back to article BAN the ROBOT WHORES, says robot whore expert: 'These AREN'T BARBIES'

An expert has called for a ban on sex robots, saying that their introduction will, in some unspecified way, increase the damage to society caused by prostitution. Chatting with The Register, Dr Kathleen Richardson PhD contended that the possible AI sex droids of the future would strongly contribute to the continuing miserable …

  1. P.B. Lecavalier

    That sounds at first very weird, like a "robot welfare" preoccupation, but it seems the point is would the use of such bots be a complement or substitute to actual prostitution? While you might have a strong opinion against prostitution, you might be ok about that involving bots. But once you do that, would you become more interested to try the "human thing"? If so, then it is a valid ethical issue.

  2. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
    FAIL

    By Dr. Richardson's logic, all humans have unethical relationships with their hands.

  3. g e

    De Montfort

    Hang on... Leicester, of similar geographical De-Montfort-ness as the Snow White & Seven Friends ?

    No coincidence, surely?

  4. adnim Silver badge

    who decides

    what is unethical?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: De Montfort

    It is not a coincidence.

    Simon De Montfort was Earl of Leicester in the 13th Century.

    Things in the city have been named after him.

  6. nijam Silver badge

    Re: De Montfort

    It's well-known that everything with any pretension to greatness in or near Leicester is named after De Montofort, mainly because there are no other famous people from Leicester.

  7. Shrimpling

    Re: De Montfort

    There are other famous people from Leicester...

    Its just Englebert Humperdinck University or John Merrick University weren't pretentious enough.

  8. TeeCee Gold badge
    Happy

    Re: who decides

    Tell you what, I will.

    Unethical is pissing on somebody else's picnic just 'cos you think it's somehow wrong, against nature, defying god's law or very likely to slam your very own gravy train into the buffers[1].

    There. That's all the ethicists, clergy and most of the lawyers out of a job, which goes a long way toward proving it's the right answer.

    [1] Like this one.

  9. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    WTF?

    Re: The man Who Fell To earth

    "By Dr. Richardson's logic...." What's next? Ban Kleenex, it enables prostitution?

  10. Rusty 1
    Coat

    Just don't make the mistake of anthropomorphising the robo hoes. They don't like it.

  11. Richard Scratcher

    The Bible forbids IT...

    ...unless you're stoned.

    Leviticus 18:22

    "Thou shalt not lie with robotkind, as with womankind: it is aballmernotion."

  12. Someone Else Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    @Rusty 1

    Look what you went and did to my keyboard! --->

  13. Pat Att

    Re: De Montfort

    Lester Piggot?

    I'll get me coat.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's Dr Richardson, Robotic-Hooker Ethicist to you!

  15. DrXym Silver badge

    We have to act now

    The sybian crisis is getting out of hand.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: We have to act now

    > The sybian crisis is getting out of hand.

    No, no, no. The lady doctor was explicit in her defense of womankind as not engaging in that sort of unseemly sex with inanimate anthropomorphised objects that men do. Women just want the good bits, delivered without the body attached. For women, it's all about "the d" as it were-- a vibrating, writhing one in various shapes, sizes and colours. Nothing at all unhealthy that women see men merely as a disembodied willy to use and put away whenever they need relief...

  17. Asterix the Gaul

    Re: We have to act now

    "Women just want the good bits, delivered without the body attached. For women, it's all about "the d" as it were-- a vibrating, writhing one in various shapes, sizes and colours."

    So, the women of today enjoy the by-product of using vibrators by growing hair on the palms of their hands,whereas we men have to cope with that by visiting the dentist for a 'haircut'.

    I know which I prefer...hang on!, I just remembered, I've got an 'appointment'.

  18. codejunky Silver badge

    Prostitution

    Computers are coming after all our jobs

  19. ItsNotMe
    Coat

    Re: Prostitution

    Can I get an H-1B Visa for that?

    Mines the one with the pocket vibrating wildly.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Prostitution

    Do I put the money in this slot here ?

