Sex, Love, Robots Week
This week we take a look at sex, love, and robots, starting with a review of Autonomous, which has been nominated for a Nebula Award. At the end of the week we’ll have an interview with Dr. Aimee Van Wynsberghe, a professor at TU Delft and co-director of the Foundation for Responsible Robotics. Sex and robots have been around since 1927's Metropolis when robot-Maria strutted her stuff. The theme of sexy, subservient sex workers that you don’t have to feel guilty about (best illustrated by 1973's Westworld (see my review here) and the HBO series) is so embedded in our culture that fembots earned a spot in the Austin Powers spoofs. But sex with robots is no laughing matter in real life. The Foundation for Responsible Robotics has been working to get governments to set policies (see their report Our Sexual Future with Robots here). As a woman, I appreciate The Campaign Against Sex Robots which argues that acting out sexual fantasies with sexbots that would make even Takashi Kovacs in Altered Carbon blush, has toxic gender, cultural, and mental health implications. But this week is not all science and policy, we will look (and poke fun) at robots that are built for sex and subservience, robots as sexual predators, true love between a human and a robot, and robot-robot romance.