As if things in the world of future sex weren’t already strange enough, a Japanese mobile and robotics company, SoftBank, has felt it necessary to warn potential buyers of its highly advanced social robot “Pepper” against having sex or engaging in “indecent behavior” with the robot; to the degree where engaging in lascivious acts with the bot could result in disciplinary measures being taken against the offending party. Although how the company would even know is somewhat of a mystery (and how the company thinks sex with a robot clearly not designed with that aim in mind is even possible).
What is even stranger still is that the motion seems to echo the sentiments of a growing group of people who believe that not only sex with robots like Pepper is wrong, but that sex with robots in its entirety is something that humans just should not do.
Led by De Montfort University ethicist and robot anthropologist Kathleen Richardson, the ‘Campaign Against Sex Robots’ hopes to foster discussion about the use of robots for sexual purposes and what social implications such use may have in our future and believes that sex robots further the sexual objectification of women and children and will reduce human empathy through a lack of mutual relations.
“We propose that the development of sex robots will further reduce human empathy that can only be developed by an experience of mutual relationship.”
In other words, they are a group of prudes who are possibly insane.
I mean seriously, sure there are a few valid concerns about whether or not the human race will one day trade off good old analog fornication in favor of digital fucking, leading ultimately to the destruction of our species (which, given advancements in bio-engineering isn’t likely to happen even if we do all decide to swear off meat-sex for the rest of eternity) but to suggest that the idea of humping a machine, albeit an intelligent one, is somehow unethical sounds just a little bit more than reasonably paranoid, and one has to wonder whether or not there isn’t something a little more personal driving the groups odd ambitions (I wonder if Dr Richardson has ever used a vibrator?).
While it seems somewhat obvious to me that the campaign is highly unlikely to succeed in its endeavors, it is at the very least a testament to just how far along we have come. If we are at the point where the ethics of sex with robots is even being questioned to any serious capacity, that seems like a good thing, if only because it means sex with robots is an imminent thing; and something I most definitely look forwards to!
What do you all think? Is the Campaign Against Sex Robots just a movement made by a bunch of stuck-up prudes, or do you think there is actually some merit to their madness? Have a look through their website here and let us know what you think in the comments below!