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Over the past years, technology has been advancing, and numerous subjects have been controversial in the technology industry. The controversy centres on the introduction of sex robots in the market. These robots are developed to give the humans sexual satisfaction while performing the functions of a human lover. Robotics has consequences as much as they have benefits to those who advocate for the use of some of the controversial products invented by the robotics industry. There has been a public outcry on the issue of sex robots being in circulation in public and, this outcry has been due to the consequences that are foreseen by many of the people involved in the programme. Thus, it is necessary to discuss some of the pros and cons of the invention of the sex robots and their foreseen effects to the society.
Sex robots have been in the market for over 20years. They have been in existence because there is a demand for them. There is a need for a more advanced robot with more human-like features, this is expected to be on sale as early as 2017, and it will be retailing at $15,000. The fact that there are people who are willing to spend such an amount on these toys shows how much demand there is for their services and thus the reason for the thriving market (Mackenzie, 2014, November).
Robots have been accepted as part of the family because they are in use in almost every household. They are machines just like any other, and that is why I refer to the fact that they are in use with different homes. Products such as vacuum cleaners are founded on robotics technology, and that is why the argument of them being in use everywhere. It is, however, the more complex robots that have been a topic of discussion that has elicited mixed reactions from different people in the society. (Richardson, 2016). The more advanced robots have features such as speech and movement, which makes them more appealing to the lovers of technology.
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Advantages of sex robots
Many of those who advocate for the sex robots argue that the fact that a robot does not have feelings makes it easier to deal with. The argument is that the relationship with the robot is easier to maintain since you are the one in control unlike the relationship with a fellow human that sees both partners trying to dominate the relationship. With a sex robot, when one is in need of the satisfaction, they just turn the robot on, and it will perform its duties. The advocates for these robots believe that this kind of relationships give them a peace of mind because they do not live their lives thinking of the day they will be heartbroken by their partners, or they will be cheated on. Because the robot cannot cheat on its owner (Scheutz, & Arnold, 2016, March).
Even though this argument might make sense to someone who has been heartbroken several times, it is still unclear how one relates with a machine which cannot talk back or respond to the feelings that an individual displays.(Richardson, 2016). However, the supporters of the machines also argue that they are at liberty to have other relationships with fellow humans without the robots getting jealous. The truth, however, is that the human is kept in the dark concerning the existence of a sex robot since they cannot agree to share their lovers with machines. The sole aim therefore when making the robots is to ensure that they give pleasure to their lovers without complicating their lives.
Sex robots have been said to be beneficial to people with disabilities. The point is attributed to the fact that it is not easy for these individuals to start or even maintain relationships. The sex robots give them a chance at having a sexual companion who can give them the pleasure. Many of the people with disability have a feeling that they cannot have a normal relationship with a fellow human and even if they have the relationship, it will not be mutually beneficial to both parties, and that is the reason why they have been advocating for the sex robots.
Most of the proponents in the use of sex robots are people who have not had luck with normal relationships. They have been victims of bad relationships, and that is why they are advocating for something that will give them control over their partners. With the Artificial Intelligence machines, there are no chances of broken marriages or relationships. (Mackenzie, 2014, November)There is also no violence involved especially for those who have gone through violent relationships in the past. It is for this reason that many people are diverting their attention from normal relationships to acquiring sex robots. With the high rate of divorce, many people are not willing to take chances with marriage, but instead, they take in the AI to give them the pleasure as they continue with their normal lives. It is a belief that marriage interrupts the routine of an individual and that is why some people are not ready to try it, they would rather have their satisfaction at a price as they continue with life uninterrupted.
It is said that the sex robots will help in reducing prostitution. Many of the people who look for the services of prostitutes are people who want to have sexual pleasure without being committed to the person they involve with, and this is what the sex robots offer. (Scheutz, & Arnold, 2016, March).They are said to be the best chance at eradicating forced prostitution whereby people are lured with the promise of a job but later used as sex slaves who benefit their owners. With the introduction of the dolls, the industry will collapse since their customers will have found a way of entertaining themselves and getting the desired pleasure without breaking any laws.
Disadvantages of sex robots
One of the main disadvantages of the robots is the moral rot that they have created in the society. According to different religions, there is no place that it is mentioned where a machine can marry a human being. Most of the doctrines advocate for a complete family in which case includes a wife, a husband, and children. The machine does not give the owner/lover the chance to have children of their own. It has also broken the family structure that has always been cherished. With this, and the growing trend and support the use of AI is getting, it is just a matter of time before many people will have forgotten what a real family should look like. (Richardson, 2016).
