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posted by Fnord666 on Sunday September 29 2019, @01:24PM   Printer-friendly
from the johnson-and-not-johnson dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

In recent years, sex dolls have become increasing sophisticated and realistic in their resemblance to human beings, including mechanized components, and are thus now referred to as humanoid sex robots. Some media outlets have gone as far as to suggest that sex robots and other social robots will eventually become almost indistinguishable from humans.

This has sparked a number of interesting ethical and philosophical debates related to the significance of these robots and the possibility that future machines will replicate the physical intimacy between two people. In a recent study featured in Springer's International Journal of Social Robotics, two researchers at the University of Virginia and the University of Bergamo in Italy have taken a closer look at some of the current arguments and predictions about sex robots, carrying out an ethics-based and critical discourse analysis.

"We started our joint research to debunk some myths and misunderstandings in the media regarding the future of artificial intelligence," Deborah Johnson and Mario Verdicchio, the two researchers who carried out the study, told TechXplore. "We were struck by how fundamentally flawed some of the ideas were and especially the assumption that the computational version of some aspects of reality are the same as the real thing."

In their paper, Johnson and Verdicchio essentially challenge the perception of humanoid sex robots as robotic substitutes of lovers and companions. They argue that although humanoid robots may look and act more and more like human beings in the future, the claim that they will eventually replace humans is far-fetched and far from a certainty.

"Our research is aimed at showing that humanoid sex robots could come to be understood in ways that keep their status as machines, albeit technologically very sophisticated machines." Johnson and Verdicchio said.

Deborah G. Johnson et al. Constructing the Meaning of Humanoid Sex Robots, International Journal of Social Robotics (2019). DOI: 10.1007/s12369-019-00586-z


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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by VLM on Sunday September 29 2019, @01:51PM (23 children)

    by VLM (445) on Sunday September 29 2019, @01:51PM (#900294)

    There seems to be a lot of hand wringing around avoiding the obvious.

    in their resemblance to human beings

    We have centuries of experience in this field, although not as much lately. We called it "slavery". Usually ownership came along with depersonalization. This time its kinda backward in that we're developing the non-human hardware toward humanity, not taking humans and downgrading them to agricultural implements and sex toys, but if we get to the same place its "same difference".

    The point of this analogy is its PERFECTLY obvious how sexbots will be treated personally and in society just like a plantation owner buying a nice looking black girl in 1840. Or for that matter his wife buying a strong young man. They'll be a bit of social condemnation, strange semi-religious preaching about how (insert foundation document) clearly supported the institution of slavery but we're gonna read it as the opposite, lots of weird holier than thou sly glances mixed with plenty of nod and wink. They'll be a handful of genuine relationships, a lot of rape, these differences will be stated to mean something, although they probably don't mean much.

    the claim that they will eventually replace humans is far-fetched and far from a certainty

    Well, inter-racial stuff is fetishized to a ridiculous extent and generally the less people do it the more it appears in pr0n. Thus pr0nhub is entirely composed of black on white with a side dish of incest, because it seems research indicates IRL thats a rounding error close to zero. So we can assume the "big TV networks" will essentially play the "Cherry 2000" movie unironically roughly continuously, whereas IRL I suspect sexbots are going to be pretty rare.

    On a sloghtly different topic, something interesting to think about is I have high IQ privilege and programming skills and extensive logical thinking skills so the way I interact with, say, a timer programmable VCR, or a home automation system, or a programmable TV remote, is WILDLY different than the joe6pack experience. So I suspect much like 99% of VCRs blinked 12:00 forever, the vast majority of sexbots are just going to starfish and be a very large and expensive fleshlight. Whereas folks like me, and most readers here, IF we wanted, could probably write programs to re-enact all kinds of pr0n videos, even normal stuff (not pr0nhub type stuff). I suspect when this arrives it will be the first time in my programming employment career that I actually enjoy writing and testing business logic software. So there will be some economic expansion effects where some IT workers will be programming sex bots in some fashion or another.

