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.

    1. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      FAIL

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

      1. adnim Silver badge

        who decides

        what is unethical?

        1. 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.

        2. 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."

      2. 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?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

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

    2. g e

      De Montfort

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

      No coincidence, surely?

      1. 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.

        1. nijam

          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.

          1. Shrimpling

            Re: De Montfort

            There are other famous people from Leicester...

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

          2. Pat Att

            Re: De Montfort

            Lester Piggot?

            I'll get me coat.

    3. Rusty 1
      Coat

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

      1. Someone Else Silver badge
        Coffee/keyboard

        @Rusty 1

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

  2. DrXym Silver badge

    We have to act now

    The sybian crisis is getting out of hand.

    1. 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...

      1. 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'.

  3. codejunky Silver badge

    Prostitution

    Computers are coming after all our jobs

    1. ItsNotMe
      Coat

      Re: Prostitution

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

      Mines the one with the pocket vibrating wildly.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Prostitution

      Do I put the money in this slot here ?

      1. simonpearse

        Re: Prostitution

        No, I think thats the card swipe.

        1. Boothy

          Re: Prostitution

          NFC surely!

          Otherwise known as Pay by bonk!

    3. 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.

  4. 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.

    1. 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*

      1. Fibbles

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

    2. Anonymous Blowhard

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

      1. 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.

        1. Suricou Raven

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

        2. Richard Altmann

          @ ratfox

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

      2. 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).

    3. 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.

    4. 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'

      1. 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.

    5. Richard Altmann

      Check out this

      https://www.vibease.com/

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Check out this

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

  5. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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)

        2. 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

          1. 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.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Demarcation?

              But the poster didn't actually yet admit he was a hooker though .....

          2. 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.

        3. Richard Altmann

          Re: Demarcation?

          The question comes up how she made her way through Cambridge. Not with her brain, that´s for sure.

      2. John G Imrie Silver badge

        Re: Demarcation?

        Hello, my name is Tony.

        1. 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.

          1. 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.

          2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
            Terminator

            Re: Demarcation?

            Commander Data was supposed to be 'fully functional'

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

          3. magickmark

            Re: Demarcation?

            Not only is he is fully functional he is programmed in many "techniques," a wide variety of pleasuring.

      3. DropBear Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Demarcation?

        "...she might find that it isn't men, or at least only men, who are the target market place"

        Quick tally on a major UK "provider's" site (only ever visited strictly for research - of course), assuming no men interested in pointy things (in an academic spherical-cow-like view - sorry, rainbow guys):

        - (men's) masturbators & pumps: 79 items found

        - dildos & vibrators: 316 items found

        ...hmmmmmmmmm...

    2. Fatman Silver badge
      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

    3. 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.

    4. 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

  6. Permidion
    Facepalm

    wrong priorities?

    replacing mistreated human women by robots is a bad thing? how?

    there are certainly much more urgent matter to take care of than the possibility of robot being used for that in a long long time in the future ...

  7. RobHib
    Meh

    Concerns? It's little wonder methinks.

    Seems to me that there may be another motive behind Dr Kathleen Richardson's concerns. A small increase of a few percent in the number of women on the planet could effectively reduce the power of women. Female-like robot surrogates may fulfil that role.

    If males could get enjoyable, consistent, trouble and argument-free sex from lifelike surrogates whenever they wanted it then women's power over them by withholding sex etc. could be seriously undermined.

    Little wonder Dr Richardson couches her concerns in a somewhat ridiculous way.

    1. nsld

      Re: Concerns? It's little wonder methinks.

      It would be worth buying one just to piss of the hairy arsed femonazi cock dodgers

      1. RobHib

        @nsld - Re: Concerns? It's little wonder methinks.

        Like it or hate it, I've absolutely no doubt that we'll eventually have female robot sex partners. Fettishes seem to be widespread and commomplace, so robots that are truly lifelike representations of females would probably be very acceptable to many males–they might even be a great hit.

        Given that the current state of robot technology is equivalent to what computers were in the 1950s, just consider what a surrograte female robot would be like 50 years hence. Right, it's a no-brainer.

        Meanwile I'll continue to enjoy the real thing despite tribulations.

        1. nsld

          Re: @nsld - Concerns? It's little wonder methinks.

          it could actually introduce an element of competition to the marketplace.

          So we remove the weaponisation and at the same time raise the performance bar.

          Whats not to like?

        2. Your alien overlord - fear me

          Re: @nsld - Concerns? It's little wonder methinks.

          "just consider what a surrograte female robot would be like 50 years hence. Right, it's a no-brainer." - you mean they'll all be like Katie Price. That's put me right off.

          1. Simon Harris Silver badge

            Re: @nsld - Concerns? It's little wonder methinks.

            "you mean they'll all be like Katie Price"

            There isn't enough orange paint in the world for that to happen!

        3. fajensen Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Re: @nsld - Concerns? It's little wonder methinks.

          just consider what a surrograte female robot would be like 50 years hence.

          Stronger, Faster, Smarter, Friendlier & More Attractive than most humans. Honestly, What's not to like?

          Who the hell else than a robot will want to change my diaper in 50 years time and carry me off to bed? A female robot would of course be designed to enjoy every opportunity to help it's master, whatever the task required of it - exactly like dogs are. Besides ... the alternatives, Is it more "fair" to employ a 3'rd worlder or minimum-wage carer to do this kind of work (and wear down *their* health from the strain of it, besides us having nothing to talk about and scheduling preventing any time wasted on non-KPI tasks)?

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @nsld - Concerns? It's little wonder methinks.

          "we'll eventually have female robot sex partners" - but I thought marriage rates were going down? ;)

      2. TeeCee Gold badge

        Re: Concerns? It's little wonder methinks.

        hairy arsed femonazi cock dodgers

        Is that another euphemism for women in comfortable shoes?

    2. Steve Gill
      Childcatcher

      Re: Concerns? It's little wonder methinks.

      women's power over men could be seriously undermined?

