Richardson and Levy stand on opposite sides of a busy road, watching technology speed past towards a clouded horizon. If the future of sex (as all arrows seem to point) is in robotics, then Richardson is right: it requires a thoughtful discussion about the ethics of gender and sex. But while she identifies the relationships that appear to be emerging as modelled on sex work – the robot as passive, bought, female; the man as emotion-free and sex-starved – surely rather than calling for a ban on them, to forlornly try stalling technology, the pressure should be to change the narrative. To use this new market to explore the questions we have about sex, about intimacy, about gender.

Source: Sex, love and robots: is this the end of intimacy? | Technology | The Guardian. It’s fascinating, in a deeply depressing sort of way, to listen to people trying to debate the ethical implications of sex with robots when they* have almost no moral categories or moral vocabulary to work with. Levy: “One has to accept that sexual mores advance with time, and morality with it.” (Or, as the poet put it, “Whatever is, is right.”) Richardson: It’s all about “hyper-capitalist societies driven by neo-liberal ideas” — so call in the therapists! (Yes, of course, modern psychotherapy has nothing to do with hypercapitalism and neoliberalism.) Our fearless journalist, Eva Wiseman: Um … let’s “change the narrative” and … um … “explore the questions we have.” Or whatever. So confusion. Such flounder.

*The people, not the robots. The robots may have much better moral algorithms, for all I know.