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  • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 29 2019, @03:10PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 29 2019, @03:10PM (#900326)

    Women everywhere rejoice that VLM and his buddies will no longer be demanding sex from them after their first date dinner!

    • (Score: 0, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 29 2019, @06:01PM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 29 2019, @06:01PM (#900434)

      Butbut without incels, I don't have a hated enemy to live to struggle against! Statistics show that the availability of pr0n decreases sexual assault, and there's no reason to believe sex bots wouldn't have even more of an effect! We must ban pr0n and sex bots! We must control the sexual habits of men so that they will seek to control and possess the lives of women!

      Sex bots are as bad as human women having access to family planning services! We must runaway from such possibilities! Human women would become eunuchs!

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 29 2019, @06:13PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 29 2019, @06:13PM (#900448)

        This is actually partially true. I'm not sure this would help incels any, because it's pretty obvious that incels are about hate, not sex. Sex dolls wouldn't do anything, they'll just say it "doesn't count," the same way they say that about prostitutes now.

        Where they would help would be with pedophiles. But because most people would rather express their disapproval than actually protect children from pedophiles, sex dolls that simulate children will almost certainly be banned (if they haven't been already), thereby guaranteeing the actual abuse of actual children instead.

        • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday October 01 2019, @11:47AM (1 child)

          by VLM (445) on Tuesday October 01 2019, @11:47AM (#901233)

          it's pretty obvious that incels are about

          Word definitions are changing so fast, I have no idea what incel means this week. Generally its drifting toward some kind of anti-male hate word, mostly.

          Its hilarious, really, how just a couple months ago it meant involuntarily celibate in the /r9k/ or /r/foreveralone sense, then for awhile it meant normies who are dateless this weekend because they broke up two days ago, now there's a strong highly centrally organized push to make it merely a synonym for healthy main street mainstream republican, kinda like the slur-ification of alt-right or neo-nazi.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 01 2019, @03:17PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 01 2019, @03:17PM (#901323)

            now there's a strong highly centrally organized push to make it merely a synonym for healthy main street mainstream republican, kinda like the slur-ification of alt-right or neo-nazi.

            What are you blathering on about?

            It's possible to be all of those things (as well as a healthy, main street democrat, a communist, a non-political type and many other things) and either be an incel or not.

            I'd also point out that Neo-nazi isn't a slur. It's a political ideology. If someone is, in fact, a neo-nazi, they believe in hating those that are different (usually brown folks and jews) and doing political and physical harm, up to and including murder to their enemies. A *real* neo-nazi is proud to be a vicious, amoral piece of shit.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 01 2019, @09:00PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 01 2019, @09:00PM (#901474)

          Ah, the incel problem. Demonize a large group of sad people, then whine when a small number of them react the way you expect them to.

          If incels, volcels, and MGTOWs don't want advanced sex robots, and if the robots are no better than cheap masturbatory aids, then the market will determine that and there won't be any huge societal shifts caused by the devices. That is if we get to run the experiment without them being banned because.. the patriarchy is bad mmkay?

          Pedo sex dolls will succeed because it is a lot easier to traffick doll parts than live human beings. Chris Hansen style takedowns of doll part traders won't generate much interest because it is a literal fucking doll and who really cares? I wish the pedos good luck and godspeed.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 29 2019, @04:08PM (8 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 29 2019, @04:08PM (#900353)

    The difference is that black people are people. Sexbots aren't people and unless we specifically give them real intelligence, there's no reason to personify them. This is just academic wankering for a slice of the feminist propaganda funding. Nothing more. Unfortunately, because women aren't smart enough to see though it, it's probably just a matter of time before it becomes illegal to rape a robot

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by takyon on Sunday September 29 2019, @04:39PM (5 children)

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Sunday September 29 2019, @04:39PM (#900383) Journal
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 29 2019, @06:02PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 29 2019, @06:02PM (#900436)

        Feminists at it again. When women use sex toys, it's positive and empowering. When men use them, it's creepy and they're obviously pedophiles or wannabe slave traders.