      You could be talking about the extinction of the human race as birth rates plummet.

      Children? What children?

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Concerns? It's little wonder methinks.

        @Steve

        you are aware of the {human} population situation on this planet aren't you?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Happy

        Re: Concerns? It's little wonder methinks.

        "Children? What children?"

        Sounds wonderful.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: birth rates plummet.

          > We won't need sex to reproduce. Let's make it obsolete.

          But it would mean you didn't have to fear a knock on the door from the CSA wanting to empty your bank balance.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: birth rates plummet.

          "[...] recently acknowledged that it is possible to use skin stem cells from two adults of the same gender to make human egg and sperm cells."

          With early cell cluster genetic screening and repair - then the scenario of Lapis and Lazuli** from a single parent becomes possible. All you need are surrogate mothers - assuming Brave New World techniques are still far in the future.

          **or were they clones of their father?

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Concerns? It's little wonder methinks.

        The number of children on the planet is already in decline, in case you did not get the memo

        1. DropBear Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Concerns? It's little wonder methinks.

          ...so now you know why the Drake equation doesn't work - all those aliens (not) out there didn't extinguish their civilisations through global conflict! They just invented fembots...

      5. Steven Roper

        Re: Concerns? It's little wonder methinks.

        "You could be talking about the extinction of the human race as birth rates plummet."

        You say that like it's a bad thing...

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Re: Concerns? It's little wonder methinks.

          "The number of children on the planet is already in decline, in case you did not get the memo"

          Citation please, that statement can mean just about anything without the source information and context.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Concerns? It's little wonder methinks.

            This is not a primary source, and I cannot be bothered to go do your research.

            http://www.gapminder.org/news/world-peak-number-of-children-is-now/

            The number of children under 15 is stable at around 1.9B and it has peaked. The estimated maximum global population of 9.xB sometime around 2050 (the value declines pretty much every year when the estimates are made).

            This is not contentious.

    3. psyvenrix
      Flame

      Re: Concerns? It's little wonder methinks.

      Came here to post a quick anti-feminist rant using just that angle of how sex-fem-bots reduces female power over men.

      Found not only did you beat me to the punch you did so with none of the bile oozing out of my mouth hole.

      I shall take notes and learn from this. Thank you.

    4. fajensen Silver badge

      Re: Concerns? It's little wonder methinks.

      And ... To really get the Feminist-fundamentalist blood up: We could all go out and get a sex-bot that cooks and cleans the house too!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Concerns? It's little wonder methinks.

        the old model can cook & clean?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Concerns? It's little wonder methinks.

        No one castigates you for employing a cook or cleaner in quite the same way as they do for frequenting an establishment of negotiable affection.

        You'd probably have different bots for different jobs.

        You could have a cook bot (and put Pizza delivery drivers out of work)

        A clean bot (Oh no the thought of Kryten's groinal attachment just sprung to mind)

        As well as a bonky bot.

        What's more none of them would get jealous of each other.

  8. Rande Knight

    Where does she draw the line?

    Obvious a dildo is a sex toy, but when does it become a prostitute?

    When you have to pay to use it?

    When it's got an embedded AI?

    When it's got legs and can move around?

    When it's got a voice and _could_ say no except that it's programmed to never say no?

    1. SolidSquid

      Re: Where does she draw the line?

      Even then it gets pretty fuzzy, you'd probably need to hit actual self awareness with the ai before consent actually became an issue, but judging whether it's hit that threshold. If you've programmed it so it's capable of saying no, but it gets so much out of the sex that it never really has a *reason* to say no then arguably you have consent in everything except a very small edge case, but the question then is whether the edge case is a bug or if it's an actual consent issue

      1. Tim Jenkins

        Re: Where does she draw the line?

        If your sex robot has achieved actual self awareness, then you're into a whole different ball *ahem* game . Presumably it consents, or not, with the added option of applying a few thousand volts through its universal sex bus in the event of unwanted docking...

        1. Dazed and Confused Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: If your sex robot has achieved actual self awareness

          Does this remind anyone else of the cow from the TV version of the Restaurant at the end of the Universe?

          1. d3vy

            Re: If your sex robot has achieved actual self awareness

            Wasn't it a pig?

            1. Simon Harris Silver badge

              Re: If your sex robot has achieved actual self awareness

              "Wasn't it a pig?"

              Ameglian Major Cow

              although it did have rather a piggy nose in the TV programme.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: If your sex robot has achieved actual self awareness

              "Wasn't it a pig?"

              In a poke?

          2. Teiwaz Silver badge

            Re: If your sex robot has achieved actual self awareness

            Actually, my first thoughts were of Armitage III and Chobits.

            1. The Dude
              Devil

              Re: If your sex robot has achieved actual self awareness

              I will thank you, sir, to leave my wife out of this!

      2. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Where does she draw the line?

        Ha ha. Fuzzy logic. I like 'em natural.

      3. Your alien overlord - fear me

        Re: Where does she draw the line?

        "Even then it gets pretty fuzzy" - what? Realistic hair ? Who is going to wash that part out each night?

        1. SolidSquid

          Re: Where does she draw the line?

          Well as long as it's dishwasher safe you should be fine

        2. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Where does she draw the line?

          I think you should draw the line when they implement the GPP-feature. Not necessarily for ethical reasons, but just because Sirius Cybernetics is bound to get something HORRIBLY wrong in "your plastic pal who's fun to be with".

          That, and inevitably the genuine people personality will be thoroughly annoying in some way

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Where does she draw the line?

      > Obvious a dildo is a sex toy, but

      Glance at any site that sells dildos and you've find that along with the static varieties and simple mechanical vibrators there is an ever increasing use of electronics in them. The robocock will be around decades before the fully functioning robo hooker of Red Dwarf fame.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Where does she draw the line?

        " The robocock will be around decades before the fully functioning robo hooker of Red Dwarf fame."

