Audiences fell in love with the fabulous New York City girl squad known for their romantic ventures, fashionista flares, and some of the steamiest sex scenes of the late s and early s.
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But then I spoke to Blay Whitby, a philosopher concerned with the social impact of emerging technologies and the trivialisation of robots in the media - and I decided otherwise. Cliched as it may be, the future is here; we can and should talk about reality.
Why female sex robots are more dangerous than you think
Now it is estimated that realistic sex robots will become more common within a decade. There are currently four manufacturers making life-like robotic dolls worldwide, but experts predict that in coming decades they could become widespread, used not just as a fetish, but for sexual therapy and as companions for lonely, disabled or older people. Take RealDoll. She can talk, blink, smile, regurgitate facts about your life - and, of course, have sex with you.
A ccording to Dr Trudy Barber, a pioneer in the impact of technology on sexual intercourse, our growing immersion in technology means that it is only a matter of time before it takes a mainstream role in sex. Put simply: sex between couples will increasingly be saved for special occasions as robots step in to satisfy our everyday needs. S peaking at the International Congress of Love and Sex with Robotics last year, Dr Barber predicted that the use of artificial intelligence AI devices in the bedroom will be socially normal within 25 years - and that the machines would enable people to appreciate 'the real thing'.
Indeed, in April last year, a man figured out a way to make a robot in his own home that resembled a woman they don't know. I s all this cause for concern? Of course.
Because right now more money is being spent on making these things than thinking about the ethical and societal ramifications. We already know porn provides a terrifying reflection on how society views women, which can manifest itself in real life. There's also a real worry that people will abuse robots ased human traits - whether it be in a sexual or physical way.
As we are yet to truly understand the effect that playing violent video games has on young minds, it will be years before we even begin to comprehend the knock-on effects that the mistreatment of human-like robots has on our behaviour towards each other. D r Kathleen Richardson, a Senior Research Fellow in the Ethics of Robotics at the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility, has done extensive research into this area - especially in regards to women. But women aren't like what males see in pornography or in prostitution or in popular media. In real life, women really have their own thoughts and feelings and preferences and desires.
It seems logical that if this extreme control can't be experienced by men with real women, the only next step is to create artificial objects.
T he people creating these robots are also partly to blame. In other words: people with gendered ideas make robots that conform to gender norms, which then perpetuates existing stereotypes. As long as these norms go unchallenged, and robots are deed to fulfil perceived gender roles has anyone yet talked about a male 'sex robot'? B ut it doesn't have to be this way. What if they used this amazing new platform to defy gender stereotypes, and rather than serving as a poor reflection on society, instead inspired us to look at ourselves in new ways?
Portrayal of women in the movie (film), metropolis
But as long as manufacturers stand to make a profit from robotics, and see these types of characterisations as a means to creating more humanised, relatable machines that sell better, not much is going to change. While codes exist to guide the creation of machines, the lack of law in place means that time and effort is being ploughed into manufacturing and programming, and no one is thinking twice about the effects this will have on living and breathing humans.
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Square pegs and round holes?
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