Available for Pre-Order
Robot Sex: Social and Ethical Implications
Neil McArthur’s book, Robot Sex, is now available for pre-order. Scheduled release date is September 29, 2017 from The MIT Press.
It seems like so much time has passed since I spoke with Dr Neil McArthur about digisexuality. That was back when I still have no real idea of what I was doing and where this adventure in radio/podcasting would take me. I would like to believe that I have come a long way in the intervening months …
As a side note, I am still trying to figure out a way to fix the audio from that interview.
During the discussion, we spoke briefly about the book he was working on. The ethics and social implications of Sex Robots.
That book is now available for pre-order on Amazon. (I’ve pre-ordered my copy.) If you order a copy, I would love to know your thoughts. Drop me a line after you read it! Judging by some of the names involved in the project, I am certain there will be some interesting (and possibly controversial) takes on the debate about sex robots.
The Book (what I know at this point)
Title: Robot Sex: Social and Ethical Implications
Edited by: John Danaher and Neil McArthur
Contributing Authors: Marina Adshade, Thomas Arnold, Julie Carpenter, John Danaher, Brian Earp, Lily Eva Frank, Joshua Goldstein, Michael Hauskeller, Noreen Herzfeld, Neil McArthur, Mark Migotti, Sven Nyholm, Ezio di Nucci, Steve Petersen, Anders Sandberg, Matthias Scheutz, Litska Strikwerda, Nicole Wyatt
Sexbots are coming. Given the pace of technological advances, it is inevitable that realistic robots specifically designed for people’s sexual gratification will be developed in the not-too-distant future. Despite popular culture’s fascination with the topic, and the emergence of the much-publicized Campaign Against Sex Robots, there has been little academic research on the social, philosophical, moral, and legal implications of robot sex. This book fills the gap, offering perspectives from philosophy, psychology, religious studies, economics, and law on the possible future of robot-human sexual relationships.
Contributors discuss what a sex robot is, if they exist, why we should take the issue seriously, and what it means to “have sex” with a robot. They make the case for developing sex robots, arguing for their beneficial nature, and the case against it, on religious and moral grounds; they consider the subject from the robot’s perspective, addressing such issues as consent and agency; and they ask whether it is possible for a human to form a mutually satisfying, loving relationship with a robot. Finally, they speculate about the future of human-robot sexual interaction, considering the social acceptability of sex robots and the possible effect on society.
A couple of familiar names
Stereo-Typed listeners will be familiar with Neil McArthur’s name. He joined me on Episode 15 to discuss digisexuality, including Sex Bots. You will also recognise Brain Earp, who talked about the medicalization of love on Episode 19. Both are great minds when it comes to Sexual Ethics.
I am looking forward to reading all of the thoughts and perspectives on the issue of Robot Sex. It promises to provide a good helping of food for thought!
My position on Robot Sex
If you listened to my interview with Dr McArthur, you know that I am in favour of sex robots. In particular, I believe that they can provide services to individuals who may not be able to access sex through traditional means. A couple of segments of the population came to mind when I was discussing the topic: persons with disabilities and the prison population.
While I am certain this won’t get me any new friends, I would also say that robotic representations could also assist non-offending paedophiles from crossing the line into becoming sexual offenders. I believe that anyone who has dark desires should have a way to regulate them that is legal and ethical. (This isn’t limited to paedophilia. I know many people who have found a way to consensually play on the edge when it comes to rape fantasies.) In my opinion, allowing them to role play with a non-sentient child-like being will go a long way towards regulating their urges.
Dr McArthur on Sex with Dr Jess
If you would like to hear another interview with Dr McArthur (one that didn’t go all wonky …), have a listen to his conversation with Dr Jess O’Reilly.