Automation strikes again. Yet one more robot has taken yet one more job away from humans, and in doing so, has endangered not just any profession, but the world’s oldest profession.
That’s right. A brothel in Austria has brought onboard a high-tech $10,000 sex doll to join its team of ladies of the evening. The pseudo-young lady of which we speak is manufactured in Japan, is super-lifelike, infinitely flexible and has no discernible opinions of her own.
The new non-human brothel asset, who is called Fanny, quickly became so popular she was often booked ahead for days at a time, leaving the real live sex workers with nothing better to do than to sit around playing pinochle with the random losers sitting around the house of ill repute in hopes of Fanny having a cancellation.
The only evidence for that last bit about the pinochle game of unwanted hookers and pathetic clients only exists in my imagination so far as I know, but human prostitutes are indeed losing work to a non-human.
There is information out there about which jobs are most vulnerable to being overtaken by automation. I’ve seen newspaper reporters listed in the top five of being most likely to be replaced in the next few years by automation, and I’ve seen studies that list it as one of the most secure professions. But I’ve never felt threatened. I can’t imagine a robot that would work as cheaply as I do.
But I have never, ever, seen sex workers on any of those lists of professions vulnerable to automation. It’s too ridiculous even to consider. Until, of course, it isn’t.
There are some possible upsides here. Is prostitution even illegal when the sex worker is not a human being? I wouldn’t think so. In fairness, Kontakthof brothel, located in Vienna, (should you need to know in order to finalize any possible vacation plans), may be operating legally. I don’t know all of the ins-and-outs, so to speak, of Austrian law regarding pay-for-play sex.
But prostitution is illegal in most of the United States, and this technological development could help bring the crime rate down by quite a bit if Fanny and her kind are as popular here as they are in Austria.
Not to mention the elimination of human trafficking. There’s no need to subject humans to trafficking when the free market has provided a more cost effective and sustainable solution to a profitable business.
And speaking of profitable, Fanny’s hourly rate is 80 euros (which at Thursday’s exchange rate works out to $95.82). How embarrassing to the experienced professionals sitting around the pinochle table despite having a lower rate than the robot sex doll taking away their livelihood.
A spokesperson for the brothel, Frau Monika, (you can’t make this stuff up) said another of the dolls was being purchased to ease Fanny’s workloads and shorten the waiting list for robotic sex services.
Other Viennese brothel owners said they are going to have to take the plunge and purchase their own version of Fanny to keep themselves in line with customer demand. So more sex workers are going to be put out of work by more robots. It looks like the world’s oldest profession really is under attack.
But if there’s one thing we’ve learned from automation and the way it works, it’s that whenever automation takes away a highly paid skilled job, it provides another low-paid yucky job in its place. And the Viennese situation is no different.
Fanny is cleaned and disinfected after each client. Somebody’s got to do that sad, pathetic and most likely minimum-wage job, and it’s probably a human making way less money than the sex workers Fanny replaced.
Although we don’t know that for sure. Frau Monika refused to publicly disclose the details of the cleaning and disinfecting process, saying “Nobody wants to know about that.”
I defer to Frau Monika’s judgment on that one.
Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.