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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: 4, Insightful) by bzipitidoo on Sunday September 29 2019, @07:14PM (2 children)

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Sunday September 29 2019, @07:14PM (#900475) Journal

    A 1948 college dictionary I looked at has a very short definition for masturbate: "self-pollution".

    Some of the censorship that was done in the 1960s was so ridiculous. The Ed Sullivan Show was constantly censoring the musical acts they presented. "Let's Spend the Night Together" was changed to "Let's Spend Some Time Together". The genie in I Dream of Jeanie couldn't show her belly button. Star Trek was a weird mix of censored and uncensored stuff. How could they get away with those super short mini skirts? And yet, the closest they could hint at a sexual encounter was the captain putting his boot back on. He had already donned all the rest of his clothes. I've heard that Star Trek purposely threw in lots of gratuitous sexualization, to distract the censors. They were so busy censoring the sex that they often missed the political themes they might otherwise have insisted on censoring out. And here and there, some of those sexy distractions also got past them.

    The prudes will make a ruckus about sex robots, just like they have for every other novel thing related to sex. And like Barbra Streisand, by doing so they will probably merely arouse additional interest. And, civilization will not collapse, not because of that.

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  • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Monday September 30 2019, @03:17PM

    by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Monday September 30 2019, @03:17PM (#900812) Homepage
    Don't forget the infamous against-their-wills inter-racial kiss! (They were like puppets under some kind of mind control, or robots following programming, even, to bring it closer to the topic of the thread.)
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  • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Monday September 30 2019, @04:46PM

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 30 2019, @04:46PM (#900857) Journal

    like Barbra Streisand, by doing so they will probably merely arouse additional interest

    OMG!!!! You said "arouse" !!

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