Prof Noel Sharkey, emeritus professor of AI and Robotics at the University of Sheffield and founder of the Foundation for Responsible Robotics, said: “Moving into the future we will see some people using sex robots but the numbers may still be small.

“At present use of sex robots and dolls can be considered to be a type of paraphilia  – atypical sexual practice – which includes atypical objects, fetishes and voyeurism.

“ These can be either normal variants of sexual interest or disorder interest if cause distress or impairment of the individual. Current surveys are of an uninformed public and so it is difficult to know if the digisexual practices will remain a paraphilia or whether larger numbers will cause our societal norms to shift to accommodate them.”

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