British computer scientist Kate Devlin begins her lecture by exploring the history of sex toys and phallic representation, which goes back at least 30,000 years. Many archaeologists refer to “ceremonial” or “ritual” objects that she believes were used for more intimate purposes.
We have robots all around us performing a wide range tasks, everything from assisting surgeons to supporting military operations. Robear is a Japanese robot that is being has been developed to look after the elderly and disabled. Pepper is billed as an emotionally responsive robot.
Devlin traces the notion of creating the perfect artificial human back to the Greek myths of Pandora and Pygmalion. She describes typical sex doll consumers and the first commercially available sex robot. RealDoll’s product features an AI “personality.”
Smart sex toys can potentially be hacked, leading to privacy concerns. Devlin uses the We-Vibe as an example; its manufacturer was sued for collecting intimate data from users without first anonymizing it. Devlin explores the legality and morality of childlike sex dolls.
Devlin discusses Silicon Valley’s problems with sexism, from sexual harassment lawsuits to the default use of female voices by early voice assistants. She revisits an event she organized in 2016, during which participants came up with innovated sex toy prototypes.
Credits: The Future of Sex Robots and Relationships
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Technology has been blamed for increased loneliness and the breakdown of relationships. Might it instead provide a solution? What would a sex robot experience feel like? Could sex robots change humanity? Computer scientist Kate Devlin puts forward a radical vision for the future.
Length: 32 minutes
Copyright date: ©2018
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