why we should think it can pose a grave threat to its existence.
Marriage is on the decline and the numbers of single people are increasing all over the world. According to UN Families in A Changing World “Women worldwide have been delaying marriage, with their age of first marriage increasing from 21.9 years around 1990 to 23.3 years around 2010. Women marry earliest in Central and Southern Asia (20.8 years) and the latest in Australia and New Zealand (30 years).”
Globally, the share of never-married women aged 45-49 increased from 3.1 per cent around 1990 to 4.3 per cent around 2010. This rate was highest in Australia and New Zealand (14.1 per cent) and lowest in Central and Southern Asia.
Over four decades, the proportion of divorced or separated women aged 45-49 has increased steadily, from 3.3 per cent around 1980 to 4.7 per cent around 2010. Average regional rates span 21.1 per cent in Australia and New Zealand to 1.4 per cent in Central and Southern Asia.
The global population is ageing as well because of the falling fertility rate. In 2019, people over the age of 60 account for about one-eighth of the global population, which is expected to increase to about one fifth in 2050. As of May 2019, 42 countries around the world have extended the right to marry or form a civil partnership with same-sex couples.
According to the Singular Magazine, there are 110.6 million unmarried people in America age 18 and older in 2016 that makes 45.2 per cent of the entire population. 7.3 million unmarried-partner households in 2015. Of this number, 433,539 were same-sex households.
For various reasons the trend of getting married is falling in the developed parts of the world and see a declining trend as countries economically emerge from least developing to developed ones. While, marriage was previously considered merely a financial burden and a social obligation, with the economic prosperity and independence with it, people are getting less interested in forming family life.
That can translate into the growing personal and spousal material demand which is accompanied by the growing presence of globalisation. It is not only the wedding cost it brought in, it has also created a vacuum of peer pressure where many things we have to maintain for the sake of maintaining our increased sense of prestige and social obligations.
Therefore with a high cost of material demand comes low demand for conjugal life which cost our personal freedom, invade our space and minimises our freedom to gratify ourselves.
Yet, according to PEW Research 46 per cent of people think better off if marriage and children are the priorities. Today young adults are slow to marry compared to history. In the US, as of 2012, at age 25, 78% of men and 67% of women had never married. Men are more likely than women to have never getting married. 45 per cent of men and 78 per cent of women expect a spouse to heave a steady job.
Three of the most common reasons behind staying single are- financial duress, Pursuing educational or professional advancement and disinterest in marriage, domestic partnership, or other types of committed relationships.
While cohabitation can be an informal prelude or alternative to marriage in the developed world, along with social protection, inheritance, custody and maintenance, it is a costly and unexpected affair while other forms of satiating animal wants is readily available that sometimes comes with handier but even costlier options.
Robosexuality: from human to robot
People are falling in love with machines. It is the age of Artificial Intelligent. Are our love and sex being disrupted or destroyed? Humanoid robots are one of them. People find satisfaction in communication with uncomplicated robot or computer run software like the film her.
The 2013 film Her tells us how human loneliness and emptiness is filled up with just a simple computer-generated soothing voice of a female. Theodore, the protagonist of the film and a divorced man bought an operating system called OS1. After installing it with his pc he chose the voice that he likes and started a conversation with the computer.
The amazing fact of the female in the operating system is that she understands all forms of emotion that Theodor has to go through in daily life. She even advises him, makes him laugh, tells a story, reads emails, implores him like a real human being. She eventually became his virtual companion.
Sex robots are already here in the sex-market. Like a human being, it can imitate 50 positions. It can be bought according to our choice of the size of breasts, nipple and bum etc.
American roboticist Dr Ronald Craig Arkin says “sexual feeling towards a robot depends on how closely fits that robot that particular desire. A small section of the people not only fall in love with a robot but also marry”. The phenomenon can be traced back to Greek mythology where the king and sculptor Pygmalion fell in love with a statue he curved.” He claimed we all have the affinity to form that attachment with objects.
As we are growing affection with technology human interaction is less needed. People are infidel, deceiving and not loyal, while robots are not. Robots do not demand, produce children and most of all affordable.
