We already know that sex robots could possibly be tasked with fucking everyone to death in the future, but "the future" is simply too far off to provide any comfort. What's the sex robot industry look like for 2017? In a new must-read piece for the Guardian, Jenny Kleeman takes a close look at the "race to build the world's first sex robot." By the end of the year, the report says, a $15,000 RealDoll with a robotic, AI-enhanced head is set to begin sales.

Harmony, a robotic version of Abyss Creations' hyper-realistic RealDoll, can apparently engage in a variety of activities including smiling, blinking, frowning, talking, joking, and—perhaps most important of all—quoting classic William Shakespeare lines. Also, Harmony "will have sex with you whenever you want."

"My goal, in a very simple way, is to make people happy," creator Matt McMullen said. "There are a lot of people out there, for one reason or another, who have difficulty forming traditional relationships with other people. It's really all about giving those people some level of companionship—or the illusion of companionship."

These developments in the sex robot space, however, are not without controversy. As Kleeman notes in her story, Dr. Kathleen Richardson launched the Campaign Against Sex Robots back in 2015, arguing that owning such a robot is "comparable to owning a slave." Sex with robots is also "part of rape culture" due to the fact that the experience is not mutual, Dr. Richardson, a robot ethicist and anthropologist, explained.

McMullen seems to see things differently. "She's not a someone," he told the Guardian. "She is a machine." McMullen used the common household toaster as an example of another object performing a task for a human, distinguishing his work with sex robots as being "for the gentle people" who have difficulty making traditional connections with others.

As McMullen and others prepare to hit the general public with sex robots, this debate is likely to heat up. Get acquainted.