In 2018, one of the world’s first sex robots was released by CEO Matt McMullen and his company, RealDoll. With artificial intelligence capabilities, the Harmony model is meant to support and converse with users. Using a social construction of technology theory lens, this study develops the theory’s fourth level of analysis, emphasizing mass media’s construction abilities. A critical discourse analysis of 38 publicity interviews found a tendency to emphasize the companionship of sex robots while envisioning a future where integration is normalized, and a sentient robot is possible. As the creator, McMullen’s vision could determine the future of robotic design, leading to a deeper understanding of this new technology. This study adds to the growing literature on sex robots by addressing the creator’s public intentions.
Author ORCID Identifier
Annette M. Masterson: 0000-0002-0051-5085
Masterson, A. M. (2022). Designing a loving robot: A social construction analysis of a sex robot creator’s vision. Human-Machine Communication, 5, 99-114. https://doi.org/10.30658/hmc.5.4