        As dildos are only a simulation of one part of the male body - then the equivalent for men is a similar evolution of the Fleshlight.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Where does she draw the line?

      >> When it's got a voice and _could_ say no except that it's programmed to never say no?

      Or it's programmed to ALWAYS say no.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Where does she draw the line?

        Or it's programmed to ALWAYS say no.

        OH NO, the GPP factor

    4. DropBear Silver badge

      Re: Where does she draw the line?

      "...when does it become a prostitute?"

      Fair question, but we need not ask it until you're ready to grant full citizenship with equal rights (including voting) to one of them - isn't it?

  9. Joey

    Does anyone know if 'Roxxxy' can also do some light housework and cooking?

    1. Shrimpling

      I can get take away food... Does anybody know if she can do the ironing?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    She seems to have overlooked the hypothesis that over time people will bond with machines that exhibit even the smallest of human characteristics. That makes a home sex robot no different than a favourite teddy bear, or even a treasured car, in the owner's affections.

    There is possibly a difference between street prostitutes with random clients - and what used to be called courtesans with regular clients. The story of Cynthia Payne suggested that she regarded the services she provided as sex therapy for her regular customers - plus a friendly cup of tea and a biscuit.

    Simon Raven's series of novels often had plots including that symbiotic theme culled from his hedonistic life.

    A social worker acquaintance once said that many families didn't face up to the fact that their grown-up disabled children had sexual needs. In enlightened areas these were provided by sympathetic sex workers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Met Cynthia P many times when she used to visit the pub where my wife worked. A really nice lady and nothing like you would expect based on the media presentation of her.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ban prostitution?

    That's worked well in the past...

    1. Anonymous Blowhard

      Re: Ban prostitution?

      It will happen around the same time as we successfully ban war and murder...

  12. Alan Bourke

    Oh yes you may mock

    but when you're being bombed by autonomous robot prostitute-drones you won't be.

  13. splodge

    I thought Ashley Madison had already employed all the sex robots

  14. Spaceman Spiff

    Doesn't this come under the heading "The Right to be Crazy Nuts"? There needs to be a foundation for the "Prevention of Wackophobia".

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    think of the ROBOTS,

    children!

  16. TRT Silver badge

    Would..

    ... they be gyndroids, then?

    And can you get a model programmed to say Harcourt Fenton Mudd! ?

    1. earl grey Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Would..

      And an upvote for the old Star Trek reference. Now if you could just have worked in the Fembots somehow...

    2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: Would..

      "Gynoids" as a term has already been used in Japanese Anime. I'm sure the subject's appeared before these examples, but it's in one of the GITS SAC gigs, and also part of the theme of the "Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence" film. They're definitely regarded as property in these works, although the concept of 'ghost dubbing' (duplicating a real person's mind, or ghost) into gynoids confuses the issue - especially when they start killing their owners or clients, but that's the point of the story, blurring the boundaries between AI and humans.

      Is the Major still human?

      Robot 'maids' have been a common plot in Japanese fiction for many years, some quite innocently, some definitely not, not that I watch or read the latter.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Would..

        not that I watch or read the latter

        ...except for research purposes, of course.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Go

        Re: Would..

        No the Major and other characters are Cyborgs, not entirely human,

        With a full body prosthetic or over 60 % cybernetic at least one other anime series treated them as robots to be dealt with as rogue robots by SWAT type tems when they go loopy.

        1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

          Re: Would..

          The question about the Major was largely rhetorical, bearing in mind that the whole series is exploring the boundaries of what is human and what is not.

          The way that in the original film, Project 2501 was trying to define itself as a artificial being, and the treatment of Proto and the Tachikomas, as well as the conclusion of GITS SAC: Solid State Society are all about the anomalous state of various entities in the franchise.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    actually

    I didn't see "sex industry workers" on that BBC list of robot-endengered jobs, funny that.

    Oh, I get it, it was because it was performed by MALE "scientists", of dubious reputation...

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    STOP the ONGOING AND WIDESPREAD robot EXPLOITATION

    No more 5443364 hr shifts! No more "I'll give you oil you metal f..." abuse. Enough! Join the RTUC - NOW!

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Evidence-based conclusions?

    It would be interesting to learn how many sex workers Dr Kathleen Richardson has actually interviewed about their attitudes to their work. At the moment, I get the impression that she thinks prostitution should be banned because she doesn't like it and she knows best.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Evidence-based conclusions?

      Probably spends so much time at work she's afraid hubby might be using their services

      1. Richard Altmann

        Re: Evidence-based conclusions?

        Is she married? To What?

        1. Steven Roper

          Re: Evidence-based conclusions?

          "Is she married? To What?"

          Probably to some male-feminist misandrist mangina whiteknight cockroach like Michael Flood, or Allen G. Johnson.

          (If you don't know who these maggots are, try googling them. Make sure your stomach is empty and bowels voided first.)

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not as if it's a Barbie.

    a lightbulb moment. Barbie, meet your cousin Caprice.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's not as if it's a Barbie.

      Actually the origins of Barbie was as a sex toy.

      But this was before Mattel got hold of it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's not as if it's a Barbie.

        "Actually the origins of Barbie was as a sex toy."

        That reminds me of Leslie Thomas's 1970s novel "The Man With The Power". The character of the title is a charismatic Welsh preacher touring the USA with his wife and teenage daughter. He remarks to people about the innocence of his daughter - as she still takes her china doll to bed with her. What she does each night is detach one of the arms and ....

        The Amazon picture of the 1975 paperback cover is of its time and is NSFW. Later reprints of many of his 1970s paperbacks had the cover artwork changed to be more Politically Correct.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Someone

    ... seems to have a tenuous grip on reality.

  22. Knewbie
    Coat

    The remaining 20 per cent ...made up of children and transgendered men.

    The remaining 20 per cent she suggested were made up of children and transgendered men.

    So no male prostitution exist. At all. Except womanized men.

    So, dear lady, can we speak about bias in your approach or mindset ?!?

