Robot strippers performed in Las Vegas last week
As it has for 50 years, the Consumer Electronics Show dazzled onlookers with the newest tech innovations pushing our world deep into the future. Massive companies like Google, Amazon and Nvidia all brought out the big guns to showcase the fancy gadgets everyone will embed into their lives soon — whether anyone wants to or not.
Yet as with any convention taking place in Las Vegas, the wholesome image CES attempted to maintain was quickly overshadowed by sex. Lots and lots of sex. But not just by any sex in 2018, no, this event was overtaken by electronic sex. Sex driven by computers. More specifically, it was a pair of stripper robots featured at Sapphire Gentleman's Club who grabbed all the headlines in 2018.
Speaking to CNBC, British artist Giles Walker, the one responsible for the writhing and pole-humping e-ladies, revealed how they came to be — and most telling, how he's actually afraid the world might take something like his strippers and use them for a dark kind of evil.
"My worry is — and this is really crude, but it is a crude idea — if you build a robot that you can have sex with, then you can build a robot that you can rape, and you can build a child robot that you can have sex with, and it's all supposedly legal," Walker told CNBC's Kurt Wagner. "But [just] because it's legal, does that mean it's a healthy thing? The dark side of the sex industry will create some really nasty, nasty stuff, and I think, 'Is it worth it?'"
He wasn't one to shy away from the irony in his "voyeuristic ladies" being showcased at a gentleman's club, though, and even remarked it wasn't exactly his choice. But, fuck it, he said, it pays the bills.
"I didn't build these to get involved in the sex industry," he said. "They weren't about sex, they were about voyeurism. I've been dragged into this side of things unintentionally, but I'm not complaining. It does pay the bills. I am a robot pimp in that way."