The Ultimate Defense for Sex Robots

Patti MayonnaiseSeptember 21, 20153,967 Views
  • Image via Huffington Post

    Image via Huffington Post

  • Photo Credit: Hilady.in

    Photo Credit: Hilady.in

  • Photo Courtesy of Pinterest.com

    Photo Courtesy of Pinterest.com

  • Image via Konbini.com

    Image via Konbini.com

  • Photo Credit: Ieet.org

    Photo Credit: Ieet.org

The tech columns continually shout with headlines to ban sex robots much as though they are foreseeing the dawn of a threatening age of artificial intelligence akin to autonomous killer robots. Leading the campaign, academics Kathleen Richardson and Erik Billing argue that the development of sex robots must be stopped due to the reinforcement and reproduction of preexisting inequalities.
While it’s true society has plenty of issues with gender stereotyping, sexism and sexual objectification, actual opposition to developing sex robots doesn’t aim for that outright ban, does it? It’s seemingly shortsighted. Furthermore, existing research into the matter predominantly revolves on the superficial exploration of human attachment which is so popularized by films such as Her and Ex Machina: male dominated and male gazed approaches of men and machine relationships so often without consideration of gender parity.

D0YFWJ a robot girl connected with metal cables

Image via Huffington Post.com

With groundbreaking efforts by David Levy constructed on the research into teledildonics, which are cybersex toys utilized via the web, he describes the increase in likelihood of a culture that will welcome the age of sex robots. For Levy, the sex industry will be modeled in a manner that will mirror human robot relations.
Obviously, Richardson does not approve of this prospect and challenges the narrative in many degrees understandably so. She states in a recent research paper that to do so would require “a discussion about the ethics of gender and sex in robotics.” It’s more than probable that this discussion is long overdue. When it comes to the gendering of robots and the sexualizing of personified machines, digital sexual identity is all too often presumed. In fact, in writing this article, a friend assumed I was referring to “fem bots.”
The relationship between humans and artificial counterparts has run deeply for thousands of years. Remember the tale from Ancient Greece, Pygmalion’s statue brought to life with a kiss? The stuff of both legend and science fiction has become so deeply embedded in our history and our imagination that it is a part of our very groundwork.

Photo Courtesy of Pinterest.com

Photo Courtesy of Pinterest.com

When it comes down to it, machines are simply what we make them. Robots allow us to explore our issues without the restrictions of our own humanity. They are but a blank slate that offer us the opportunity to reframe our ideas. With the internet already opening up an entirely new world for people to explore their sexual identities and even their politics in more accepting communities who share their views, technology is aiding people in ways like never before. Why not rethink sex/gender dualism? Why should a sex robot be binary?

Image via Konbini.com

Image via Konbini.com

Campaigning against development is ridiculously shortsighted. We shouldn’t be calling for an outright ban, as much as using the topic as a foundation to explore other concepts for inclusivity, legality and socio-economic change. Isn’t it about time for new approaches to artificial sexuality that include a step away from the machine as sex machine hegemony and all of the associated biases that go with it?
Machines are what we make them. That is, at least for now.

Photo Credit: Ieet.org

Photo Credit: Ieet.org

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