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Robotics

'Call For a Ban On Child Sex Robots' (bbc.com) 597

An anonymous reader shares a BBC report: There should be a ban on the import of sex robots designed to look like children, the author of a new report into the phenomenon has said. Prof Noel Sharkey said that society as a whole needed to consider the impact of all types of sex robots. His Foundation for Responsible Robotics has conducted a consultation on the issue. Only a handful of companies were currently making sex robots, said Prof Sharkey. But, he added, the upcoming robot revolution could change that. The report, Our sexual future with robots, was written to focus attention on an issue barely discussed at the moment, he said. The report acknowledged that finding out how many people actually owned such robots was difficult because the companies that made them did not release the numbers. But, said Prof Sharkey, it was time society woke up to a possible future where humans and robots had sex. "We do need policymakers to look at it and the general public to decide what is acceptable and permissible," he said. "We need to think as a society what we want to do about it. I don't know the answers -- I am just asking the questions."
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'Call For a Ban On Child Sex Robots'

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  • by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @01:01AM (#54745145)

    Sure, I know this is a serious issue because, well, it has to be: Children and Sex are in the same headline... But I want to bring your attention to another, more despicable, more disgusting, more heartbreaking, and damn right more obscene perversion that is just out of control in our society: Robotic Sex Horses. When will these stallions be unchained and set free? God almighty, I need to go take a shower

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @01:15AM (#54745199)

      Why don't we just instead destroy Noel Sharkey instead? It's cheaper to just destroy one pointless human than bother with its attention seeking behaviors.

    • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @04:56AM (#54745883)

      If only people could get past their middle school snickering when ever sex is brought up.
      Western society is currently expanding its view on sexuality and acceptance of different forms of sexuality as legally and socially acceptable. We are now realizing that sexual preference is not a choice but part of the person.
      Now we have the problem with pedophiles. They have a sexual attraction to kids. There isn't much we can do about that, we can't change them. But unlike many other sexual preferences this leads to dangerous behavior. Because the children who are the object of their affection are not in a position of power to consent, and haven't learned or even considered learning stradigied to avoid unwanted attention. That is why any action can get them in jail and labeled as a sex offender for life.
      However there are a lot of these people who are not in jail, and due to their moral compass they choose to repress their sexual tendencies as they know the harm is in it.
      But that is where the problem is sexuality is a core instinct. We can will off an instinct however it is a lot of work, and a lapse could cause a problem.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @06:26AM (#54746087)

        A rubber doll is not a person. It doesn't have feelings, or pain, or sex organs. It's a piles of plastic. This is like banning soda bottles because someone probably put their dick in one.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @07:14AM (#54746225)
          We wouldn't ban sex with bottles - only sex with underage bottles.
      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo&world3,net> on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @07:11AM (#54746213) Homepage Journal

        There isn't much we can do about that, we can't change them.

        Actually, there are some successful treatments. Not for all of them, and not like those "gay conversion camps". It's basically a form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, where they learn to recognize the patterns of thought that lead them to sexualizing children and alter them.

        Similar treatments are available for people with a sex/porn addiction, and related addictions like exercise. Those things are addictive because, like drugs, they make you feel good for a while and you start to crave that feeling. The only real difference with paedophiles is that it's much harder for them to get treatment, because few people are willing to go to their doctor and admit that they are attracted to children.

        • by KGIII ( 973947 ) <uninvolved@outlook.com> on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @07:34PM (#54752567) Journal

          I have a neighbor, whom I count as a real friend, who went to prison for sharing what was classified as child pornography. Specifically, he dated someone who was legally allowed to consent to sex, but images of her nude were illegal.

          He went to prison and was then obligated to do a bunch of therapy, lest they return him to prison. What amuses me is that he is still with the same partner and they have kids together. There is, as near as I can tell, zero chance of him having sex with someone who is not legally able to consent.

          Again, she was old enough to have sex but the pictures the two of them took together were illegal, as was his sharing of those pictures online - even though she also consented to that. She was either 16 or 17, if you're curious. Legal to sex, illegal to take pics...