As the robotics industry advances so, do the way the way the machines are created and use. Many people believe that with the advanced robots, there are chances that they will be used for rape and other morally unaccepted acts. The argument behind this is the fact that humans control the robots and if they land in the wrong hands, they may be used to do a lot of evil in the community. Some people find pleasure in the pain of others, and they might just purchase the robots with the sole aim of destroying the life of someone and watching while this happens. The fact that the machine cannot talk and cannot think independently is an added advantage to them.
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What happens when the machines are created to have the shape and look of a child? It is not impossible since robotics engineers like to try out new things. In this case, how will the community view the fact that someone owns a sex robot that looks like their little girl or a little boy? What happens when they can no longer access the services of the robot, will they be convinced to have a mature relationship with an adult human? or will they be the ones who take advantage of the young children in the society viewing them as their robots? The fact that humans are accepting everything that is brought in by the robotics engineers is a cause for alarm considering that the toys can be accessed by anyone who can afford it without looking at their character and background (Danaher, Earp, & Sandberg, 2017).
Just like any other machine, the robots have the chance of malfunctioning. There are chances that the AI will malfunction when in use by the owner. Different things can happen, and the malfunctions can even lead to the death of the owner. Since the robots are built for sexual pleasure, children who have no idea what the machine is meant for might access them and when they turn on the functions of the robot, they will end up being hurt in the process. The robot may attack them, and this will result in psychological pressure.
There are chances that someone may completely fall in love with an AI. In this case, they will be affected when they can no longer maintain the machine since like any other; they need servicing and mechanical attendance. When an individual falls in love with an AI, then they are supposed to be treated for the mental disease since this is an unnatural act that is not easy to understand. When these people lose their robots for one reason or the other, they become depressed just like in a human relationship. The act itself is morally wrong considering many humans need to be loved (Richardson, 2018).
Time is coming In the near future when these advanced dolls will be blamed for the destruction of human relationships. The reason for this is that fact that the dolls can be set according to the pleasure an individual wants to feel. (Danaher, Earp, & Sandberg, 2017). There are no remote controllable humans, and the human relationships cannot be switched on and off like that of the robots. It is, therefore, necessary to put into consideration many factors before deciding on how to go about the issue of sex dolls.
It is unclear whether those advocating for the use of sex robots have put into consideration the fact that the people who purchase them may misuse the robots. The issue at hand is that there may be cases of pornography being on the rise.(Richardson, 2016) The fact that the robot does not have any rights and cannot sue its owner for damages gives the owner all the rights over the machine to do with it whatever they feel is appealing to them. This will increase the rate at which pornography is produced which will, in turn, degrade the value system of the society.
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Laws should be put in place to ensure that the manufacturing and distribution of these machines are regulated. The fact that there are no laws to control how these machines are distributed in the market will result in the influx of the products in the market that will also be a big problem in tracing the owners in case a crime has been committed and a sex robot identified by the victim. (Richardson, 2018)There should be a way in which all the dolls can be tracked to ensure that they are not misused, and in any case, they are mishandled; they should be able to send a distress call to the manufacturer for rescue and apprehension of the perpetrators (Scheutz, & Arnold, 2016, March)..
The law should be strict on those who manufacture the robots. The mismanagement of the robotics industry will destroy the morality of the society we live in. Stringent laws should be put in place to ensure that the robotics engineers who misuse their knowledge are apprehended and punished to ensure that there is control in how the products are developed.
It is essential to ensure that these robots do not destroy the family system and the ethical value of the society. They should not be allowed to dominate the market as much as the robotics engineers make a living out of designing and maintain them. There should be a way to advocate for a morally upright society that does not need the services of the robots to be complete. People should be able to live with fellow humans without feeling as if they are in suffocation because of the relationships.
- Danaher, J., Earp, B. D., & Sandberg, A. (2017). Should we campaign against sex robots. In Robot Sex: Social and Ethical Implications (pp. 47-71). MIT Press Cambridge.
- Mackenzie, R. (2014, November). Sexbots: replacements for sex workers? Ethical constraints on the design of sentient beings for utilitarian purposes. In Proceedings of the 2014 Workshops on Advances in Computer Entertainment Conference (p. 8). ACM.
- Richardson, K. (2016). The asymmetrical’relationship’: parallels between prostitution and the development of sex robots. ACM SIGCAS Computers and Society, 45(3), 290-293.
- Richardson, K. (2018). Sex Robots: Between Human and Artificial.
- Scheutz, M., & Arnold, T. (2016, March). Are we ready for sex robots?. In The Eleventh ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human Robot Interaction (pp. 351-358). IEEE Press.