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#VFSalon

Libidinal Parasites | Dr. Dan O'Hara | Virtual Futures Salon

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Published on Nov 26, 2015

Dr. Dan O'Hara on Mark Fisher's understanding of the Mobile Phone as a Libidinal Parasite at the Virtual Futures Salon on F**king Machines. See the full panel here: https://youtu.be/RtaTeotf0ks

Sex Robots are machines in the form of men, women or children for use as sex objects and as substitutes for human partners or prostituted persons. Recent mainstream media has presented a range of these machines with Alex Garland’s Ex-Machina, Spike Jonze’s Her and Channel 4’s Humans all imagining possible futures in which love and sex with artificial life is normalized.

These narratives highlight extreme examples of the sorts of interactions humans may choose to have with human-like machines. But now industry and academia is taking a greater interest in the development of Sex Robots – and as such we must start to take seriously the impact of meaningful human relationships with artificial counterparts.

The recent Campaign Against Sex Robots argues that that these kinds of robots are potentially harmful and will contribute to inequalities in society. The campaign calls for an, “organized approach against the development of sex robots,” with a concern that these machines are being fashioned without first critically examining their potentially detrimental effect on society.

Attempts to critically explore this subject matter has recently led to the Malaysian authorities deeming an academic conference, organized by Adrian Cheok & David Levy, illegal. The decision to shut down the Second Love and Sex with Robots Congress was made by the chief of police who claimed that there was, “nothing scientific about having sex with machines.” This only serves to highlight the visceral reactions that these objects provoke.

As humanoid robots become more widespread how do we develop an engaged ethical response to these new technologies? What software and hardware developments might lead to the development of these sorts of machines? What is the impact of anthropomorphizing machine-substitutes for human partners or prostituted persons? How might the line between fantasy and reality become blurred? Once you've gone tech is there no going back?

== PANELISTS ==
Dr. Trudy Barber, School of Media and Performing Arts at University of Portsmouth & Cybersexpert

Dr. Kate Devlin, Senior Lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London

Dr. Dan O'Hara, Senior Lecturer at New College of the Humanities

Dr. Ian Pearson, Futurologist at Futurizon

Luke Robert Mason, Director of Virtual Futures (Moderator)

== About the Sponsor | Bondara.co.uk ==
http://bondara.co.uk
Ranked in the top three online shops of its type, Bondara is a leading provider of sex toys and lingerie in the UK. The company’s diverse range of products reflect the diversity of its customers – Bondara believes in sexual wellbeing for all and prides itself on catering for all sexual tastes and preferences however unique they may be.

The industry we work in is developing at a pace we could have never have imagined, and this is mostly down to the developments and evolution in technology which has sparked innovation in the market. This is something as a business that really excites us, and we have created a team dedicated to researching and sourcing the most ground-breaking and down-right crazy sex technology. This new world of sex technology throws up so many questions. When are we all going to be having virtual reality sex? Could we fall in love with robots in the future? What is this all going to mean for our relationships? With this in mind we partnered with Futurologist Dr Ian Pearson who has written the “Future of Sex” report to help us answer some of these questions.

The report looks at how sex will evolve with this technology. Key predictions include:
# By 2030, most people will have some form of virtual sex as casually as they browse porn today
# By 2035 the majority of people will own sex toys that interact with virtual reality sex
# We will start to see some forms of robot sex appearing in high-income, very wealthy households as soon as 2025
# We will start to see sex with robots be more popular than human-human sex in 2050

Download the full report here: http://www.bondara.co.uk/future-of-sex

== Follow the Debate on Twitter ==
#VFSalon @VirtualFutures

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