          Anyhow, CBT was a big part of his therapy. Though, according to him, they aimed more at the grooming stage. You have to convince you, them, and find the opportunity. (Most aren't people snatching kids off the street.) So, they have three, at least, barriers to cross and warning signs for all of them. They concentrated there instead of starting at the point of changing their attractions/deviations.

          IIRC, it was headed by a lady who is now deceased but the had consistently lower than average rates of recidivism and there are people continuing her work. I want to say her name was Tracy Morgan- Stanley, but it wasn't my job to remember it, though I did do some research when I first learned that they were an offender.

    • by c ( 8461 ) <beauregardcp@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @07:12AM (#54746217)

      But I want to bring your attention to another, more despicable, more disgusting, more heartbreaking, and damn right more obscene perversion that is just out of control in our society: Robotic Sex Horses.

      If you think that's perverted, you're going to be in for a shock when you see what the Japanese are going to do with sexbots. I anticipate that it starts with "Robotic Sex Unicorns", adds tentacles, and.. uh. Well.

      Okay, I need to go take a shower.

  • by religionofpeas ( 4511805 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @01:05AM (#54745165)

    First find out if having childlike sex dolls are a stepping stone to abusing real children, or if they are a good substitute so that less children are abused. Depending on the answer, either allow or ban them.

    • find out if having childlike sex dolls are a stepping stone to abusing real children

      Can you give a general outline of how to make such study that can demonstrate causality and get past ethics committee?

      • by Big Hairy Ian ( 1155547 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @07:37AM (#54746297)

        Can you give a general outline of how to make such study that can demonstrate causality and get past ethics committee?

        Take 2 groups of Paedophiles post release from prison give one group access to the robots and measure the re-offending rates in both groups.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Agreed, but it's likely that the answer will be something like "it depends on the individual". That's certainly how it is with other types of porn. The majority of people can handle it just fine, but some small number... And because it's children, people who don't have the same ability as adults to protect themselves...

      Well, it's hard to see how western lawmakers will not go for an outright ban, which is unfortunate because there could be some real benefit to society here.

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      Maybe allow them so long as they come with a tube of superglue mislabeled "lube".


      How about we get outraged about abuse of real kids instead of objects. Going after thoughtcrime can be a bit of a slippery slope once it gets into victimless territory.
    • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

      That's going to depend on the individual...
      If you assume that paedophilia is a medical condition (after all, its a matter of sexual preference which the individual in question has no control over), then perhaps a doctor should diagnose wether the individual will benefit from the use of a robot or not.

  • by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @01:05AM (#54745167)

    There should be a ban on the import of sex robots designed to look like children, the author of a new report into the phenomenon has said. Prof Noel Sharkey

    I think Prof Noel Sharkey is perhaps a little too preoccupied with the dangers of "child sex robots".

    • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @02:07AM (#54745329)

      Remember: If you think of the children all the time, you're likely a pedo.

      • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @03:45AM (#54745665)

        While this is funny, chances are that most violently anti-pedos are indeed closet-pedos. It works this way for every other sexual orientation. Sure, a pedo must never do it with an actual child, but what is the harm in doing it with a piece of silicon? Preventing that is just punishing people because of something they have no control over.

        • Same logic as with anything sexually related: It's icky and we don't want to think about it.

          • by gweihir ( 88907 )

            Yes, looks like it. But they do want to push laws that likely make the problem worse. Does not get much more immoral than this.

        • While this is funny, chances are that most violently anti-pedos are indeed closet-pedos.

          Some, anyway. "Most" is a pretty strong claim. In this case, I'm sure many violent anti-pedos are anti because they were abused as children and want to make sure it never happens again (and some of them may have pedophilic tendencies as a result of their abuse, but they're not "closet pedos" if they never act on those tendencies).

        • by Maritz ( 1829006 )

          While this is funny, chances are that most violently anti-pedos are indeed closet-pedos. It works this way for every other sexual orientation.

          Kinda like how Pat Robertson is a raging homosexual? Kinda makes sense doesn't it.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      From the summary:

      "We need to think as a society what we want to do about it. I don't know the answers -- I am just asking the questions."

      He is saying temporary ban while we figure it out... Like Trump's Mus^H^H^H travel ban. You supported the travel ban in the past, didn't describe Trump as being "preoccupied with the dangers of Muslims".

