Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Ethics of Robot Sex: Interview on Robot Overlordz Podcast

Ex Machina

I had the good fortune to be asked back on to the Robot Overlordz podcast this week. I am the guest on episode #163 during which I chat with the hosts (Mike Johnston and Matt Bolton) about the ethical, legal and social implications of sex robots. We also talk about related issues from the world of AI and futurism.

You can listen to the full episode (approx 30 mins) here:

Some of the topics addressed include:

  • Will sex workers be replaced by sex robots? Just as factory workers have been replaced by robots, some think that human sex workers be replaced by robotic equivalents. Indeed, some people think we should welcome this possibility due to the legal and ethical advantages of robotic sex workers over humans.
  • Is it a good idea to create robots that cater to sexual fantasies? For example, would it be a good idea to create robots that allow people to act out rape fantasies or act upon socially deviant sexual desires. Should technology be a playground in which we can act out the best and worst aspects of our moral characters?
  • The meaning of the film Ex Machina: Perhaps a slight digression from the main topic, but since there is a sex robot element to it, we also discuss the recent (and highly recommended) film Ex Machina and some of the philosophical lessons that can be learned from it.

Regular readers will know that I have written about some of these topics at length before. See for example my papers on (i) sex work and technological unemployment and (ii) robotic rape and robotic child sexual abuse.

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