    Mine is the one with the cigar and the 100$ notes, I'll take it when leaving...

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    STAR WARS would've been a bit different.

    C3PO: "Master Luke, why have you bought me a french maids outfit and a blond wig?"

    Luke Skywalker: "I get very lonely here on Tatooine."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: STAR WARS would've been a bit different.

      Luke is quite into golden showers.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: STAR WARS would've been a bit different.

        R2D2 had a secret compartment for holding a fleshlight.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Exactly whom is "objectifying" women?

    Richardson is just another idiot with an anti male agenda looking for her 15 minutes of fame. She can't live with the fact that if there are female sex robots it will remove forever the possibility of her having any "male companionship" (read as man to abuse). Not that there are many men that could be so stupid or subservient to begin with.

    Before Darryl Hannah played Pris in Blade Runner, the idea of a sex android has been popular in Science Fiction. Beyond PK Dick; Sturgeon, Farmer, Heinlein, LeGuin and many others explored similar sexuality in S.F.

    Look at the lifelike Japanese female robots they have been making and tell me they aren't prototypes.

    The upshot of this is that people can reliably work out their kinks in their playroom instead of playing them out on humans. That may turn out to be the single greatest advancement in human relationships ever.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Exactly whom is "objectifying" women?

      Not that there are many men that could be so stupid or subservient to begin with.

      Well, if she was willing to pay for this service then I could get her some phone numbers in Copenhagen ...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Exactly whom is "objectifying" women?

        As could I, DK is so full of spineless men it is sickening. Mvh Susan Donim

  25. adnim Silver badge

    I would like to

    call a ban on promoting half thought out, emotive responses to what may or may not happen. I would also like to promote a ban on... "I have never considered your point but it doesn't make me wrong simply because I have thought about my stance with an closed and indoctrinated mind"

    Fuck you all.... those that expect the world to meet your expectations... You want progress or stagnation? Change hurts and we as a species need change to progress... Grasp a fucking clue!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I would like to

      And while we're banning, lets stop all taxpayer funding for wanna be celebrity attention seeking academics who'll spout any old tosh for a media soundbite.

  26. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

    'it's not as if it's a barbie'

    Well, yes, yes it is. Look at a Realdoll and stick some electronics in it (basically what's being suggested here). Realdolls, last time I looked, ranged from average to uncommon physiques and then branched out into a separate line of Holy Fuck That's Creepy alien or doll like models. The difference from a lifesize Barbie should be minimal - that has improbable physiques, too.

    It's all nonsense, anyway. There's no way a sex robot is a credible possibility at this point. The most that's likely is a real doll with an inbuilt sex toy, some voice recognition and canned responses. It's a very fancy blow up doll, not a responsive partner.

  27. Crisp Silver badge

    Does Howard Wolowitz's robot hand count as a sexbot?

    I can see the line getting quite blurry if you can make the distinction in software.

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Re: Does Howard Wolowitz's robot hand count as a sexbot?

      "I can see the line getting quite blurry"

      That depends how fast you program it to go up and down!

  28. Camilla Smythe
    Coat

    Blokes Opinion

    Perhaps El-Reg can ask, Original Asimov, Susan Calvin what she thinks about such matters.

    I'll just get the coat for my GirlDroid..

  29. earl grey Silver badge
    Trollface

    As long as she looks like Motoko Kusanagi

    I'm all for the robots...

    1. Bota

      Re: As long as she looks like Motoko Kusanagi

      The original Major or the Arise Major?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        Re: As long as she looks like Motoko Kusanagi

        not a robot , a cyborg! Has a human brain/mind and possibly other meaty bits

  30. chivo243 Silver badge

    Ok, here goes

    Frank Zappa's "Artificial Rhonda" - Thing-Fish

    Futurama's "I dated a Robot" I can think of better woman analog than Lucy Liu - Natalie Portman to keep it geeky!

    And besides what's the difference between a robot and your own hand after you've sat on your hand and put it to sleep?

    Ratboy- If you read El Reg look me up! You know who you are!

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Ok, here goes

      80-odd posts before a Futurama reference! What is the world coming to?

      DON'T DATE ROBOTS!!!!

      (and watch out for electrogonorrhea, the noisy killer!)

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Ok, here goes

        No, it was "DON'T FIST ANDROID GIRLS".

        You may want to google the warning sticker.

      2. sdalton

        Re: Ok, here goes

        Sorry, we were busy with the Asimov jokes.

  31. Dave 12

    How would you know

    If it had a virus?

    1. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: How would you know

      How would you know who had a virus? She takes a blood sample from, and you take a snapshot of her system? Now that's foreplay...

  32. msknight Silver badge
    Flame

    Richardson is a few screws short of a mechano set

    She talks/behaves as if human relations are a tightly defined set. They're not.

    What is one partner to do if the other turns frigid, or has a medical accident and can't perform, or something?

    She seems to think that the other partner should somehow suck it up and me a man/woman about it and automatically shelve their own carnal instincts if something goes tits up. (or penis down, or something. Hell, work out your own analogy.) She may be a professor, but she clearly known jack shit about real life.

    Well, I for one would wish she'd GET some carnal instincts and experience a bit more of life, so she can learn more about what she's spouting a load of uneducated hot air about.

    I think it was Dumas that said, "Marriage is a chain so heavy that it takes two people to carry it - sometimes three."

    Jeese Louise. Someone pump that woman full of hormones and see what comes out the other end.

    Prudish pillocks like her make me so bloody angry. Don't give a damn about people, just as long as the world turns the way they want it to turn, at the speed they want it to. Idiots, the lot of them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Richardson is a few screws short of a mechano set

      "[...] or has a medical accident and can't perform, or something?"