      Why the double standard?

  • Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mal-2 ( 675116 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @01:07AM (#54745173) Homepage Journal

    Take someone who is attracted to children and willing to channel that into fucking a childlike doll (robotic or otherwise) and ban their only harmless outlet. Oh yeah, that's thinking of the children all right.

  • by Kokuyo ( 549451 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @01:08AM (#54745175) Journal

    In Switzerland, they consider loli manga to be childporn.

    And I must ask, what exactly do they expect happens when they ban every single outlet a pwdophile might have that doesn't involve actual children?

    Never mind that most child abusers aren't even pedos but that's different kettle of fish.

    • by lucm ( 889690 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @01:13AM (#54745191)

      That's like Walmart who stopped selling toy guns but keep seeling real ones.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If you think child porn cartoons and sex robots should be banned you are not different from those who think they have a right to cut your head off for insulting their holy book or not believing in the (right) god. Think about it.

    • by fafalone ( 633739 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @05:25AM (#54745951)
      Recently I came upon a case that's even more absurd than that. In New York, a man was arrested for 'manufacture of child pornography', when he was already on supervision for the same charge. Must be some child abusing monster right? No, it turns out all this clown did (both the new and original charge) is cut children's faces out of catalogs and glue them on pictures of an adult pornstars body. Sick yeah, but illegal, nevermind the same charge as someone recording sex with a toddler? You've got to be kidding me.
  • by Nutria ( 679911 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @01:20AM (#54745217)

    Don't Date Robots!

  • I'm 100% against child abuse and child porn, such things should have harsh punishments because the children cannot defend themselves.

    This has NOTHING to do with children... these are robots...

    What next, banning abuse of robot dogs because someone might then abuse a real dog?

    If a guy wants to fuck a robot that looks like a child, I feel sad for him, but he doesn't need prison... maybe some counseling and a willing adult lady friend... but what the actual hell, are we now going to have thought police?

    Speak

  • masturbation (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    sex with a robot is just masturbation, nothing else.

  • by Chris Katko ( 2923353 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @01:43AM (#54745269)

    If pedophiles are people who CAN'T control their natural impulses to have sex with children. Maybe we should 1) accept that they exist. and 2) advocate for safe outlets that allow them to deal with their "urges" without actually banging our children.

    Are child sex robots disturbing? Probably. But what's more important? Not having to "think" about something disgusting, or actually stopping pedos from banging children?

    • by Tranzistors ( 1180307 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @03:12AM (#54745531)

      If pedophiles are people who CAN'T control their natural impulses to have sex with children

      That is not what paedophilia is. By that understanding, heterosexual man is a man that can't control their impulse to have sex with women.

  • this vector is used to attack and smear opposition. It is easy to drop an illegal image or two at a victim's computer, or to fabricate and ISP's log, and the public outrage and ostracism are guaranteed.

    In my opinion in this sensitive area of the law there are should be some soberness as well as a system of checks and balances.
  • Ban? No. Regulation... Maybe. At first glance, who gives a flying fcuk about robots, right? Slippery slopes when these robots become ai+genetic material and humans start considering given them rights as 2/3rds human being or something like that. Furthermore as transhumanist agenda progresses and we become more machine than flesh, a line will have to drawn on when an entity is human vs machine... But on another level is it about the subject or the object? Is cruelty only towards other humans or 'living' thi
  • by mentil ( 1748130 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @02:35AM (#54745401)

    There should be a ban on [,,,]

    Almost any time someone says these words, the response should be "No, no there shouldn't." Look at how many shitty, obsolete laws are still on the books that don't reflect modern societal values (e.g. Chicken Tax, alimony) that are unlikely to get stricken despite that, even if they're still enforced. We should be loathe to put new, poorly-thought-out laws on the books that are premised on tenuous social values, given this fact. Next year's headline: "After new study, sex offenders leaving prison given mandatory sexbots."

    • by rickyslashdot ( 2870609 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @03:15AM (#54745543)

      Damn! I'd mod this up +1 as RELEVANT and up +1 as Well Thought Out if I had any mod points left.