      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by edIII on Sunday September 29 2019, @06:05PM (2 children)

        by edIII (791) on Sunday September 29 2019, @06:05PM (#900439)

        LOL. These feminists are so hypocritical they may have formed a singularity :)

        Was the dildo invented to help prop up the patriarchy? All the sex toys don't seem to be about power, or control, unless you're specifically speaking about power levels and the ability to actually hold on to it while it destroys a vagina. Sex toys have always traditionally been for females, not males. The pocket pussy is a relatively new invention. Men only had their hands, and for some, livestock for centuries. I'm sure ol' Leonardo has a secret pocket pussy design, but concluded the splinters weren't worth it. We could argue that it just as much frees women from dealing with men as a sexbot would free men from women.

        I remember on the Drew Cary show that Mimi character going on and on about her lifesize blowup Antonio Banderas doll all the time.

        Women can go fuck themselves :) It's our damn turn for a high quality sex toy dammit, and we've lucked out to be in the beginnings of the robotic age. Ironically, a sexbot, especially one that could also do some domestic chores, will start to give women all the independence and freedom they want from the patriarchy. Why would they mind? I'm sure there will be a perfect looking male sexbot that can feed them ice cream in bed.

        This is the old Holodeck argument. If virtual pussy is indistinguishable from the real thing, then how will humanity actually continue? What will motivate us to overcome the convenience of technology to reproduce?

        --
        Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 29 2019, @06:11PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 29 2019, @06:11PM (#900447)

          People like Meghan Murphy at Feminist Current are pseudo-feminists. They seek to uphold patriarchy by couching their views in the language of feminism.

        • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Tuesday October 01 2019, @10:02PM

          by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday October 01 2019, @10:02PM (#901509) Homepage Journal

          If virtual pussy is indistinguishable from the real thing, then how will humanity actually continue?

          Maybe some of us want children?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 29 2019, @06:09PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 29 2019, @06:09PM (#900443)

        sex-robots-epitomize-patriarchy-offer-men-solution-threat-female-status-in-the-white-snowflake-race/

        FTFFC.

        Also, Feminist Current already sees certain women as sex bots from the post-apocalyptic future who merely wear human skin anyway.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 29 2019, @06:00PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 29 2019, @06:00PM (#900433)

      Sexbots aren't people

      Maybe not today, but the law on that could change at any time.

      "Intelligence" is not required to be human, or not much, anyway*. I assume Trump is human. He certainly does not look like a sexbot.

      * You could probably get away with a 6502.

    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday October 01 2019, @11:58AM

      by VLM (445) on Tuesday October 01 2019, @11:58AM (#901237)

      The difference is that black people are people.

      Ugh, the woosh of "the point" flying past overhead.

      Look up "the three fifths compromise" and stuff like that. There were entire elaborate moral philosophical arguments along the line of its OK to enslave objects that aren't people as long as they're not civilized (created a civ back home, learned to read, got some level of education, etc).

      If they aren't us its OK. That's where the sex bot analogy impacts pretty hard, if the entire point of adding AI or randomness or whatever is to make them like us, thus they're indistinguishable from civilized people, thus enslaving them is starting to feel icky.

      I guess another interesting analogy is making human women like sexbots increases the icky factor where ours are going downhill fast as the robots are going uphill. Expect some social pressure against hookup culture and bath houses and orgies and glory holes and promiscuity in general to try and push humans up higher than sex bots can reach. Partially because sex bot owners will not want the slavery feel ickies where their bots are close to the (degraded) woman experience, so make the women experience more than pr0n video stuff. You can "fix" the silicone vacuum cleaner problem by fighting the titanium and aluminum originated silicone vacuum cleaners OR by trying to improve the human-originated silicone vacuum cleaners, uh, sorta something like that...

  • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 29 2019, @04:39PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 29 2019, @04:39PM (#900382)

    It will be like HBOs Westworld

  • (Score: 2) by Nuke on Sunday September 29 2019, @06:16PM

    by Nuke (3162) on Sunday September 29 2019, @06:16PM (#900451)

    VLM wrote :-

    ..... inter-racial stuff is fetishized to a ridiculous extent and generally the less people do it the more it appears in pr0n. Thus pr0nhub is entirely composed of black on white with a side dish of incest, because it seems research indicates IRL thats a rounding error close to zero

    Dunno about the incest but the inter-racial stuff is >>0 from what I see. I prefer the white-on-black pr0n myself, which is classed as fetish because there is the background idea that it is not allowed; also known as swirling. Black-on-white is more motivated as trophy hunting.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 29 2019, @09:35PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 29 2019, @09:35PM (#900538)

    Thus pr0nhub is entirely composed of black on white with a side dish of incest, because it seems research indicates IRL thats a rounding error close to zero.

    Um, that's not what pronhub shows me when I visit. I think you're projecting your own fetish interests onto the rest of the world.

  • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Sunday September 29 2019, @10:59PM

    by MostCynical (2589) on Sunday September 29 2019, @10:59PM (#900586) Journal

    So, who's volunteering for UAT?

    --
    "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
  • (Score: 2) by epitaxial on Monday September 30 2019, @12:36AM (2 children)

    by epitaxial (3165) on Monday September 30 2019, @12:36AM (#900624)

    Pornhub shows videos based on your search results. If you're seeing all interracial porn its because you searched for it.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 30 2019, @12:59AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 30 2019, @12:59AM (#900637)

      It is a popular genre. Easily tested with a clean browser. You can also use a VPN to check what other countries see.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 30 2019, @02:08PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 30 2019, @02:08PM (#900793)

      Time to switch to RedTube or Motherless

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Immerman on Monday September 30 2019, @01:32AM

    by Immerman (3985) on Monday September 30 2019, @01:32AM (#900643)

    > They'll be a handful of genuine relationships, a lot of rape

    How exactly can you have either with a machine? You can neither rape, nor have a relationship with your Fleshlight or Real Doll. I suppose some people claim to have a real relationship with their car/boat/airplane - but personally I'd say that while the emotional bond might be real, you can't actually have a one-way relationship.

    If we gave them true self awareness (a quality that seems no closer now than when R2D2 was first introduced), then that would change things - but why would you want to turn a tool into a slave? Morality aside - slaves have a tendency to rebel and take vengance on their masters when the opportunity presents itself. Making a tool that can potentially "think" orders of magnitude faster than you into a true thinking slave is one of those things that you'd be screaming at the stupidity of the idiots in the horror movie.

    As I see it, sexbots are going to be nothing more than a exploitation-free alternative to prostitutes. Human or robot, you probably don't care overmuch about your partner's feelings beyond whether they can put on a satisfying performance for your money. Probably servants as well - if your sexbot has a range of motion and adaptability sufficient to deliver a satisfying performance, it's probably also capable of washing dishes, doing laundry, dusting, etc., so why waste the potential unless servant-bots are dramatically cheaper?

    Sure, some people will get attached to their sexbot and convince themselves that it feels something back - but while that may be a little sad, it doesn't fundamentally change the ethics of the situation - it may even be the best option some of those poor sods can realistically hope for.

    What will likely change is the nature of "normal" relationships - if sexbots eventually get cheap enough that most people can afford one relatively easily (and if we include VR-based bots that's probably a lot closer than we might expect), then the "good-looking slave girl and strong young man"(at least) may quite possibly become the norm for a healthy marriage, which then has far more room to concern itself with the business of wealth- and family-building that were the centerpieces of traditional marriage before the Church and Romance movement got ahold of it.