In­ven­tion causes split in opin­ion on live TV

Bangor Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Owen Hughes

A DAD who helped de­velop one of the world’s first ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence sex robots has hit back at peo­ple who brand him a per­vert.

Ar­ran Squire, of Holy­head, has spent four years work­ing with cre­ator Dr Sergi San­tos on the doll, Sa­man­tha, that in­ter­acts with users.

The £4,000 doll ap­peared with Mr Squire on ITV’s This Morn­ing show last week. The 36-year-old says it re­acts to touch and voices and will only be ro­man­tic if “treated well”.

Mr Squire, whose firm is called Synthea Ama­tus, said peo­ple have dubbed them “strange” and “per­verts” for the project.

But the fa­ther-of-two said: “I have been work­ing on this for four years with the cre­ator Serge. My wife has al­ways bee­neen sup­port­ive.

“We get some strange re­ac­tions when we tell peo­ple what we are do­ing, but we are not per­verts and these dolls are not for per­verts.

“They can be used for nor­mal cou­ples, peo­ple can have a three­some with the dolls and we have tried it out our­selves. “There is noth­ing weird about the doll and it is to help peo­ple, not re­place women.” This Morn­ing pre­sen­ter Philip Schofield said the doll­dol “felt like a corpse” an­dan would be like “makingin love to a GPS”. But Mr Squire said: “The dif­fer­ence with these dolls and other s sex dolls out there is thatth with ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­genceli peo­ple can prop­erly in­ter­act with her.

“You can’t just grab her and have sex, you have to treat her well and talk nicely to her or she won’t in­ter­act with you.”

Sa­man­tha has hun­dreds of phrases to say in re­sponse to peo­ple and also has a “fam­ily” mode, where she can reel off jokes and ev­ery­day com­ments in­stead of pil­low talk.

Mr Squire’s wife Han­nah Nguyen, 38, said: “I am not of­fended to have her around. I am not wor­ried she will re­place me. She is just some­one there like a fam­ily mem­ber.

“Yes, we’ve had fun with her. There is no worry about some­one else or an af­fair, we don’t have to worry about disease.”

The doll launched last month and 30 have al­ready been sold, with users able to cus­tomise their own doll. They are now work­ing on a male ver­sion.

Ar­ran Squire with “Sa­man­tha”, right, and, main, on the This Morn­ing sofa. In­set be­low, his wife Han­nah

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