Philosophy of Information Technology: Sex Robot and Its Ethical Issues

Philosophy of Information Technology: Sex Robot and Its Ethical Issues

Budi Yulianto (Bina Nusantara University, Jakarta, Indonesia) and Shidarta (Bina Nusantara University, Jakarta, Indonesia)
DOI: 10.4018/IJSESD.2015100105
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Abstract

Technology moves from the sex toy to the sex robot, a sex doll with artificial intelligence (AI) implemented. It is not a surprise idea to move robot as a servant to a sexual partner. As AI becomes more advanced and interaction between human and robot becomes more personal, sex and marriage with robot could result in the future. The authors conducted survey to discuss current and future trend of sex robot, its advantages and disadvantages. This paper also presents falsification theorems and implications to business, human social, moral, and psychological life caused by sex robot. This paper closes the discussion with further works of important ethical issues to be considered with deontology or consequentialism, and suggests to concern of sex robot regulations rather than banning it.
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Introduction

Robot

What is the ontology of love? Psychologists have identified basic reasons people fall in love because of similarities in personality and knowledge, and it can be programmable (Choi, 2007). Another reason, if they know the other person loves them, and it’s programmable too. Because it’s programmable by algorithms (Turner, 2013), it’s mostly could be applied to a robot.

Robot can be defined as an engineered machine that senses, thinks, and acts. Thus a robot must have sensors, processing ability that emulates some aspects of cognition, and actuators (Lin, 2011). Robots are often tasked to perform many ‘D’ jobs that are dull, dirty, difficult, detail, dangerous, etc (Lin, 2011; Amuda, 2012). In 2007, Bill Gates observed that the robotics industry is developing in much the same way that the computer business did in 1970s (Lin, 2010; Lin, 2011).

Robots can be classified into three main categories (Brady, 2006): tool, service provider, and companion. Automated lawnmowers, vacuum cleaners, and children’s toys are categorized as tool robots. Service provider robots designed for generalized or natural tasks, such as speech recognition, cooking robots, or phone service robots. Companion robots have social skills, close with people, show empathy and understanding, such as pet robots or sex robots. Studies of companion robots indicate that children and adults prefer their interactions with a robot that behaves ‘correctly’ under conditions, rather than whose ‘nice’ or ‘cheerful’ personality (Bradly, 2006). Certainly, many definition and classifications of robot (Scherer, 2014). This study does not presume that it can resolve this great debate here.

Sex and Technology

There are two constant triggers for innovation in technology: war and sex. Anything else can be volatile, such as teaching-learning, health, or transportation. Technology is turning more and more people into ‘post-human bodies’: cyborg or humanoid or android, the human-like robots (Rossini, 2003). Homo sapiens is not the final evolutionary stage, the future of humankind, Socrates’s microcosmos, is speculated.

Sex and technology are two industries that may give a lot of money. Formerly, the combination of sex and technology are resulting in sex toys, such as vibrator for women’s and men’s sexual satisfaction (Maines, 1999), sex doll, or sex machine (Levy, 2007). All of these could be categorized as micro sex tools because it only act as an object. Technology moves from the micro to the macro, a sex robot, a sex doll with artificial intelligence (AI) implemented (Gutiu, 2012). Macro sex tools tend to act as the subject (human looks like) although it’s actually also an object to fulfil human sexual desire. There are many companies that already provide realistic (human looks like) sex dolls. It's an easy step to add some vibration or audio responses to it (Choi, 2007). The sex robot is born.

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