  21. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Meh! Re: Prostitution

    Man has invented the technology to actually make Prostitution a victim-less crime and now everyone wants to shut it down.

  22. simonpearse

    Re: Prostitution

    No, I think thats the card swipe.

  23. Boothy Silver badge

    Re: Prostitution

    NFC surely!

    Otherwise known as Pay by bonk!

  24. Ru'

    As it stands now, I bet the ratio of men who have used a "sex robot" compared to women who have is minuscule... Cyber dildonics (best term ever) is going to be a huge enabling industry for proper robotics in the same way porn has helped the video (and no doubt VR) industries. Luckily it's very easy to separate porn etc. from reality so I can't see it harming views on women. But I'm just some bloke so what do I know.

  25. ratfox Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    Luckily it's very easy to separate porn etc. from reality so I can't see it harming views on women

    *Cough cough* …I think you'll find this view is controversial.

    *Cough*

  26. Fibbles

    Yes, yes. And video games cause violence, rock and roll promotes devil worship and the novella will be the downfall of civilised society.

  27. Anonymous Blowhard

    I thought cyber dildonics was a reference to Professor Kevin Warwick?

  28. ratfox Silver badge

    Sure, sure. I just wanted to point out that the argument that porn objectifies women is extremely common.

    This bland assertion to the contrary was not unlike coming in a discussion about global warming and state that humanity has obviously no influence on the climate.

  29. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    As it stands now, I bet the ratio of men who have used a "sex robot" compared to women who have is minuscule

    It depends on what you define as a 'sex robot'. It could be argued that women (and indeed some men) have been using these for years and have refined them down to the point where they consist of only the essential 'part', and a place to put the batteries.

  30. Suricou Raven

    There's a term for objectifying human beings: "Employment."

  31. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Windows

    cyber dildonics was a reference to Professor Kevin Warwick?

    No, I distinctly remember Fred Brooks (of "Mythical Man-Month" fame) use it derogatorily in the very early 90's in a lecture about the possibilites of VR (still in its very infancy back then).

  32. James Micallef Silver badge

    Putting on my "I wonder how she came up with that" cap for a moment:

    If porn robotics advances to such a stage where a pornbot will be physically as close to a woman* as makes no difference, then men* who get used to treating pornbots as objects, will start treating other women* (who look like the pornbots) as objects too.

    That's a bit fallacious, since you could make the same argument for any type of humanoid robot, no matter what it's function. There are valid concerns in that direction, many of which explored in, for example, Asimov's 'spacer' worlds. But that is all based on massive 'what ifs'. Who knows, maybe humanoid robots that are undistinguishable from humans will make us all a bit more polite to each other.

    Back in the real world, where pornbots are going to be easily distinguishable from humans for (guesstimate) centuries through behaviour alone, maybe it will work the other way, and use of pornbots that are readily identifiable as objects will lead to less objectification of humans.

    Either way, my money is on these things reducing the 'back alley' cheap prostitution (the vast majority, including the more exploited women which I guess is what this lady should be more concerned about), while high-class escort services wouldn't be affected.

    *potentially with genders reversed/mixed, but I'm pretty sure this is the main 'use-case'

  33. Vic

    maybe humanoid robots that are undistinguishable from humans will make us all a bit more polite to each other.

    So not so much "the customer is always right", but more "the customer might have seen attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion"...

    Vic.

  34. Richard Altmann

    Check out this

    https://www.vibease.com/

  35. Richard Altmann

    @ ratfox

    There´s porn for women as well. Whatever the difference

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Check out this

    Ordered one! My gf definitely will enjoy my thoughtful gesture!

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Of course its a sex object. If I owned one, it would be MY sex object. Like a vibrator, or squirmy rooter or bum thrustermatic 5000 or whatever else inhabits people's bedroom drawers or wardrobes or dungeons or whatever.

    What business is it of her's that I have a sex object? Who is she to dictate what I use to pleasure myself in the privacy of my own bedroom, not affecting anyone else and doing nothing illegal.

