Although robots built for sex are not yet available to the public, the Campaign Against Sex Robots has already launched. The group believes that companies should cease developing sex robots with artificial intelligence on grounds of feminism.
Presumably the group fears that sex robots will somehow challenge the social control structures related to sex. The group has published its aims on its website:
We believe the development of sex robots further objectifies women and children.
The vision for sex robots is underscored by reference to prostitute-john exchange which relies on recognizing
only the needs and wants of the buyers of sex, the sellers of sex are not attributed subjectivity and reduced to a thing (just like the robot).
The development of sex robots and the ideas to support their production
show the immense horrors still present in the world of prostitution which is built on the "perceived" inferiority of women and children and therefore justifies their uses as sex objects.
We propose that the
development of sex robots will further reduce human empathy that can only be developed by an experience of mutual relationship.
We challenge the view that the development of adults and child sex robots will have a
positive benefit to society, but instead further reinforce power relations of inequality and violence.
We take issue with those arguments that propose that sex robots could help reduce sexual exploitation and
violence towards prostituted persons, pointing to all the evidence that shows how technology and the sex trade coexist and reinforce each other creating more demand for human bodies.
Engineers have long strove to make sex toys and dolls as life like as possible. Realistic looks and feels have been about as far as the manufactures have been able to come so far. In the last few years, however, the artificial intelligence technology
has opened a brave new world for sex toy innovation.
Lead campaigner Kathleen Richardson, a robot anthropologist and [feminist] ethicist at De Montfort University in Leicester spouted:
When I first started
looking into the subject I thought, 'oh sex robots, that's harmless and perhaps these robots would reduce demand for real women and children.
But then as I researched the subject more I found that the opposite was true, that
rather than reduce the objectification of women, children and also men and transgender people, these robots would contribute and reinforce their position in society [as objects].
True Companion, a company which as been making sex
dolls for years and claims to have introduced the first sex robot- the Roxxxy. The company explained on its website and in statements:
Roxxxy knows your likes and dislikes, carries on a discussion and expresses her
love to you and [can] be your loving friend. She can talk to you, listen to you, and feel your touch. She can even have an orgasm.
Roxxxy provides physical and sexual pleasure but also provides social interaction and engagement
It's customizing technology to provide a perfect partner, she's not meant to replace a real partner but is meant as a supplement.
As long as we're not hurting anyone, there's no problem with it.
A question or two for the anti-sex-robot feministas:
a) is a dildo/vibrator a primitive form of sex robot? b) if so, are you prepared to disavow the use of them?
In truth, men
have no more interest in having sex with robots than they have in having sex with trees or a cup of tea. Meanwhile, women like the idea of pleasuring themselves with plastic objects. Men generally do not.
So, if the sale of sex aids is anything
to go by, sex robots are more likely to be called `Big John` than `Melinda`.
So, dear feminists. Women may like vibrators. Feminists may like vibrators. It does therefore not follow that men like vibrating holes. By
publicly protesting against the latter you are merely broadcasting the former.
And as for academic Kathleen Richardson, being a 'robot anthropologist' and 'ethicist'. Well anthropology is the study of humanity, so robots are
human, extreme feminists are ethical and 2 + 2 = 5!