Sex robots should be banned, say expertsBy Rashmi Kalia, UniversityHerald Reporter
A robot ethicist has launched a campaign to ban the development of robots that can be used for sex, BBC reports.
Dr Richardson, the campaign leader and a robot ethicist at De Montfort University in Leicester, told the BBC,
"Sex robots seem to be a growing focus in the robotics industry and the models that they draw on - how they will look, what roles they would play - are very disturbing indeed."
She said that the development of sex robots is an unnecessary and undesirable use of technology.
"We think that the creation of such robots will contribute to detrimental relationships between men and women, adults and children, men and men and women and women," she said.
Several companies are planning to launch sex robots in the market. True Companion says that it is developing "the world's first sex robot" and plans to launch its first doll, Roxxxy, later this year. Abyss Creations, which sells male and female sex toys, is also planning to introduce electronics into its creations.
Chief executive Douglas Hines said,
"We are not supplanting the wife or trying to replace a girlfriend. This is a solution for people who are between relationships or someone who has lost a spouse.
"People can find happiness and fulfilment other than via human interaction," he added.
He told the BBC that the company hopes to make Roxxxy into a self-learning engine that will talk to her owner and learn his likes or dislikes.
"The physical act of sex will only be a small part of the time you spend with a sex robot - the majority of time will be spent socialising and interacting," he said.
Dr Kevin Curran, a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, told BBC,
"We would be naive to ignore market forces for 'intimate robots'. Building human-like robots is quite easy once the mechanics are taken care of.
"Turning these robots into attractive companions is simply adding a 'skin'. Not difficult at all and not done much to date as most robots are built in research-led institutions - not businesses. That time is coming to an end," he said.
However, Dr Curran expressed his concern that the society was not ready for an age of sophisticated robotic companions.
"Have we sufficient legalisation in place for the issues that can arise in a future where robots are sufficiently advanced as to be indistinguishable from humans at first glance? Can a robot marry? Can a robot couple adopt a child?" he said.
He also believed that a public backlash was inevitable.
David Levy, author of the book Love and Sex with Robots, said that by 2050, intimate relationships between robots and humans will be commonplace.