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Will Facebook’s AI plans change cyber sex forever?

Mark Zuckerberg has announced that in the future Facebook will be able to send your full sensory and emotional experiences to other people

Mark Zuckerberg announced yesterday that Facebook is working on new technology that will let you share your “full sensory and emotional experience with people”. 

This will mean you can send whatever you think, emote, or physically feel to people. What do we think about the most? Arguably, it’s sex.

Zuckerberg wants the technology to mean that “anyone can experience anything” wherever they are. Judging by the size of the porn industry, this "anything" will probably be fucking. The technology giant thinks that the future of the social media industry will be centred around virtual reality and it’s already startlingly apparent how much we want to invite the people we know into our visual worlds – just look at the popularity of Snapchat and Instagram, social networks that are fast replacing Facebook as platforms for dirty talk.

Olivia Solon is a cyber sex expert and tech journalist. We asked her if when Facebook cracks this new technology it’d be likely to lure people back to Facebook.

“I don’t know if this is going to be luring young people back to Facebook, that horse seems to have bolted," she says. "But there’s something very interesting about the idea of brain-computer interfaces which would let you convey words, thoughts, images and concepts to someone else without speaking, texting or taking snaps. So you could send someone an entire unicorn-themed role-play fantasy through the power of thought (mediated by a computer) to someone else – no need to combine the aubergine emoji with the soon-to-come unicorn one to tell your loved one what will really get you off!”

Solon thinks that this could have an interesting impact on IRL sex; in the future, we might be using Facebook through chips in our brains, or, in a closer future, headsets. So, bringing social media into the bedroom might not be such a bad thing anymore.

She says: “I think this could be really useful during sex BTW – as you could tell someone their technique was chaffing without having to verbalise it or wonder whether it's pronounced ‘chaff’ or ‘chafe’!”

We also asked cybersexpert Alex Hern whether he thought Facebook’s AI technology would change the content of sexting and how frequently people do it. He’s not sure, saying: “I will bet you there is already a shit load of cybersex on Facebook every day, there’s even more when you take into account Instagram and WhatsApp. And once Oculus goes mainstream it will be a major porn platform.” 

Would you like to use tech telepathy for sex?