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  1. Building Better Sex Robots: Lessons From Feminist Pornography.John Danaher - forthcoming - In Yuefang Zhou & Martin Fischer (eds.), AI Love You- Developments on Human-Robot Intimate Relations. Dordrecht: Springer.
    How should we react to the development of sexbot technology? Taking their cue from anti-porn feminism, several academic critics lament the development of sexbot technology, arguing that it objectifies and subordinates women, is likely to promote misogynistic attitudes toward sex, and may need to be banned or restricted. In this chapter I argue for an alternative response. Taking my cue from the sex positive ‘feminist porn’ movement, I argue that the best response to the development of ‘bad’ sexbots is to (...)
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  • Sex Robots and Views From Nowhere: A Commentary on Jecker, Howard and Sparrow, and Wang.Kelly Kate Evans - forthcoming - In Ruiping Fan & Mark J. Cherry (eds.), Sex Robots Social Impact and the Future of Human Relations. New York, NY, USA: Springer.
    This article explores the implications of what it means to moralize about future technological innovations. Specifically, I have been invited to comment on three papers that attempt to think about what seems to be an impending social reality: the availability of life-like sex robots. In response, I explore what it means to moralize about future technological innovations from a secular perspective, i.e., a perspective grounded in an immanent, socio-historically contingent view. I review the arguments of Nancy Jecker, Mark Howard and (...)
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  • Non-Consensual Personified Sexbots: An Intrinsic Wrong.Karen Lancaster - 2021 - Ethics and Information Technology 23 (4):589-600.
    Humanoid robots used for sexual purposes are beginning to look increasingly lifelike. It is possible for a user to have a bespoke sexbot created which matches their exact requirements in skin pigmentation, hair and eye colour, body shape, and genital design. This means that it is possible—and increasingly easy—for a sexbot to be created which bears a very high degree of resemblance to a particular person. There is a small but steadily increasing literature exploring some of the ethical issues surrounding (...)
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  • Artificial Intelligence Crime: An Interdisciplinary Analysis of Foreseeable Threats and Solutions.Thomas C. King, Nikita Aggarwal, Mariarosaria Taddeo & Luciano Floridi - 2020 - Science and Engineering Ethics 26 (1):89-120.
    Artificial intelligence research and regulation seek to balance the benefits of innovation against any potential harms and disruption. However, one unintended consequence of the recent surge in AI research is the potential re-orientation of AI technologies to facilitate criminal acts, term in this article AI-Crime. AIC is theoretically feasible thanks to published experiments in automating fraud targeted at social media users, as well as demonstrations of AI-driven manipulation of simulated markets. However, because AIC is still a relatively young and inherently (...)
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  • The Rise of the Robots and the Crisis of Moral Patiency.John Danaher - 2019 - AI and Society 34 (1):129-136.
    This paper adds another argument to the rising tide of panic about robots and AI. The argument is intended to have broad civilization-level significance, but to involve less fanciful speculation about the likely future intelligence of machines than is common among many AI-doomsayers. The argument claims that the rise of the robots will create a crisis of moral patiency. That is to say, it will reduce the ability and willingness of humans to act in the world as responsible moral agents, (...)
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  • The Ethics of Virtual Sexual Assault.John Danaher - forthcoming - In Oxford Handbook of Digital Ethics. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter addresses the growing problem of unwanted sexual interactions in virtual environments. It reviews the available evidence regarding the prevalence and severity of this problem. It then argues that due to the potential harms of such interactions, as well as their nonconsensual nature, there is a good prima facie argument for viewing them as serious moral wrongs. Does this prima facie argument hold up to scrutiny? After considering three major objections – the ‘it’s not real’ objection; the ‘it’s just (...)
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  • Could you hate a robot? And does it matter if you could?Helen Ryland - forthcoming - AI and Society:1-13.
    This article defends two claims. First, humans could be in relationships characterised by hate with some robots. Second, it matters that humans could hate robots, as this hate could wrong the robots. In defending this second claim, I will thus be accepting that morally considerable robots either currently exist, or will exist in the near future, and so it can matter how we treat these robots. The arguments presented in this article make an important original contribution to the robo-philosophy literature, (...)
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  • The Artificial View: Toward a Non-Anthropocentric Account of Moral Patiency.Fabio Tollon - 2020 - Ethics and Information Technology 23 (2):147-155.
    In this paper I provide an exposition and critique of the Organic View of Ethical Status, as outlined by Torrance (2008). A key presupposition of this view is that only moral patients can be moral agents. It is claimed that because artificial agents lack sentience, they cannot be proper subjects of moral concern (i.e. moral patients). This account of moral standing in principle excludes machines from participating in our moral universe. I will argue that the Organic View operationalises anthropocentric intuitions (...)