Now people can construct their robotic love-doll, sex-doll or girl-friend: the proportion of all the body part-from skin tone, hairstyle to make-up- and place order. A real dol cost 10,000 EURO. more than 300 customisation options. “Successful, loyal and good-looking people buy to love-dolls,” says Matt McMullen, the CEO of Realbotix.com.
He thinks the human connection is not needed for happiness. “Whatever makes someone happy markedly different from someone else feels the same way”, says Matt.
Does being human and non-human matter for love and sex? What fate are we awaiting as a consequence of losing the very purpose of being species? What will really happen if humanity discovers the alternative of needing humanity? The answers lie in the depth of understanding technology, nature and human beings.
Sperm count drop
The falling sperm concentration and total sperm count should be worrying because it might be another actual reason behind posing threat to human existence. The changes in chemical and fertility trend can be a possible reason for the human being to be one of the endangered species on the planet.
In her groundbreaking book published this year under the title Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperilling the Future of the Human Race, author Shanna H. Swan says ‘these days, the world as we’ve known it feels as though it’s changing at warp speed. The same could be said for the status of the human race. It’s not only that sperm counts have plummeted by 50 per cent in the last forty years; it’s also that this alarming rate of decline could mean the human race will be unable to reproduce itself if the trend continues.”
Before the book was published Shanna co-authored the scientific article Temporal Trends in Sperm Count: a Systematic Review and Meta-regression Analysis where they found that “TSC (total sperm count) in the Unselected Western group declined 1.6% per year and overall by 59.3% between 1973 and 2011.
Along with various life-style and environmental causes such as smoking, drinking, obesity, social stress, exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAHs), Outdoor Air Pollution and Sperm Quality by Rafael Lafuente and et al. found air pollution to be related to sperm DNA fragmentation (the percentage of the sperm that have breaks in their DNA. A high DFI translates into a bad embryo that can fail to implant in the uterus or lead to miscarriage.), Sperm motility (sperm motility Refers to the movement of sperm and their ability to swim. If sperm aren’t wriggling vigorously or moving in a straight line, the sperm won’t make it to the target.
A decrease in sperm count was associated with lead. 232 healthy volunteers from China in the study found an increase in sperm DNA fragmentation associated with PAHs measured in urine. Lead concentration is associated with sperm alterations, such as low sperm volume and count, low percentage of motile sperm, and increased abnormal sperm morphology.
Is climate change, for which humanity is to blame, causing sperm alteration? Are our unhealthy life-style and altered food habit causing problems with fertility? Are aware that our lovely BBQ or charred foods contain a high level of PAHs?
Going back to Shanna’s book, we ought to say, “It’s an inconvenient message, but the species is under threat, and that should be a wake-up call to all of us. If this doesn’t change in a generation, it is going to be an enormously different society for our grandchildren and their children. Back to nature or else the future of humanity is bleak.
Married for seven years Jane, who has more than twenty lovers on an online dating site, revealed the most pressing reality behind love and economy. She signed up with a dating site because she is deeply unhappy in her marriage and her husband is unintentional regarding her physical and emotional needs. Now” she says “I don’t take antidepressants anymore. And I can sleep properly. Mentally and physically, it has changed things. I’m getting on better with my husband.”
Jane said to The Guardia that, for infidelity, the environment is a massive factor. Since women entered the workplace, they started having a multitude of affairs. Owing to the financial freedom they are not concerned about a relationship breaking down through any dispute.
It is not only women that we are talking about. It is actually the adverse effect that befalls family relationship with the coming of economic freedom. With financial profitability, men’s freedom to explore sexuality in various partners increased in many folds.
Men think infidelity is their entitlement as the breadwinner of the family while women think they are inequal in avenging their partner’s infidelity. Husband and wife both spread tentacles of extramarital affairs, which are usually absent in financially disadvantaged families. Financial stability incurs individualism when everyone seeks and puts his or her own above others.