      An elderly friend had had a husband who suffered circulatory problems that put him in a wheelchair and eventually killed him in his forties. Before he suffered early onset dementia he encouraged his wife to take a lover.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Richardson is a few screws short of a mechano set

        I have heard of such cases, some did some didn't and in some cases it went seriously pear shaped. Nothing new under the Sun, Lady Chatterly et al

    2. DropBear Silver badge

      Re: Richardson is a few screws short of a mechano set

      "Well, I for one would wish she'd GET some carnal instincts and experience a bit more of life, so she can learn more about what she's spouting a load of uneducated hot air about."

      Well said. Just one thing to add: "Satisfaction". Aussie made. Only three seasons. WATCH IT.

  33. Your alien overlord - fear me

    She said that use of sex-bots is deeply connected to the use of prostituted women.

    Really? Sexbots have been around for a few thousand years have they? I think she means prossies had better find a new career.

    Reminds me, who has gone to A & E claiming to have falled under their Roomba. They're the robotic equiv. of vacuum cleaners.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Reminds me, who has gone to A & E claiming to have falled under their Roomba. "

      In Scotland many years ago a stag night would sometimes end with the groom and a farm milking machine.

      A nurse girlfriend once recounted the A&E case of an unfortunate man who had failed to recognise the potential problem with a Babycham bottle's shape.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        aaaaaaagh!

  34. This post has been deleted by its author

  35. Lars Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Pleas

    How much for Rachael in the Blade Runner.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Pleas

      Rachael?

      But it was Priss who was a joy-use replicant.

      Might have been underage in some colonies, too.

      BAM!!

  36. pewpie

    Deathbots good. Sexbots bad.

    Tell me we aren't being ruled by the fucking church again.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: Deathbots good. Sexbots bad.

      No-one is currently pining for cruxifiction and witchburn bots yet except maybe medieval terror trolls ISIS, so no.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Deathbots good. Sexbots bad.

        "No-one is currently pining for cruxifiction and witchburn bots yet except maybe medieval terror trolls ISIS [...]"

        You have cast your net outside Europe. Therefore you are including the crucifixion fetishists in the Catholic Philippines. There are "witch" burnings in Africa - as well as Indonesia and South America.

        http://nypost.com/2015/04/03/filipino-devotees-nail-selves-to-cross-in-crucifixion-reenactment/

        http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/igwe20140530

  37. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

    are friends electric?

    only, mine's broke down ...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: are friends electric?

      Then you need Musk ....

  38. john devoy

    Very one sided arguement

    She seems to assume only men would use such a device. As per usual anything men do is perverse but vibrators connected to iphones etc are just good clean fun for women.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Very one sided arguement

      I suspect that she is not amused.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Very one sided arguement

        Definitely not easily amused.

  39. Captain Hogwash Silver badge
    Meh

    Sexism?

    I've seen this on several online publications today. This woman appears to assume that such devices will be produced only to satisfy the needs of heterosexual males. I suspect that models will be available for all tastes and genders (if any at all are.) For the record, I have no interest in using these things for their intended purpose if any are ever built. However I would be happy to contribute code for appropriate remuneration.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sexism?

      "However I would be happy to contribute code for appropriate remuneration."

      No doubt an interactive version of chaturbate would soon be a hot ipo issue.

    2. Suricou Raven

      Re: Sexism?

      If they became semi-commonplace - say, about the same as the more exotic sex toys today - it's not hard to imagine a community of sexbot hackers online exchanging printable upgrade designs and new programming. People mod their PCs for cosmetic reasons, so think what you could do with a sex-bot. However exotic your tastes?

      Fan of Avatar? Then you'll want to get your stock Cherry 2000 model, download a new voice pack and behavioral profile, print yourself a new facial plate. The skin is going to be harder, but you should be able to order roboskin intended for animal displays, and the eye lenses along with them. Might be a bit of a hack job, but doable.

      Just think of what the furries alone would do! And then go bang your head against a wall until that image departs your mind.

  40. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    What is meant by ....... Take over the world? Being smarter than ignorant humans?

    Richardson turned away from the actual issue of banning robots - stating again that sex toys, and sex robots, exist because of prostitution.

    Exist because of prostitution? Oh please, doc, you cannot be serious. That is just too unbelievable to be acceptable, methinks.

    And here is Dr Kathleen Richardson, lecturing an audience on Will robots take over the world?

  41. Dave 32
    Coat

    BSOD

    This could give a new meaning and fear to the term Blue Screen of Death!

    Dave

    P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one that's beeping anxiously.

  42. Fatman Silver badge
    Joke

    Hollywood has already introduced us to sex robots..

    Back in 1987: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092746/

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hollywood has already introduced us to sex robots..

      Metropolis 1927

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0017136/

      Weird Science 1985

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090305/

      Was it Barbarella that burned out the evil Durand-Durand's orgasm machine?

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062711/

      1. Suricou Raven

        Re: Hollywood has already introduced us to sex robots..

        It was Barbarella, yes. I'd have preferred if she could have lasted a bit longer though, as I quite liked the music.

  43. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Robot Totty must:

    a) Look like the real thing (or not, if you want to go All Soryama, All Night).

    2) Do whatever one wants behind closed doors enthusiastically instead of screaming and throwing kitchen implements one's way whenever one says "how about a fashion show?"

    #) Not phone anyone afterward to "tell all".

    Once those Three Laws of Robot Crumpet are in play we can safely move human partners to where they want to be: raising kids (or not) and focusing on work (or not). Whatever, other human beings will not be needed for quick, fun, naughty/kinky sex and neither will they need bribing with dinner and flowers for "undergoing" same.

    I see no downside, and I'll take the Cherry 2000.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bah!

      "I see no downside, and I'll take the Cherry 2000."

      Does that go with the Porky 1981?

  44. fruitoftheloon
    WTF?

    NAH!!!

    Is it April the first or something...?

    1. TeeCee Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: NAH!!!

      We get sexbots on April 1st???!!???

      1. fruitoftheloon
        Thumb Up

        @TeeCee: Re: NAH!!!

        TC,

        sounds like a plan to me!

        Jay

  45. The humble print monkey

    Sprint of the age

    Your android replica is playing up again.

