According to a wide-ranging report that tackles the future of machines in relationships, sex robots could actually “reinforce illicit sexual practices” and will be unlikely to prevent sex crimes like rape and pedophilia.
The impact these machines could have on society were highlighted in the paper, called “Our Sexual Future With Robots” by the non-profit Responsible Robotics.
The minority of voices that suggest sex robots could help prevent sex crimes was focused on one section. Shin Takagi who founded Trottla, a company making child sex dolls was referenced in the report. This could help people prevent people abusing kids, Takagi believes.
“I am helping people express their desires, legally and ethically. It’s not worth living if you have to live with repressed desire,” Takagi said in a 2016 interview with the Atlantic.
But doubt over whether such dolls could help prevent pedophiles and rapists from offending, was cast by the authors from Responsible Robotics.
“When we look at the question of whether or not sex robots could help to prevent sex crimes, there is major disagreement. On one side there are those who believe that expressing disordered or criminal sexual desires with a sex robot would satiate them to the point where they would not have the desire to harm fellow humans,” the report said.
“On the other side, many others believe that this would be an indulgence that could encourage and reinforce illicit sexual practices. This may work for a few but it is a very dangerous path to tread. It may be that allowing people to live out their darkest fantasies with sex robots could have a pernicious effect on society and societal norms and create more danger for the vulnerable.”
But finding a group to test this theory was one issue. How to make a robot simulate rape is another unknown matrix.
The impact that sex robots could have on prostitution was also addressed in the paper. Lumidolls recently faced opposition from sex workers and in February this year after it opened Europe’s first sex brothel in Barcelona, Spain. It moved its location later. While the researchers of the paper found no evidence that robot brothels would be widespread, the theme of robots taking jobs appears to be hitting most industries.
“We have found no indications that robots will end prostitution or sex trafficking in our investigation or in the surveys. It seems unlikely given what sex workers say about the needs of their clients for human character and intimacy. Many clients still want the pretense of a relationship,” the report’s authors noted.
Challenges as to how we interact with people and form relationships is posed by the entrance of sex robots into society.
In the future, it can be that humans could begin forming relationships with robots, as with improved artificial intelligence, sensors, and voice, they are only going to get more life-like. While there have been instances of people forming relationships with non-moving sex dolls, the report’s authors suggest that sex robots are too new to know how people will relate to them.
“Although this means that some people would never be satisfied with a ‘relationship’ with a robot, it does not mean that other people would not,” the paper said.
However, a huge impact on the way people interact with each other and cause loneliness could be possible with the widespread use of sex robots.
“Sex with robots could or will lead to social isolation. The reasons given varied: spending time in a robot relationship could create an inability to form human friendships; robot don’t meet the species specific needs of humans; sex robots could desensitize humans to intimacy and empathy, which can only be developed through experiencing human interaction and mutual consenting relationships; real sexual relationships could become overwhelming because relations with robots are easier,” the authors wrote.
(Adapted from CNBC)