Cybor sex robots
A campaign to stop killer robots is one thing, but a campaign against sex robots? File photo: Catalan nanotechnology engineer Sergi Santos holds the head of Samantha, a sex doll packed with artificial intelligence providing her the capability to respond to different scenarios and verbal stimulus, in his house in Rubi, north of Barcelona, Spain, March 31, 2017. (REUTERS/Albert Gea) Last month, tech billionaire Elon Musk claimed that artificial intelligence could take over the planet, and he's not the only one concerned about the dangers of killer tech.The relationship between humans and their artificial counterparts runs right back to the myths of ancient Greece, where sculptor Pygmalion’s statue was brought to life with a kiss.It is the stuff of legend and of science fiction – part of our written history and a part of our imagined future.Richardson does not relish this prospect and to an extent I agree with her misgivings; it is a narrative that should be challenged.I absolutely agree that to do so would require, as Richardson states in her recent paper: “a discussion about the ethics of gender and sex in robotics”. In the gendering of robots, and the sexualised personification of machines, digital sexual identity is too often presumed, but to date little-considered.It is time for new approaches to artificial sexuality, which includes a move away from the machine-as-sex-machine hegemony and all its associated biases. At least, for now – if we’ve lost control of that then we have a whole other set of problems.Fear of a branch of AI that is in its infancy is a reason to shape it, not ban it.
Lack of openness about sex and sexual identities has been a source of great mental and social anguish for many people, even entire societies, for centuries.The tech expert, from Deakin University, Australia, said: "Hackers can hack into a robot or a robotic device and have full control of the connections, arms, legs and other attached tools like in some cases knives or welding devices.“Once a robot is hacked, the hacker has full control and can issue instructions to the robot." The warning may sound a little far fetched, but the robots run using an operating system just like a phone or PC.Kate Devlin is the current Treasurer of the UK’s Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour (AISB), and is on the steering committee of the European Society for Cognitive Systems.Goldsmiths, University of London provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation UK.