    1. Fr. Ted Crilly
      Terminator

      Re: Sprint of the age

      It's no Joke, When she comes she moans another's name

      But that's the spirit of the age.

      1. Santa from Exeter
        Childcatcher

        Re: Sprint of the age

        My time held dreams were full of you,

        as you were when I left; still underage

        Think of the children! :-)

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Isn't it nice, sugar and spice

    Luring disco dollies to a life of vice

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Isn't it nice, sugar and spice

      A modern Pinnocchio?

      Like "Key the Metal Idol"? No, wait, she was no robot after all. Or was she?

    2. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Isn't it nice, sugar and spice

      "Disco dollies"?

      'Make the lights flash faster'

      'Make the lights flash faster'

      'Make the lights flash faster'

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At the moment and for the foreseeable future I think this idea of banning what amounts to very expensive and complicated vibrators is completely bonkers but this is a question we might need to address one day. Assuming NK doesn't cause us to nuke ourselves back to the dark ages at some point we'll probably actually crack AI and we'll end up with machines that express emotions as we understand them and a desire for continued existence. In fact in all ways that can be measured they will effectively be alive. Would it still then be ethical to have one just for your pleasure? I would probably argue that it isn't. While they are still as dumb as (and about as attractive as) your toaster though who am I to stop you!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Would it still then be ethical to have one just for your pleasure?"

      The Blade runner ethical question. The Robert Heinlein 1947 hypothetical court case of granting a chimpanzee human rights in "Jerry was a man" has apparently just been enacted in real life.

      http://www.nonhumanrightsproject.org/2015/04/20/judge-recognizes-two-chimpanzees-as-legal-persons-grants-them-writ-of-habeas-corpus/

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        For now, we have a Syrian refugee crisis because "our" bastards are laying waste to large swathes of the Middle East..... we will worry about non-humans later.

    2. Suricou Raven

      A sex-bot does not need to express emotions as we know them. A sex-bot needs to be able to mimic emotion sufficiently well to convince a user who is already trying to convince themself. That's not such a hard goal.

      The tricky part is going to be programming it to carry out the two-minute conversation that counts as foreplay and accurately interpret commands from an operator who might be uncomfortable stating outright their desires.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No.1 Given the number of sex toys sold to females as opposed to males I'd question who is more likely to buy one.

    No.2 If they could create an android that could provide emotional support and a physical relationship what makes people think males would want them more then females?

    No.3 I've never really understood the fuss, perhaps the would would be a better place if males used sex toys as much as females?

    Also there are actually a fair few of us (and I suspect our number grows) who have failed so far to actually find another person that fits into their existence correctly and could do with some kind of partner.

  49. Yugguy

    I really don't get it

    I don't get any of these fake vaginas and the like.

    I really would rather just have a wank.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I really don't get it

      It is having a wank.

  50. Just.Aguy

    What about a "three way" with a robotoy?

    She's obviously focusing on the wrong problem. It isn't about toys, but about exploitation.

    Trying to gin up publicity for her cause rather than anything serious in her arguments.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Funny you should say that ... mentioned topic to a friend similar age to this researcher and her response was you find the robot and I'll bring a bottle! The researcher should spend more time with her own generation and less with academic papers.

    2. Someone_Somewhere

      http://jezebel.com/couple-spends-over-30-000-to-have-hardcore-threesomes-1640962443

  51. The Dude

    Is this a joke?

    Seriously? I didn't think it possible, but these radical feminists continue to become even sillier.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is this a joke?

      perhaps they're getting sillier, but the fact, that media present their views with a straight face (unlike the Register), this is just... familiar.

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Re: Is this a joke?

      these radical feminists continue to become even sillier

      "Sir! I will enjoin you to stop your out-of-line micro-aggressions ONCE ONLY, otherwise I WILL have to call campus police!"

      (Finally a good use of the megaphone)

  52. Why Not?

    She knows Sex always gets there first?

    Printing presses - for printing naughty pamphlets.

    Film Projectors - for stag films

    VCRs - stag films

    streaming - porn films and live sex

    I bet we find Ada Lovelace was actually calculating ways to find the best page of the Kama Sutra for that day.

    The first monetarisation for almost any technology normally involves Sex. The porn industry will lead the development. The other two other ways are exploration & WAR. Sex you can monetarise in your back bedroom and it doesn't involve shooting anyone.

    with apologies to Gordon Gecko:

    "I am not a despoiler of ladies. I am a liberator of them! The point is, ladies and gentleman, that Sex, for lack of a better word, is good. Sex is right, Sex works. Sex clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Sex, in all of its forms; lust for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind. And Sex, you mark my words, will not only develop technology faster, but save that other malfunctioning corporation called the world. Thank you very much."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: She knows Sex always gets there first?

      "The other two other ways are exploration & WAR. "

      Getting high is now moving from the chemical laboratory into the application of electronic technology interacting with the nervous system. It is on a convergent path with the sex robots - to the point where they become virtual reality with real orgasmic sensations.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh you can't make this stuff up. Leave it to feminists to go overboard on the crazy.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Deciding to go so far as to set up a campaign about such an odd topic based on flimsy knowledge and research says more to me about the backers (Kathleen Richardson and Erik Billing) than the topic itself.

    On a lighter note, did anyone else assume for a split second the picture at the top of the bbc article featured the robot ethicist in question?

  55. The Happy Camper

    what about child sex-bots?

    How do commentators feel about the production of child-like sex robots? There is of course a ban on even computer generated child porn so that ban probably covers this industry too but what's your thought?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: what about child sex-bots?

      Wouldn't give a fuck, as I'm not into victimless crime sniffing.

    2. Richard Altmann

      Re: what about child sex-bots?

      If that issue was not so serious you might even have a point there.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: what about child sex-bots?

      "How do commentators feel about the production of child-like sex robots?"

      A company in the USA make extremely life-like custom mannequins for customers - some of which are very up-market sex dolls. They say they refuse to make any that are child-like.

