It may not be a widely debated issue now, but it certainly will be in the future, so a robotics ethicist launches campaign to ban sex robots on the account that the continual development of these ‘companions’ will just further add to the current issues of objectification and prostitution.
It is pretty clear that a consent will be absent, considering it will be an artificial droid to cater to its owner’s needs. At least until the robot apocalypse, or if warnings spelled out by Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking come to fruition. Hopefully not.
Dr. Kathleen Richardson, an ethicist with a PhD in anthropology from the University of Cambridge and currently at DeMontfort University, has launched the Campaign Against Sex Robots (CASR) that battles the issue of developing robotics and using that incredible futuristic knowledge for the sake of providing high-tech sex dolls for the more lonelier bunch.
It’s already an industry where silicon-based ‘companions’ go for quite a generous sum and are beginning to look more life-like, if one is into the glossy look and blank stare. However, with the progress of technology and research in robotics, it’s quite obvious that more industries will take advantage in order to keep their clients satisfied, metaphorically and literally speaking, apparently.
According to Richardson, sex robots “are harmful and contribute to the inequalities in society” by introducing an asymmetrical relationship between owner and their droid lover. Progress cannot be stopped, but it has become necessary to understand where the line should be drawn, in order not to add to the dehumanizing of women and children that is already worsened by notorious industries.
The campaign is meant to stimulate debate on the issue, with one side claiming that will inevitably lead to detriment relationships and human interaction as a whole, be it between men and women, men and men, women and women, or even adults and children, according to Richardson.
While some may call them simple toys, the ethicist states that they’re “not Barbies” and much closer to “sex dolls” that could encourage sexual exploitation of humans and their added feature of artificial intelligence will just further implement the belief that relationships need to be little else but physical. As underlined by Richardson, the campaign is not anti-sex, but anti-exploitation.
This comes at a time when we are facing the launch of True Companion’s Roxxxy, the first sex robot. The company’s chief executive, Douglas Hines, however, has stated that he doesn’t expect people to simply use it for sexual activity, but for a companion to hang out with. According to Hines, “the majority of the time will be spent socializing and interacting” with the sex robot, as opposed to engaging in intercourse.
He seems a true believer in the fact that people will be willing to spend tons of money on a life-like, human-sized doll entitled ‘sex robot’ to talk with and chill out for most of the time. There might not be a need to poll future customers on whether that’s true or not.
Image source: thestar.com