Andrew Taylor at Sydney Morning Herald writes:
They are already lending a hand with everyday chores. They are expected to drive many people out of their jobs. But robots may soon be sharing our beds as sex partners with anatomically correct, customised body parts and personalities.
However, Dr Xanthe Mallett, a forensic anthropologist and criminologist, says sex robots could have unforeseen consequences on human relationships in ways similar to other technology such as smartphones. “Imagine a man who has a sex robot,” she says.
“He can do anything he wants with it. There are no limits, there are no rules. There’s nothing that is out of bounds.
“These latest versions have fully integrated AI capabilities, and can be completely customised by the user,” he says. “They look, feel, touch and respond like a real human would, possessing memory capabilities, various personality settings and response modes.”
One of Mallett’s concerns involves how human interactions may be reshaped by sex robots, especially if their “various personality settings” include subservience or tolerating abusive and violent behaviour like the androids in the television series Westworld.
The Campaign against Sex Robots raises a number of concerns about sex robots, including sexually objectifying women and children and reducing human empathy.
Mallett says she worries paedobots may lead some people to offend against a child. “I’ve seen too many cases where people have gone from looking at images online to then progressing to grooming children to then offending against children,” she says. “You see an evolution in behaviour as people don’t get the same level of satisfaction looking at pictures so they have to evolve and seek the next thrill.”