A sex doll that can talk – but is it perfect Harmony? By Jane Wakefield Technology reporter`

Harmony and Matt McMullen
Harmony is more than a sex toy, according to RealDoll founder Matt McMullen

Harmony is a new type of sex doll – one that can move and talk.

Her head, eyelids and lip movements are fairly crude and her conversation is even more limited.

But she is part of a new robotics revolution that is seeing artificial intelligence incorporated into an extremely human-like body.

Some think that it will revolutionise the way humans interact with robots while others believe that it represents the very worst in robotic advancement.

The uncanny valley – the idea that the closer we get to replicating the human form, the more scared we become of our creations – seems to have come to life in this unassuming factory on the outskirts of San Marcos, California.

Reception at Real Doll
The receptionists are dolls – the only ones wearing suits

Even on reception, two lifelike characters – in business suits rather than underwear, like the rest of the dolls – wait to greet visitors. And the lobby wall is full of photos of beautiful women which, only on very close inspection, reveal themselves to be of dolls.

Matt McMullen, the chief executive of Abyss Creations, which makes RealDoll, comes from an art and sculpture background.

Adjusting Harmony’s wig ahead of my interview with her, he is clearly very fond of the way she looks.

She is, he says, the natural next step for sex dolls.

“Many people who may buy a RealDoll because it is sexually capable come to realise it is much more than a sex toy,” he said. “It has a presence in their house and they imagine a personality for her. AI gives people the tools to create that personality.”

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