A campaign has called for an outright ban on robots developed for sex. Leading academics in robot ethics have warned that their creation will only increase the objectification of women and children, further dehumanising those who are abused for sex.
The warning comes as artificial intelligence approaches a point where it could be used in robots designed solely to satisfy sexual desires. But such robots, campaigners argue, should not exist.
"The development of sex robots and the ideas to support their production show the immense horrors still present in the world of prostitution," read a statement on the Campaign Against Sex Robots website. The authors of the campaign argued that sex robots would further increase the perceived "inferiority of women and children" and continue to justify their use as "sex objects".
The campaign, led by Kathleen Richardson, a senior research fellow in the ethics of robotics at De Montfort University in Leicester and Erik Brilling, an associate senior lecturer in informatics from the University of Skövde in Sweden, hopes to encourage a wider debate around the development of sex robots and their potential implications for society.
The development of "ethical technologies" that reflect the human principles of dignity, mutuality and freedom are critical, the campaign argues. To this end the campaign has called on scientists and roboticists to refuse to help with the development of sex bots, by withholding code, hardware and ideas.
Films such as Ex Machina have raised the issue of human-robot sexual relations
Film 4 / Universal
The first sex dolls imbued with artificial intelligence are due to launch later this year. True Companion, which claims to be developing the "world's first" robot sex doll under the strapline "always turned on and ready to talk or play", said its Roxxxy doll would allow people to "find happiness and fulfilment" without the need for human interaction.
"We are not supplanting the wife or trying to replace a girlfriend," chief executive Douglas Hines told the BBC. "This is a solution for people who are between relationships or someone who has lost a spouse."
Hines said that the physical act of sex would only be a "small part" of the time people spent with the robot. "The majority of time will be spent socialising and interacting," he added. But with little discussion of their ethics, robot sex dolls risk becoming enablers for abusive behaviour.
In opposition to Richardon, read this.
And the original paper written by Richardson can be found here.
Thank you David Vaile of UNSW's Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre for including Uberveillance in your subject outline in week 2 and corresponding presentation slides for LAWS3532. Additionally, for the guest lecture on COMP4920 Management and Ethics at UNSW, entitled "Legal and ethical perspectives on software development and liability".
Image sources: http://www.cyberlawcentre.org/it_ethics_and_law/uberveillance_v2.pdf
"Passengers in the sharing economy need to know what kind of ride they’re buying.
Last night, Buzzfeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith published an explosive story, reporting on a dinner in New York City where Uber executive Emil Michael floated the idea of hiring opposition researchers to dig up dirt on journalists who had been critical of the startup. Michael, who has since repeatedly apologized, neither “me nor my company would ever engage in such activities.” Uber spokesperson Nairi Hourdajian tweeted that “We have not, do not and will not investigate journalists. Those remarks have no basis in the reality of our approach.”
From another story: "In a statement, Uber said access to the personal data of anyone using its car service is limited to "legitimate business purposes." The San Francisco company said employees violating the rules may be disciplined or fired."
"Smart pills that monitor events in the body and transmit information to medical providers, pharmaceutical companies, and family members are raising legal and ethical questions that will need to be addressed, according to The Washington Post.
Ingestible nanosensors likely to be commercially available within five years, are capable of monitoring whether a person takes their medication. Experts say half of all patients don’t take their medicines as prescribed. The smart pills can also stream data on temperature, heart rate, and level of activity, the Post reported.
GODSEND OR INVASION OF PRIVACY
Such information, while a godsend to concerned family members of the elderly, also raises civil liberties issues. Among these is whether patients can maintain ultimate control over what information they share with outsiders. How can personal medical data be kept out of the hands of government including law enforcement? Can government compel patients to have their medical records implanted for their own protection as in the case of those suffering from dementia?"
"Cohen, himself dressed smartly for the occasion in red shoes and oversized red glasses, led us on a tour of the latest in wearable surveillance technology, including Google Glass, fully functional button cameras, and radio frequency identification (RFID) chips that can be woven into our clothing.
Cohen drew an analogy with Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, where the action takes place in two locales: Venice itself, a hotbed of commerce and greed; and nearby Belmont, the refuge to which the protagonists escape for love and art. Smart clothes threaten to "disrupt the place of refuge," even when we leave our phones behind. "At some point we squeeze out the space for living a life," he warned. "Lots of people have things they want to do and try but wouldn't if everything was archived."
Can the law protect us? We shouldn't count on it, Cohen thinks, given that "most acts of private surveillance will never be detected, and therefore will likely never have a legal claim." He'd rather see business take the lead and bake privacy protection right into the technology -- so-called West Coast Code, devised and implemented in Silicon Valley, as opposed to East Coast Code, or laws made in Washington.
But then we have to trust the companies. Are we optimistic? "I'm not," Cohen admitted."
Article by Whitford for CNN Money (Fortune). Read more here
"Welcome to the Stanford Prison Experiment web site, which features an extensive slide show and information about this classic psychology experiment.. What happens when you put good people in an evil place? Does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph? These are some of the questions we posed in this dramatic simulation of prison life conducted in the summer of 1971 at Stanford University.
How we went about testing these questions and what we found may astound you. Our planned two-week investigation into the psychology of prison life had to be ended prematurely after only six days because of what the situation was doing to the college students who participated. In only a few days, our guards became sadistic and our prisoners became depressed and showed signs of extreme stress. Please join me on a slide tour describing this experiment and uncovering what it tells us about the nature of human nature.
--Philip G. Zimbardo"
The Quiet Rage documentary can be purchased here
"The prisoner was then issued a uniform. The main part of this uniform was a dress, or smock, which each prisoner wore at all times with no underclothes. On the smock, in front and in back, was his prison ID number. On each prisoner's right ankle was a heavy chain, bolted on and worn at all times. Rubber sandals were the footwear, and each prisoner covered his hair with a stocking cap made from a woman's nylon stocking." Courtesy of: http://www.prisonexp.org/