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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: 2) by shortscreen on Sunday September 29 2019, @11:27PM (1 child)

    by shortscreen (2252) on Sunday September 29 2019, @11:27PM (#900599) Journal

    If the robots were advanced enough to cook and clean then you have to worry about them bumping into someone or spilling/dropping things and otherwise creating minor hazards. Lawyers will be all over this and if that doesn't kill the product outright, legislatures will pass insurance and license requirements to own a bot. Nobody who isn't the 1% would even bother with the things then.

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  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Sunday September 29 2019, @11:43PM

    by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Sunday September 29 2019, @11:43PM (#900605) Journal

    I don't think so. The technology is a much bigger barrier to adoption than liability issues. People want this technology. They could buy it, build it, run third-party free software on it, and there is nobody to (successfully) sue.

    Do it right, and it will never spill or drop anything (on accident, by its own fault).

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