Top academics in the field of robotics and human-computer interaction will come together at Goldsmiths University, south east London, to discuss the future of artificial sex. An international conference on sex with robots, which was once banned by Malaysia, is to be hosted by a London University.
Top academics in the field of robotics and human-computer interaction will come together at Goldsmiths University, south east London, to discuss the future of artificial sex. Goldsmiths computing lecturer Dr Kate Devlin – whose controversial essay ‘In Defence of Sex Robots’ has been read by half a million people worldwide – is hosting the event.
The expert believes interest in the field of human-computer interaction is on the rise, with film, TV and even academic debate turning its attention to the human relationships with technology.
“I think robots could become our lovers in the future,” Dr Devlin said. “Does love have to be reciprocated in order to be valid?”
She will speak at the two-day event, the International Congress on Love and Sex with Robots, along with other academics and industry professionals. Sessions are planned on humanoid robots, robot emotions and personalities, teledildonics (cybersex toys), intelligent electronic sex hardware, entertainment robots and more.
Research presented at the congress will be reviewed and compiled into a special issue of the journal Computer Science
The lecturer agreed to host the conference after it was banned from Malaysia for being “illegal”, according to BBC reports. Dr Devlin dismisses early calls to ban sex robots, and believes people need to have an open mind to the possibility of sex machines playing a constructive role in society.
She said: “Our research aims to carve a new narrative, moving away from sex robots purely defined as machines used as sex objects, as substitutes for human partners, made by men, for men. “A machine is a blank slate – it is what we make of it. Why should a sex robot be binary? What about the potential for therapy? It’s time for new approaches to artificial sexuality.
“Cutting edge research in technology and ethics is vital if we want to reframe ideas about the human-tech relationship.”
The conference is open to anyone who is interested and will be held at the New Cross Campus in London December 19-20.