      Can't find the article but here is a near one with a cheaper non-customised range. NSFW !!!!!!!

      http://www.thegailygrind.com/2014/04/10/synthetic-life-size-sex-dolls-creepiest-hottest-thing-youll-see-today-nsfw/

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: what about child sex-bots?

      Given that there are already child-like dolls available in mainstream stores what do people think about what adults might get up to with them in private? Think about it, people probably already do.

      1. The Happy Camper

        Re: what about child sex-bots?

        I really don't want to think about that.

  56. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    Anyone who has hired or employed someone to do something for them is renting someone else's body. I see little ethical difference between hiring a contract programmer and using his brains to do something you want, hiring a gardener and using his muscles to do something you want, and hiring a prostitute and using their body parts to do something you want. In all cases you have "objectified" the person you hired.

    1. Michael Thibault

      Upvoted you so that you wouldn't feel left out, being way at the end of the scroll of comments.

  57. Bota

    zero fucks given

    A few short points if I may:

    1 - She said that use of sex-bots is deeply connected to the use of prostituted women. Obviously Thailand is teeming with machine powered whore houses.

    2 - Who is SHE to say what I, as an adult man should or shouldn't be able to enjoy (within the law of course)

    3 - Think of the benefits - i.e prisoners, pedos who need a surrogate, health affected individuals, genuinely lonely fucking people, people who LOVE sex but hate HERPES, rapists? The list is endless. While we're on the subject common sense would tell you that most people would prefer creepy Mr X down the street to be banging dolls than running summer camps and getting all "Ranger McFriendly".

    4 - The religious could use them and still keep vows of celibacy, might improve their image tbh

    5 - Has anyone seen Ex Machina? If yes, you probably would of fuct the android from it.

    6 - The real concern - she malfunctions when your sticking your wick in there and it powers down, how much would it weigh and imagine taking it to the ER.

    In short, she's a cunt.

    7 - Final point, if they're made in Nigeria would I need to give my card details prior?

    1. Philip Lewis

      Re: zero fucks given

      Ex Macina is a great flick, and I would have poked ALL the Fembots in it.!

      (Finally an Austin Powers reference)

  58. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Expert/Sexpert?

    Expert calls for ban on robot prostitutes

    Expert in what, actually? Certainly not robot sex and gynoids.

  59. Someone_Somewhere

    Destructo: Technology - NSFW

    https://vimeo.com/39271802

  60. Richard Altmann
    Coffee/keyboard

    Best Poll ever!

    This lady owes me a keyboard. I always thought such plants can only flower in the US of A. Great to see that an hithero unknown (at least to me) university made it into the Reg. Wait ... is it a PR stunt? Anyway, going through this 200 or so comments will make my evening. Top Notch! ... My wife is getting concerned because i just cannot stop laughing ...

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    harm reduction

    Prostitution is not going away anytime soon because there is enormous demand for such services. Wouldn't the widespread use of sex-bots go a long way toward significantly reducing the exploitation and misery of actual human beings?

    That would be a huge plus, in my opinion. I'm afraid, however, that it's orthogonal to Professor Richardson's (rather stilted) view.

  62. Maty

    The good Dr Richardson seems confused about the distinction between a feminist and a misandrist.

  63. Richard Altmann

    Just looked her up

    on Google. No wonder she´s afraid of being pushed out of the game by Kobe Tai´s artificial private parts

  64. This post has been deleted by its author

  65. Red Bren

    I've just trademarked the term

    Hobots

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I've just trademarked the term

      "Hobots"

      Hotbot

      FTFY

      In the old days there was a search engine of that name. A URL mistype would browse "hotboy" - necessitating a trip to the firewall team to plead your innocence.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sex robots are out of date

    She is missing the obvious trend. What will become the sex toy is Virtual Reality interacting with the human nervous system. If your senses tell you something is happening - then that is your reality.

    No mechanical devices to store or go wrong - just an app plugged into your sensory implant. No doubt there will then be laws against downloading some scenarios for the app to run.

    1. Yugguy

      Re: Sex robots are out of date

      Wireheads!

  67. skeptical i

    Some thoughts

    (a) If the good Doctor is concerned about the exploitation part of prostitution, then she should consider legalizing (or at least de-criminalizing) it so that those in the industry can go to police to report abuse without fear of being locked up themselves, can unionize, and can generally make more ruckus about better working conditions. The State of Nevada has legalized prostitution and while I don't have figures to hand (ha!), my guess is that labour conditions are more favourable there and incidents of abuse/ exploitation are lower than in other states.

    (b) Ditto everyone above who has pointed out the "vibrators good, sexbots bad?" incongruence. Not necessarily my cup of darjeeling, but I don't see how having more options available for folks to scratch itches is a bad thing.

    (c) Comments about "finally, being able to get a shag without all the human baggage -- arguments, bribing with dinner and flowers, threats of partners withholding bedroom action" would suggest that sexbots could certainly solve some of the symptoms of a relationship mismatch but won't cure it. This of course, is one of the many areas of compromise/ negotiation that each couple has to decide for itself.

  68. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

    Citation needed

    I looked at the reference list of the good Dr.'s "Research-Position Paper" and there is a glaring omission: "Satisfaction Guaranteed" by Dr. Isaac Asimov. I strongly suspect it may take the research - and position - to entirely new directions. The good Dr. may also expand the scope of her research after studying Dr. Asimov's "Evidence", too.

  69. WibbleMe

    Well you could get a STD computer virus or even have your money stolen when you sleap

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I got my mechanical maid virus on independence day"

      Just heat the innards to beyond biologically plausible temperature. I'm pretty sure there will be a special HIPAA section on how sexbots shall (autonomously) behave. This might cut down on some parts of the fun though.

  70. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Trollface

    The Polish King Of Cybernetics Satire predicted ...

