Sex bots are coming—one expert believes they'll be commonplace by 2050—and two robot ethicists say now is the time to act to make sure R2D2 doesn't end up trapped in white slavery. Professors Kathleen Richardson and Erik Billing, who launched the Campaign Against Sex Robots today, claim the proliferation of artificially intelligent sex toys will prevent humans from forming meaningful relationships with each other and reinforce the sexual objectification of women, Gizmodo reports. "These robots will contribute to more sexual exploitation," Richardson tells the Washington Post. In an interview with the BBC, she calls these future sex machines "very disturbing indeed."
But, not everyone is buying it. "There is an increasing number of people who find it difficult to form relationships, and this will fill a void," David Levy, author of Love and Sex with Robots, tells the BBC. "It is not demeaning to women any more than vibrators are demeaning." Gizmodo's Kaila Hale-Stern says the goal should be guidelines on the construction and use of sex robots. "That ban isn’t going to happen, nor should it," she writes. "Prohibition is seldom a fix." She worries a ban would create "robot pimps" and an "unregulated robot sex black market." This is certainly a complex issue worthy of further of debate, so let's turn to an educational film from the year 3000 for the final word. (Read more robots stories.)