Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove and The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!
Speaking of Rule Five: Apparently six-bots might not only screw you – they may screw you up as well. Excerpt:
From the Drudge Report to The New York Times, sex robots are rapidly becoming a part of the global conversation about the future of sex and relationships.
Behind the headlines, a number of companies are currently developing robots designed to provide humans with companionship and sexual pleasure – with a few already on the market.
Unlike sex toys and dolls, which are typically sold in off-the-radar shops and hidden in closets, sexbots may become mainstream. A 2017 survey suggested almost half of Americans think that having sex with robots will become a common practice within 50 years.
As a scholar of artificial intelligence, neuroscience and the law, I’m interested in the legal and policy questions that sex robots pose.
How do we ensure they are safe? How will intimacy with a sex robot affect the human brain? Would sex with a childlike robot be ethical? And what exactly is a sexbot anyway?
More on this in a bit, but first, here’s the bit about sexbots possibly being dangerous:
For example, dangers lurk even in a seemingly innocent scene where a sex robot and human hold hands and kiss. What if the sexbots’ lips were manufactured with lead paint or some other toxin? And what if the robot, with the strength of five humans, accidentally crushes the human’s finger in a display of passion?
It’s not just physical harm, but security as well. For instance, just as a human partner learns by remembering what words were soothing, and what type of touch was comforting, so too is a sex robot likely to store and process massive amounts of intimate information. What regulations are in place to ensure that this data remains private? How vulnerable will the sex robot be to hacking? Could the state use sex robots as surveillance devices for sex offenders?
Maybe I’m a bit naive about this, but for what possible reason would you want your sexbot connected to the internet? Simply insisting on the sexbot have no wireless connections – something you can verify with an app on your smartphone – would preclude the espionage issue. And I can’t fathom why you’d build a sexbot with the kind of strength described above.
Now, to circle back to the ethical questions: What exactly is a sexbot? Well, never fear, Animal has the answer! A sexbot, no matter now fancy, how sophisticated, how expensive, is nothing more than a fancy masturbation toy. A married person having sex with a bot isn’t cheating, they are just (literally) jerking off with a pretty toy.
But a bot designed to look like a child?
That’s a head-scratcher. The bot is still just a machine. It’s inanimate. You can’t molest a bot. It isn’t a victim. It’s not capable of giving consent, but there’s no reason why it should have to, any more than your toaster has to give consent before you stick a slice of bread in it.
But there’s an “ick” factor here. On the one hand, of course, such bots might give a non-victimizing outlet to perverts who might otherwise be lurking around schoolyards. On the other hand, it might normalize the behavior in the minds to the point where they’re more likely to act out.
There’s probably fodder there to keep a legion of head-candlers busy full time for months.