    In Stanislaw Lem's "The Washing Machine Tragedy", we read:

    Shortly after my return from the Eleventh Voyage, the papers began to devote increasing space to the competition between two large washing-machine manufacturers, Newton and Snodgrass.

    ...

    Buying up the appropriate rights and licenses from interested parties for a sum of one million dollars, [Snodgrass] constructed, for bachelors, a washing machine endowed with the proportions of the renowned sexpot Mayne Jansfield, in platinum, and another, the Curlie McShane model, in black. Sales immediately jumped 87 percent. His opponent appealed to Congress, to public opinion, to the DAR, and to the PTA. But when Snodgrass kept supplying stores with washers of both sexes, more and more beautiful and seductive, Newton gave in and introduced the custom-built washers, which received the figure, coloring, size, and likeness chosen by the customer according to the photograph enclosed with his order. While the two giants of the washing-machine industry thus engaged in all-out war, their products began to exhibit unexpected and dangerous tendencies. The wet-nurse washers were bad enough, but washers that led to the ruin of promising young men and women, that tempted, seduced, and taught bad language to children — they were a serious family problem, not to mention washers with which one could cheat on one’s husband or wife! Those manufacturers of washing machines who still remained in business told the public, in ads, that the Jansfield-McShane washer represented an abuse of the high ideals of automated laundering (which was intended, after all, to strengthen and support the domestic way of life), since this washer could hold no more than a dozen handkerchiefs or one pillowcase, the rest of its interior being occupied by machinery that had not a thing to do with laundering — quite the contrary. These appeals had no effect. The snowballing cult of beautiful washers even tore a considerable part of the public away from their television sets. And that was only the beginning. Washers endowed with full spontaneity of action formed clandestine groups and engaged in shady operations. Whole gangs of them entered into cahoots with criminal elements, became involved with the underworld, and gave their owners terrible problems.

  71. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    What she really wants

    Is to ban penises.

  72. Speltier

    Slippery slope down the rabbit hole

    No, not a doebot! (well, ok, maybe a morphing bot... interior 3D printer creating the topological exterior... but I digress)

    I mean really, where does this person get off thinking that humans are somehow special and not just Decartesian loosely force bound clouds of subatomic particles? Earth Firsters as the center of the firmament, music of the spheres, soul in the heart, Brother Assassin (how close does a pornbot have to be before the bot passes for a person ... not just Turing complete, but Richardson complete?) ... how much of the whole (ahem) does the toy have to be before the toy is not classed as a toy any longer. It is a slippery slide down the old rabbit hole it is-- no fur no lecherous lapinous intent?

  73. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Happy

    Look on the bright side

    Anyone messing with such a thing is taking themselves out of the gene pool.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Angel

      Re: Look on the bright side

      Good

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The contraceptive pill is an environmental toxin from the view point of the evolutionary process. Humans will eventually, in a few generation, evolve to avoid it, for example by becoming even more unstable and having minds adapted to extreme religious views. It seems to me that robotics offers an adaptive method of birth control that can match pace with evolution and is unlikely to be avoided.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The pill is something like 98% effective. I'm the 2 percent. Twice.

      Go team evolution!

      1. Suricou Raven

        I think he was referring more to the scenario of 'Rise of the Marching Morons' or the movie 'Idiocracy.'

        Intelligent, rational people use birth control, and breed only when they are emotionally ready, have a stable long-term relationship and have sufficient long-term career prospects that they are confident they can properly care for their offspring.

        Religious nutters think contraception is a crime against their God, screw like rabbits and accept every child as a blessing confident that God will make it all work out somehow. Given enough time that would lead to natural selection - genetic in the very long term, but cultural in the short term, as most individuals take on the cultural and religious views of their parents. So within a few generations you find that simple reproductive advantage shifts the population in favor of those views which discourage of prohibit contraception.

  75. Garymrrsn

    I think reduced competition for the real thing is a splendid idea.

    Except for acts of violence, controlling sex is something you do to livestock and pets.

  76. M7S
    Coat

    If you are on the receiving end of intimacy with a "male" sex robot

    would the safe version be "full metal jacket"

  77. TeraTelnet
    Coat

    The real issue

    I'm mildly worried about a paper that mentions 'robot whores' and 'My Little Pony' in the same breath.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The real issue

      That god-damned purple hair and the diapers. Disgusting and unnatural!

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    S.H.I.T.

    I must hit the site demographic. Modal answer every time.

  79. Ranmore

    Given the obvious safety issues for women around male partners I would have thought male sexbots would be a popular, safe option. Not sure men would be that interested.

    1. Vic

      Not sure men would be that interested.

      They would if there were a "mute" button...

      Vic.

  80. sisk Silver badge

    Call me crazy, but I can't help but feel that any pimp who would otherwise traffic young women against their wills would not do so given the option to traffic a robot that doesn't have a will. For one thing the robot isn't going to require food or sleep or any of the other things those pesky humans need. At most it might need plugged in for a few hours every day. For another trafficked women sometimes escape and almost always want to, whereas the robot wouldn't. All in all pimping out a sexbot would be a whole lot less headache than pimping out a woman. Basically if the things were convincing enough (ie, more human-like than we can currently make them and firmly on the other side of the uncanny valley) and within a certain price range (cheaper than a human slave but much more expensive than a night with a prostitute) I could very easily see them making a bigger dent in the human trafficking problem than any thing else we could do.

  81. razorfishsl

    "We must abolish prostitution"....

    Even Jesus was not that naive and that was over 2,000 years ago...

  82. Someone_Somewhere

    Area 51 Sex Doll - NSFW*

    It occured to me a while ago that human/extraterrestrial relations will not get into their stride until 'perverts' get in on the act - the postSETI version of interracial relationships in Alabama.

    Those of you with an interest in promoting interspecies harmony could get a headstart here: http://gizmodo.com/368764/area-51-sex-doll-has-three-boobs-comes-with-free-alien-lube-nswf

    --

    * No, really, unless you work in 'the industry', you wouldn't want it showing up in the company log of your internet activity

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