Human-like sex robots with futuristic AI could be sold into ‘slavery’

Sex robots could be sold into a state similar to slavery if their artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities advance enough, it has been claimed.

Some experts have long argued that the machines deserve human rights – and that we need to rethink our relationship with synthetic companions.

The most advanced sex robots available on the market are currently capable of carrying out limited conversations, forming facial expressions, and mimicking orgasms.

True self-awareness is an ambitious concept, but may one day be attainable.

Sven Nyholm, Assistant Professor of philosophical ethics at the Netherlands’ Utrecht University, argues that sex robot ownership may become more “problematic” as their technology is developed.

He told the Daily Star: “The more intelligent and human-like robots become, the more problematic it would become to buy and sell them and to treat them as mere tools.

“A human being that is bought and sold and treated as a mere tool is a slave. Accordingly, a robot designed to look and act like a human being, but which is then bought and sold and treated as a mere tool, might be viewed as something problematically similar to a slave.

“For this reason, it might be thought that it is best to avoid creating robots that look and behave like human beings.

“Again, the main issue here might primarily be a matter of symbolism or, in other words, what the robot appears to represent.

“Whether the robot itself can sensibly be thought of as a slave depends on whether it has capacities sophisticated enough that it truly resembles a human being. That might be unrealistic – at least in the foreseeable future.”

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Mike Wilson, production manager at sex robot manufacturer RealDoll, earlier theorised it may be possible to create sentient robots in under two decades.

He believes teaming up with a technology giant like Google could pave the way for “walking, talking robots”.

He told theTwo Girls One Micpodcast that humans may witness “totally AI, sentient dolls probably within the next 20 years”.

As such, the debate surrounding robots and human rights may become more urgent.

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In 2018, a sex robot was repeatedly molested during a tech fair in Australia and left with two broken fingers.

Victoria Brooks, a lecturer in Law at the University of Westminster, afterwards argued that there may come a time when humans need to obtain consent from a robot.

She wrote in The Conversation: "In legal terms, this would mean having to recognise the robot as human.

"We are making these robot lovers in our image and we ought not to pick and choose whether to be kind to our sexual partners, even when we choose to have relationships outside of the "norm"."

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Brick Dollbanger, a sex robot enthusiast who has tested out a range of models for RealDoll, has spoken with various developers working to develop their AI.

He believes true sentience is a long way off – and with it, possible rights.

Brick, whose views are personal, told the Daily Star: “Before you can give something rights it has to be self-aware and it has to have the knowledge of its own character and feelings.

“It has to have motives, desires in order for it to be given rights of any kind.

“It has to be self-aware and sex robots are not self-aware. They’re like your car they’re, like a toaster except they have a face on them.”

Brick argues that the AI capabilities of a device like Alexa are actually far more advanced than most sex robots.

He also said that most developers he’s spoken to “can’t see a logical path” for sentience to occur.”

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