Wednesday, 16 April 2008

errr.. what?

this was my thoughts upon readingthis.

I'm not entirely sure if I agree with the idea of robots as sexual partners... no wait, let me rephrase that... I'm entirely sure I disagree with the idea of robots as sexual partners. It's just wrong! However I am willing to look at it from a number of angles.

As replacements to prostitutes, they would eliminate (maybe not entirely though) STI transmission and would meant that there would be less requirement for women to sell their bodies, however it may entice more people to idea of getting sex by any means possible (those who just can't bring themselves to getting a prostitute). However a move to a more lustful society, one where the desires of our genitals can be satiated through a machine (even if it does have a human quality) is not a good thing. The comment that artificial devices have been used for sex for centuries doesn't make this any better, we've been slaughtering people for many centuries, it doesn't make it right. Further more (from a purely Christian perspective) any form of sex outside of marriage is classifiable as sinful (including self induced, to put it nicely) so this would also fall under this category (and is purely about pleasure/lust which isn't what sex within a human relationship is about). Carry on in this line, the idea of marriage with a machine is potentially worse, the Christian definition of marriage is the joining of a man and a women in the eyes of God so therefore it wouldn't be classifiable as marriage and personally I think it would be ludicrous, to be married to something that was created by another human and no doubt would have a short life expectancy (if we can't make phones last more than 12 months, how can we make more complicated devices?), to me it also seems unnatural, well seeing it's not made by nature it is indeed unnatural. The idea of a loving relationship with a machine is a very twisted idea, it kinda sickens me really, that someone would form a relationship with an artificial intelligence over a real one. I'm a little scared by the idea of AI to be honest, The variety of films and books etc. which deal with this topic and give a rather bleak view is astounding and surely in some respects a relatively good premonition of what could happen. But as was said true AI is unlikely to exist within our lifetime so atleast I don't have to worry about being enslaved by the machines we created, which is nice.

There's probably more that I could say on this, but I'm tired.


TheTelf said...

Didn't anyone learn anything from Futurama?

Might put a better-thought-out comment on here later, but I'm at work atm, so can't do it right now.

James said...

this kind of thing, whilst i can't see myself doing (much) i don't particularly mind the concept of. And if other people want to, fine.

Also, I think if we get to the stage where we can do this, we can be pretty confident that somewhere people will do it. It's inevitability, and that it doesn't necessarily harm someone, and if it does it's by their choice, makes me pretty ambivalent.

TheTelf said...

Just to pick up on a few points:

Would the existence of these machines really lead to a move to a "more lustful society"? And if so then are banks just as bad for leading to a more greedy society, or material goods for leading to a more envious one? Would things be any different to the current situation with the wide availability of sex toys/dolls?

"...we've been slaughtering people for many centuries, it doesn't make it right". Equivalently we've been giving to charities for centuries, but that doesn't make it wrong. The length of time something has gone on says nothing about its objective morality, but rather can tell us about how radical a step it is (i.e. if it's been around for centuries, not particularly radical).

" be married to something that was created by another human and no doubt would have a short life expectancy..." - we're all created by another human (well, two), so that doesn't seem too dissimilar, and I don't see why short life expectancy should be a barrier to love.

In terms of marriage to a robot, I don't think it's really an issue. People can get 'married' to anything, all they need is someone to perform the 'ceremony'. What matters is who recognises the marriage, and since I doubt whether a marriage to a robot would be recognised by law or by any major religious bodies any time soon, it doesn't seem like it would really make much difference to anyone.

"well seeing it's not made by nature it is indeed unnatural"
- I've always had a problem with this definition of unnatural. Are bird's nests unnatural? They're built by something natural (birds) in the same way that robots are built by something natural (us). Or are humans unnatural too?

"it kinda sickens me really, that someone would form a relationship with an artificial intelligence over a real one". What about someone forming a relationship with an artificial intelligence when the alternative is not forming a relationship at all?

immedia reaction said...

Oh arsewallop. I wrote a highly indignant and lyrical post about how much I hated this idea and what a load of bollocks it is. And then somehow completely failed to post it. Go me.

Anyway: it was something like this...

Forming a relationship with an artifical intelligence on the basis that it's better than no relationship is just an excuse. It's as bad as people who have "relationships" with plastic dolls.

These people don't need a blank canvas on which to project their own desires, they need help with their issues that don't allow them to relate to real human beings. I would say I think they'll be happier than with some pseudo-human that they have programmed to love them, or are convinced does so because the partner can't answer back.

Fair enough, people can do what they like in their own time, but have the courage to refer to this as what it truly is, ownership. Anything where the other partner's desires are either controlled by you or directly interpreted by you is not a relationship. It's slavery. Relationships involve give and take, attraction and repulsion, compromise and argument. This is all one way and it's slavery.

I'm probably not rationalising this particularly well, but inside part of me is screaming "Eeeeewww! Nononononono! Baaaaaadnesss! It hurts precioussss it hurtsss. We HATES IT!"

You get the picture.

TheTelf said...

Wait, slavery? Can you genuinely enslave something with no mind, that cannot feel pain, that has no desires (and only pretends to have those that we tell it to)? This seems like bringing a whole load more issues into play than just whether having sex with machines is acceptable.

Do you think that current RealDolls are enslaved by their owners?

And yes, choosing to have a 'relationship' (whether or not the word applies depends on your definition) with a machine is perhaps not as healthy as having one with a human, but it's a sliding scale and applies to any (solo) sex toy (and indeed any machine or item that replaces human contact to some degree).