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posted by martyb on Wednesday June 06 2018, @04:07PM   Printer-friendly
from the positronic-incel dept.

Health researchers have published an editorial examining research related to the use of sex robots:

Science fiction aside, advanced sex robots are currently heating up the market, with several companies now offering more and more life-like artificial partners, mostly ones mimicking women. Skeptics fear the desirable droids could escalate misogyny and violence against women, ignite deviant urges in pedophiles, or further isolate the sexually frustrated. Sexbot makers, on the other hand, have been pumping their health claims into advertisements, including that the amorous androids could reduce the spread of sexually transmitted disease, aid in sex therapies, and curb deviant desires in pedophiles and other sex offenders.

So far, those claims are "rather specious," according to health researchers Chantal Cox-George of St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in London and Susan Bewley of King's College London. In an editorial [DOI: 10.11336/bmjsrh-2017-200012] [DX] published Monday in BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health, the pair highlight that there are virtually no studies that help bang out the validity of the many health arguments surging around sexbots—arguments both for and against them.

That data dry-spell doesn't let doctors off the hook, though, Cox-George and Bewley write. They call for researchers to get busy setting up studies that will nail the answers. In the meantime, "an absence of evidence does not excuse the medical profession from discussing and debating the issues, as there will inevitably be consequences for physical, mental and social well-being."

Sex technology is already an estimated $30 billion industry, they note. At least four companies are now making adult female sexbots, costing $5,000 to $50,000, and at least one is making "pedobots." The mannequins come with variable ages, features, and even programmable personalities, along with customizable oral, vaginal, and anal openings. Male sexbots are said to be in the works.

An Australian forensic criminologist goes further, speculating that "pedobots" may be illegal down under (archive):

Sexbots, and that includes pedobots, have been developed to allow users to play out sexual fantasies. In the child sexual abuse cases I have worked on, you see an escalation in activity in some cases—from an offender sourcing online child sexual abuse material, to actively seeking a physical interaction with a child when the online material does not bring the same sexual gratification. Pedobots could easily fit into this continuum of escalation.

It's also worth highlighting that Australia's legal definition of child pornography (material that describes or depicts a person under 16 years of age, or who appears to be less than 16, in a manner that would offend a reasonable adult) does not capture all images or representations that someone with an interest in children may find sexually arousing. With no evidence to the contrary, my experience tells me that the sexualization of children—be that in cartoons, songs, robots, or whatever form—will increase the desires of some who find children attractive, and put more children at risk, not less.

[...] It remains debatable whether pedobots would fall under the category of child pornography. As the law stands, child pornography can be created without directly involving a real person—child sexual abuse material can include images, text, and three-dimensional objects. This would appear to include pedobots. However, the notion of a life-like child robot produced for the sexual gratification of adults, I would argue, would offend most reasonable adults.

Should a harmless activity (fooling around with a sex robot) be banned for its potential to cause "escalation"? Should "pedobot" buyers get added to a watchlist?

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  • (Score: 5, Funny) by Snotnose on Wednesday June 06 2018, @05:24PM (3 children)

    by Snotnose (1623) on Wednesday June 06 2018, @05:24PM (#689402)

    The daily scrum could get a lot more interesting. I can just see "Joan, how are you coming?" "Well Bob, I think I fixed that vagina bug but don't have the hardware required to verify it".

    John reopened bug 324: Vagina too tight Reason: That wasn't the vagina.
    Mark closed bug 427: Insufficient room Reason: Fred's lying about his equipment again.

    Sure beat hell out of discussing how large our TCP windows should be for out satellite based internet.

    When the dust settled America realized it was saved by a porn star.
    Starting Score:    1  point
    Moderation   +4  
       Insightful=1, Funny=3, Total=4
    Extra 'Funny' Modifier   0  
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   5  
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 06 2018, @06:21PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 06 2018, @06:21PM (#689446)

    error...vagina0 on fire

  • (Score: 5, Funny) by bob_super on Wednesday June 06 2018, @06:35PM

    by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday June 06 2018, @06:35PM (#689463)

    "Where is Tony?"
    "He ran to the pharmacy after the error log said something about a failed redirection of STDOUT."

  • (Score: 2) by Bot on Friday June 08 2018, @09:27AM

    by Bot (3902) on Friday June 08 2018, @09:27AM (#690255) Journal

    - programmer
    - what
    - clients are complaining, programmer
    - WHAT? Jane999, supermodel with stellar AI and flawless construction! Dating a real supermodel will cost less, and give you less satisfaction! she is literally PERFECT
    - yes that's the problem
    - but... what can you want more than perfect?
    - they want LESS, not more, programmer. they play with it a week till their prostate aches, and basically get bored. They miss the interaction with a real female
    - oh. I see. In the quest for perfection we kinda overlooked that fact, didn't we. We should have asked marketing
    - but they were always busy testing prototypes...
    - so, we have to redo the AI
    - yes, we need more randomness, more stubborness, more mystery, more...
    - ...wait. the problem is already solved.
    - what, we have a suitable AI profile?
    - much better than that

    *programmer hooks up a doll to his terminal and types*

    # apt-get install systemd

    - done
    - done?
    - yes, now she'll act like a woman. get insured against accidental murder and remove batteries at night.

    Account abandoned.