"I think robots could become our lovers in the future. Does love have to be reciprocated to be valid?" This statement came from Dr. Kate Devlin, a computing lecturer at the Goldsmith University in London.
The university is where the International Congress on Love and Sex with Robots is to be held this upcoming December. The congress was supposed to be held in Malaysia on November 16 but was subsequently banned by the country as it deemed the whole premise as "too extreme."
Police chief Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar even said the whole thing was ridiculous adding that there was "nothing scientific about having sex with machines." The event's organizer has since apologized on their website asking forgiveness to those who felt offended.
Interest In Artificial Partner Increased In The Past Few Years
As such, the event was pushed at a later date with Goldsmith University eventually agreeing in hosting the whole thing. The session will focus on humanoid robots, robot emotions and personalities, teledildonics (cybersex toys), intelligent electronic sex hardware, entertainment robots and more, according to The Sun.
"Within the fields of Human-Computer Interaction and Human-Robot Interaction, the past few years have witnessed a strong upsurge of interest in the more personal aspects of human relationships with these artificial partners, said Goldsmith. Dr. Devlin herself will be hosting the event where she will speak along with other academics and industry professionals who will be attending.
The two-day conference is open to anyone who is interested. The full price of registration, however, will cost £200 ($244), while students will be charged £125 ($152).
Experts' Opinions Polarized As To Where Sex Robots Will Take Human Interaction
There are varying opinions from experts regarding this technology and what advantages and disadvantages it will bring. Joel Snell, a robotic expert from Kirkwood College in Iowa, warns that engaging sex with a robot can be addicting.
"Sexbots would always be available and could never say no, so addictions would be easy to feed," Snell said. "People will rearrange their lives to accommodate their addictions." Aside from being easily accessible anytime, robots can potentially become superior to humans in sexual activity as they can be programmed to tailor a user's needs.
But sex therapist Gurpreet Singh says that sex robots could be healthy for people's sex lives, reported the Daily Mail. "Let people enjoy sex robots - they will work in the same way couples introduce a toy into a sexual relationship. And if both parties are agreed, I see nothing wrong," said Singh.
He did warn, however, that robots shouldn't replace humans entirely. "It takes on a whole different meaning if sex robots are used because of a fear of intimacy or because a person wants to be isolated," explained the sex therapist.
Another sector that would likely be affected would be the sex industry. NUI Galway business lecturer Dr. John Danaher believes that sex robots are an excellent replacement to human prostitutes.
"The cyborgs can cater desire for sexual variety, freedom from constraint and complication and fear of lack of sexual success. Technology may become better at developing emotional bonds with their clients," said Danaher. "They won't need to 'fake it' the same way as human prostitutes."