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  • Robot Sex and Consent: Is Consent to Sex Between a Robot and a Human Conceivable, Possible, and Desirable?Lily Frank & Sven Nyholm - 2017 - Artificial Intelligence and Law 25 (3):305-323.
    The development of highly humanoid sex robots is on the technological horizon. If sex robots are integrated into the legal community as “electronic persons”, the issue of sexual consent arises, which is essential for legally and morally permissible sexual relations between human persons. This paper explores whether it is conceivable, possible, and desirable that humanoid robots should be designed such that they are capable of consenting to sex. We consider reasons for giving both “no” and “yes” answers to these three (...)
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  • Will Sexual Robots Modify Human Relationships? A Psychological Approach to Reframe the Symbolic Argument.Piercosma Bisconti - 2021 - Advanced Robotics (1):1-28.
    The purpose of this paper is to understand if and how interactions with Sexual Robots will modify users’ relational abilities in human-human relations. We first underline that, in today’s scholar discussion on the ‘symbolic argument’, there is no theoretical framework explaining the process of symbolic shift between human-robot interactions (HRI) and human-human interactions (HHI). To clarify the symbolic shift mechanism, we propose the concept of objectual mediation. Moreover, under the lens of Winnicott’s object-relation theory, we argue that HRI can structurally (...)
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  • Sexual Robots: The Social-Relational Approach and the Concept of Subjective Reference.Piercosma Bisconti & Susanna Piermattei - 2020 - Lecture Notes in Computer Science.
    In this paper we propose the notion of “subjective reference” as a conceptual tool that explains how and why human-robot sexual interactions could reframe users approach to human-human sexual interactions. First, we introduce the current debate about Sexual Robotics, situated in the wider discussion about Social Robots, stating the urgency of a regulative framework. We underline the importance of a social-relational approach, mostly concerned about Social Robots impact in human social structures. Then, we point out the absence of a precise (...)
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  • Should Law Track Morality?Re'em Segev - 2017 - Criminal Justice Ethics 36 (2):205-223.
    Does the moral status of an action provide in itself a non-instrumental, pro-tanto reason for a corresponding legal status – a reason that applies regardless of whether the law promotes a value that is independent of the law, such as preventing wrongdoing or promoting distributive or retributive justice? While the relation between morality and law is a familiar topic, this specific question is typically not considered explicitly. Yet it seems to be controversial and each of the contrasting answers to this (...)
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  • Robots, Rape, and Representation.Robert Sparrow - 2017 - International Journal of Social Robotics 9 (4):465-477.
    Sex robots are likely to play an important role in shaping public understandings of sex and of relations between the sexes in the future. This paper contributes to the larger project of understanding how they will do so by examining the ethics of the “rape” of robots. I argue that the design of realistic female robots that could explicitly refuse consent to sex in order to facilitate rape fantasy would be unethical because sex with robots in these circumstances is a (...)
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  • The Symbolic-Consequences Argument in the Sex Robot Debate.John Danaher - 2017 - In John Danaher & Neil McArthur (eds.), Robot Sex: Social and Ethical Implications. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    This chapter examines a common objection to sex robots: the symbolic-consequences argument. According to this argument sex robots are problematic because they symbolise something disturbing about our attitude to sex-related norms such as consent and the status of our sex partners, and because of the potential consequences of this symbolism. After formalising this objection and considering several real-world uses of it, the chapter subjects it to critical scrutiny. It argues that while there are grounds for thinking that sex robots could (...)
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  • Is Sex With Robots Rape?Romy Eskens - 2017 - Journal of Practical Ethics 5 (2):62-76.
    It is widely accepted that valid consent is a necessary condition for permissible sexual activity. Since non-human animals, children, and individuals who are severely cognitively disabled, heavily intoxicated or unconscious, lack the cognitive capacity to give valid consent, this condition explains why it is impermissible to have sex with them. However, contrary to common intuitions, the same condition seems to render it impermissible to have sex with robots, for they too are incapable of consenting to sex due to insufficient cognitive (...)
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  • Should We Be Thinking About Sex Robots?John Danaher - 2017 - In John Danaher & Neil McArthur (eds.), Robot Sex: Social Implications and Ethical. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    The chapter introduces the edited collection Robot Sex: Social and Ethical Implications. It proposes a definition of the term 'sex robot' and examines some current prototype models. It also considers the three main ethical questions one can ask about sex robots: (i) do they benefit/harm the user? (ii) do they benefit/harm society? or (iii) do they benefit/harm the robot?
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  • Feminist Philosophy of Law.Leslie Francis - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Feminist Philosophy of Law.Patricia Smith - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.