With financial prosperity, individualism is taking root. Individualism promotes a view of the ‘self’ as self-directed, autonomous, and separate from others. Conversely, collectivism fosters an interconnected view of the self as overlapping with close others, such that one’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are embedded in social contexts. Individualist cultures prioritise independence and uniqueness, whereas collectivist cultures emphasize family ties and fitting in.
Research by Santos et al. titled Global Increase in Individualism reveals that Americans and Japanese have become increasingly likely to give their children relatively unique names. Also, Americans have become less likely to live in multigenerational households and more likely to divorce Moreover, the frequencies of words reflecting individualist themes (e.g., self, unique, personal, me/mine).
They suggest that since 1960, the world has seen a 12 per cent increase in Individualism, and “increases in socioeconomic development preceded increases in individualism”, they say. Married to personal goal and career, the adult male in China, in order to keep their parents at bay, rather rent a girlfriend for going to movie ranging from 300 $ per h our to 1 USD.
Late marriages are becoming a norm while early marriage end in divorce. Rapid economic development and increased independence of Chinese women led to a massive amount of divorce. Women in china say looking for a boyfriend is a waste of time because it needs time, while time is important to career building.
According to WHO, 121 million pregnancies are unintended each year. 6 out of 10 of these pregnancies end in induced abortion. Inability to educate children, disruption in education and career are some of the reasons why women opt to abort their pregnancy.
Now there are 67 UN member states that have legalized abortion on request in at least some initial part of the pregnancy, or that have fully decriminalised abortion.
Along with global epidemics from the Black Death of the 14th century that claimed 75-200 million, the Spanish Flu of the early 20th century that claimed nearly 100 million, the HIV epidemic that is still ongoing that calamine 35 million to current Covid-19 epidemic that has already claimed 2.7 million people of the world, I think humanity is experiencing a great existential threat.
In fact, the threats are multiple. The shrinking size of the population, falling fertility, people’s growing attractions to pleasure devices and technology, irresponsible matting that culminate abortion, increasing number of civil-unions centring homosexuality, the force of globalisation that is responsible for creating the waves of financial prosperity, independence, individualism are nonnegligible.
Nevertheless, humanity should own up the disaster they are creating for its own destruction. Every harmful decision we make towards nature is a harmful decision we take to quicken our own existence. All things inside the planet earth relate to nature. Any unnatural is a step against nature will return with unbearable damage to humanity.
The future of the population, I think is in the hand of poor people, like rickshaw pullers of Bangladesh, daily labourers, farmers and fishers who fulfil the aims of animal-procreation-without a second thought of capability, physical or financial. There is in their hand collectivism, camaraderie, sympathy, empathy and an undefiled sense of mutual attraction.
- Count Down by Shanna Swan
- From teledildonics to interactive porn: the future of sex in a digital age by The Guardian.
- World population count by worldometers.info
- Documentary: Love and sex with a robot.
- Outdoor air pollution and sperm quality by Rafael Lafuente, B.Sc., Nuria García-Blaquez, M.D., Benedicte Jacquemin, M.D., Ph.D and Miguel Angel Checa, M.D., Ph.D
- Record Share of Americans Have Never Married by PEW Research
- Reasons Why Women Have Induced Abortion: Evidence from 27 Countries by The United Nation Women.
- Global Increases in Individualism by Henri C. Santos, Michael E. W. Varnum, and Igor Grossmann.
- Sex robots are a serious concern that isn’t being thought about enough, say experts by The Independent
- Temporal trends in sperm count: a systematic review and meta-regression analysis by Shanna H. Swan and others.
- Documentary: Digital love industry.
- The Effect of Ambient Air Pollution on Sperm Quality by Craig Hansen, Thomas J. Luben, Jason D. Sacks, Andrew Olshan, Susan Jeffay, Lillian Strader, and Sally D. Perreault.
- Documentary: Japanese robots used for companionship, household task and sex.
- Documentary: The marriage dilemma in China.
- Publication: Families in a changing world by the United Nation.
- UN World Population Policies 2013.
- Total fertility by region, subregion and country, 1950-2100 (live births per woman) by United Nation population division.