Sex Robots and Utopian Fantasies
Advances in computing, robotics, and artificial intelligence systems (as well as popular science fiction narratives) predict that sex robots will play an important role in our future lives. Some people welcome the potential such robots promise, from tackling problems associated with loneliness and bereavement to reducing some of the harms associated with sex work. But others see them very differently. Genevieve Liveley (University of Bristol) and Kate Devlin (University of Goldsmiths) consider both sides of the issue, and look at what we might learn from the history of sex robots, a history which stretches back millennia and anticipates both our utopian fantasies and dystopian fears about human interactions with these machines.
Part of Creating Real Utopias in the 21st Century, a two-day festival in association with the University of Bristol’s Anticipation Research Group.
Illustration by Cai Burton.