from the world's big
Will sexbots devalue our human relationships?
Scientists weigh in on the controversy.
Sex robots are in the works and, as with any new topic concerning sex, it has some people alarmed. Namely, how it might unbalance human relationships and objectify women and children. A group of scientists have made their position clear in an anti-sexbot letter, titled The Asymmetrical ‘Relationship’: Parallels Between Prostitution and the Development of Sex Robots.
Dr. Kathleen Richardson, a robot ethicist at the De Montfort University in Leicester, believes this technology will not benefit society, but will continue to facilitate inequalities between men and women. "If anything the development of sex robots will further reinforce relations of power that do not recognise both parties as human subjects."
“[T]he development of sex robots will further reinforce relations of power that do not recognise both parties as human subjects.”
"We believe that sex robots reflect relations in the real human world and that the more they are developed and legitimised, the more they will reinforce the real experiences that women have in the real world," Richardson said in an interview with Broadly. "They will contribute and add to that exploitation."
The group asserts that these sex-bots will disrupt traditional relationships, hindering our capacity for empathy "that can only be developed by an experience of mutual relationship.” They worry their development will only "further reinforce power relations of inequality and violence.” But this argument has been heard before, numerous times over in arguments against new ideas and developments in human sexuality.
[S]ex-bots will disrupt traditional relationships, hindering our capacity for empathy "that can only be developed by an experience of mutual relationship.”
Dr. Kate Devlin, a senior computing lecturer at the University of Goldsmiths in London thinks this whole campaign "reeks of moral panic."
She said in an interview with Broadly:
"The tone of the campaign suggests women are passive and denies them sexual agency by presuming that a) we would not want these sex robots to be in our image (fair enough) and b) that we don't want own sex robots made for our own pleasure."
We are far from getting the Jude Law sexbot depicted in Stephen Spielberg's movie AI; according to theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss — we can hardly get a robot to fold laundry properly.
As for how society will change when the sexbot revolution comes, we cannot know. The future of its use and how it will affect us is difficult to predict.
Natalie has been writing professionally for about 6 years. After graduating from Ithaca College with a degree in Feature Writing, she snagged a job at PCMag.com where she had the opportunity to review all the latest consumer gadgets. Since then she has become a writer for hire, freelancing for various websites. In her spare time, you may find her riding her motorcycle, reading YA novels, hiking, or playing video games. Follow her on Twitter: @nat_schumaker
Photo Credit: Ethan Miller / Getty Staff
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Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Many of the most popular apps are about self-improvement.
Emotions are the newest hot commodity, and we can't get enough.
Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.
- A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
- Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
- Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
A pile of recycled cardboard sits on the ground at Recology's Recycle Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images<p>A large part of the reason is speed. In a competitive market, pure players use the equation, <em>speed + convenience</em>, to drive adoption. This is especially relevant to the "last mile" GHG footprint: the distance between the distribution center and the consumer.</p><p>Interestingly, the smallest GHG footprint occurs when you order directly from a physical store—even smaller than going there yourself. Pure players, such as Amazon, are the greatest offenders. Variables like geographic location matter; the team looked at shopping in the UK, the US, China, and the Netherlands. </p><p>Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student at the Netherlands' Radboud University and corresponding author of the paper, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/tech/greenhouse-gas-emissions-retail/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> the above "pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive. It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there."</p><p>The researchers write that this year-and-a-half long study pushes back on previous research that claims online shopping to be better in terms of GHG footprints.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"They have, however, compared the GHG emissions per shopping event and did not consider the link between the retail channels and the basket size, which leads to a different conclusion than that of the current study."</p><p>Online retail is where convenience trumps environment: people tend to order one item at a time when shopping on pure player sites, whereas they stock up on multiple items when visiting a store. Consumers will sometimes order a number of separate items over the course of a week rather than making one trip to purchase everything they need. </p><p>While greening efforts by online retailers are important, until a shift in consumer attitude changes, the current carbon footprint will be a hard obstacle to overcome. Amazon is trying to have it both ways—carbon-free and convenience addicted—and the math isn't adding up. If you need to order things, do it online, but try to consolidate your purchases as much as possible.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Building a personal connection with students can counteract some negative side effects of remote learning.