    As for it might reduce human interaction, erm, does that mean it might reduce casual sex? a robot isnt going to be a genuine fleshy companion, but surely it has to be better than waking up to someone unknown after 5 cans of tennants super down the local disco and a free exchange of virus or microbes which might have very bad long term concequences for their host? Or ending up with unwanted offspring and a lifeterm commitment to support said error of alcoholic judgement?

    Please, FOAD back to the 19th centuary.

    I think we should have a pettition to ban Kathleen Richardson for being stupid and judgemental, in the most glorous doubletake wording possible.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Demarcation?

    When I read this on the beeb this morning it looked like "woman ask for ban on sex toys for men".

    Yet some stats put the sale of sex toys for women at over 1M per year (which does sound a little high) and most city high streets will have at least one store that sells them.

    Perhaps she should go and read Asimov, she might find that it isn't men, or at least only men, who are the target market place.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Demarcation?

    I think her assertion that 80% of prostitutes being women with the other 20% being children and transgender men is complete bolllocks.

    Although there is clearly going to be a high ratio of women, there are still _plenty_ of male prostitutes in the world of both gay and straight denominations - and these seem to be entirely missing from her data.

  40. John G Imrie Silver badge

    Re: Demarcation?

    Hello, my name is Tony.

  41. Steve Gill

    Re: Demarcation?

    That would be because it would break all her theories (and preconceptions) if she were to accept there are male prostitutes (either gay or straight) or that there are women who use prostitutes (either gay or straight)

  42. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

    Re: Demarcation?

    Thumbs up for the reference to the Asimov story "Satisfaction Guaranteed".

    And I believe that Lieutenant Commander Data was supposed to be 'fully functional', but unfortunately we can't ask Tasha Yar about it.

  43. Indolent Wretch

    Re: Demarcation?

    Nah that ration sounds plausible. 20% of that large a number is _plenty_

    Walking around a town in the south of Spain recently. Female prostitutes seen ~10, male prostitutes seen ... 0. This is in daylight, YMMV

  44. Indolent Wretch

    Re: Demarcation?

    No but they were "intimate" and it's suggested it happened much more than once.

    Data wouldn't have lied about that.

    "The Measure of a Man" is a great early episode. Even the brief referral to it in "The Offspring" is a fantastic piece of a dialog.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Demarcation?

    "Walking around a town in the south of Spain recently. Female prostitutes seen ~10, male prostitutes seen ... 0. This is in daylight, YMMV"

    The other way of looking at this is: Female prostitutes in use=0%, Male prostitutes in use=100%.

    Anon Y. Mus.

  46. Fatman
    Joke

    Missed it by a millenium....

    <quote>Please, FOAD back to the 19th centuary(sic).</quote>

    You must look very carefully to see that I FTFY!!!

    See "Dark Ages": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Ages_%28historiography%29

  47. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    That is not what the law says

    The law as it stands today will line you up for a long spell in state accommodation nearly anywhere if your toy resembles let's say Lisa Simpson. Unless you are designing Olympic logos of course.

    In some jurisdictions you will end up in state accommodation with extra services such as lashes, etc if the toy resembles a person of the same sexual persuasion as you.

    So as the law and society perceptions presently stand there is a limit to what you can enjoy in your own house. By the way - I fully agree to ban her (and other pretend moralists that probably have a vibrator in their purse) and send them back to sometimes in the middle ages where they belong.

  48. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Terminator

    Re: Demarcation?

    Commander Data was supposed to be 'fully functional'

    I see. Big Data. Say no more...

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Demarcation?

    > Walking around a town in the south of Spain recently. Female prostitutes seen ~10, male prostitutes seen ... 0.

    Would you recognise a male prostitute if you saw one?

    Unless they're TS types they probably aren't tottering on high heels and wearing fishnet stockings.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC

    "surely it has to be better than waking up to someone unknown after 5 cans of tennants super down the local disco and a free exchange of virus or microbes which might have very bad long term concequences for their hos"

    Excellent point... well it is if people wash it out first :D

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