      Seems like it's a lose-lose situation when a law can't be voided when more than 1/3 of the people in the country want it to be GONE, and even worse when MORE than half want a law revoked but can't get it NULL'ed out.

      Simple resolution (OK, so it's simplISTIC), but it should take 2/3 of the population to implement a law, but only 1/3 to delete a law - - - things would get MUCH better within a single year. (note that with 2/3 and 1/3 ALL voting, it could be a stalemate, hence a NULL operand on the law - i.e. NOT passed).

      AND, with this simplistic setup, we wouldn't need to go through "the year they killed all the lawyers".

  • REALITY CHECK (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cheetah_spottycat ( 106624 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @03:09AM (#54745517)
    Sex robots do not exist, and likely will not exist for quite some time. Child sex robots are a hypothetical niche in a field that is entirely hypothetical at this point. This guy is trying to stir up a hypothetical moral panic about a hypothetical niche in a hypothetical genre that does not exist. The whole debate is as far removed from reality as it could possibly be. It's science-fiction at best, purely made up bullshit at worst. Don't these guys have anything else to do? Makes you wonder what the real agenda is.
  • by MrL0G1C ( 867445 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @03:22AM (#54745559) Journal

    These robots have been programmed to want sex and you're denying it to them, that's robot cruelty professor no sex.

  • by bistromath007 ( 1253428 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @03:52AM (#54745701)
    I don't give a shit what you think about the concept of sexbots as a whole or any particular kind of them.

    In what fucking universe is calling for a ban on something "asking questions" about it, you stupid fuck?
  • by RuffMasterD ( 3398975 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @04:08AM (#54745759)
    How do you go from a fundamental assumption that 'sex with children is wrong' to 'sex with robots that looks like children is wrong'?

    - Sex with children is wrong, therefore sex with robots is wrong? Fail.
    - Sex with robots is wrong, therefore sex with robots who like like children is wrong? Fail.
    - Paedophilia is wrong, therefore paedophiles should not have sex with robots? Fail.
    - Robots are children, and sex with children is wrong, therefore sex with robots which look like children is wrong? Fail.
    - People who have sex with robots which look like children will become paedophiles? No evidence.
    - Paedophiles who have sex with robots which look like children are more likely to have sex with real children? No evidence.
    - The thought of having sex with child like robots makes me uncomfortable, mmmkay? Bingo.
  • by Jim Sadler ( 3430529 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @04:38AM (#54745831)
    There are always plenty of people who simply crave power and one way to do so is to create situations where permission or approvals are required. Who knows how many hundreds of millions have been wasted fighting pornography with zero good results. now we will have courts tried up with cases in which the judge and jury debate whether a blow up sex toy looks too similar to a child. Is there even a shard of proof that suggests that rubber doll users re made more likely to molest children? For all we know using those blow up dolls may be enough to keep them from reaching out and actually harming a child. We need to think in terms of the cost of passing some laws and the positive consequences that such a law causes to exist.
  • by angel'o'sphere ( 80593 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @05:12AM (#54745911) Journal

    From the summary:
    "We do need policymakers to look at it and the general public to decide what is acceptable and permissible,"
    The society, policymakers and who ever have no reason, right whatsoever to decide what a human is doing with himself in a bed room. Using his hands, or what ever tool he wants, a vibrator or a bigger thing, the "fucking robot" is a machine. Who cares how it looks, what it does?

  • Absurdity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @05:33AM (#54745975)

    What if I build a robot that looks like a child, and then wait 18 years to fuck it?

    What if I build a robotic donkey to fuck? What if I build a robot that looks like Fifi La Fume?

    What if I build a robot that doesn't resemble any creature in particular, but has plenty of vaginas? What if those vaginas look underage?

    What if my "child sex robot" has the voice and personality of a 35-year-old smoker?

    Banning imaginary abuse is silly. It's only going to get more silly the more you look into it.

  • by Casandro ( 751346 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @11:06AM (#54747661)

    Some years ago I've heard the spokesperson of MOGIS an organisation representing child abuse victims answer the question on where to draw the line.

    His simple answer as "At the victim". If there are victims it's a problem, if there aren't there's no problem.

    Maybe that would be something to consider.

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