The nation’s most prominent newspaper is asserting marriage to robots is becoming mainstream, as is what is now called “digisexuality.”
In a Saturday New York Times article — titled “Do you take this robot…” with the subtitle “Today we fall in love through our phones. Maybe your phone itself could be just as satisfying?” — the newspaper noted that artificial intelligence-driven sex robots are becoming more mainstream. In an age of sexting and dating apps like Tinder, it is fair to ask whether everyone might be a “closet digisexual,” the article said.
“The idea that flesh-and-blood humans may actually forge fulfilling emotional, or even sexual, relationships with digital devices is no longer confined to dystopian science fiction movies,” the newspaper declared on its Twitter feed.
Interviewed in the piece was Neil McArthur, an associate professor who specializes in philosophy and sexuality at the University of Manitoba, who notes that alarmism always precedes every advance in cybersex but such things eventually become normalized.
“It happened first with porn, then with Internet dating, then with Snapchat sexting. One by one these technologies come along and there’s this wave of panic. But as people start to use these technologies, they become part of our lives,” he told the newspaper.
As the use of artificial intelligence spreads, the lines will be blurred between real sex and cybersex, particularly what constitutes sexual “consent.” And those blurred lines “do not have to be a bad thing,” The New York Times asserts, and might be inevitable.
Featured prominently in the article is Akihiko Kondo, a 35-year-old Japanese man who “married” a female-looking hologram in November. Kondo called his wedding “a triumph of true love after years of feeling ostracized by real-life women for being an anime otaku, or geek” and considers himself a “sexual minority” who faces discrimination.
“It’s simply not right,” Kondo said in comments to The Japan Times. “It’s as if you were trying to talk a gay man into dating a woman, or a lesbian into a relationship with a man.”
Christopher Benek, a Presbyterian pastor and CEO of a science and tech ministry called CoCreators, believes Kondo’s situation illustrates why Christian leaders need to be educated about emerging technological developments.
“When dealing with the increasing pace of theological change, people fail to create a consistent and systemic ethic. This usually isn’t because of ill intent or malice by the person but it is usually more so the case because they haven’t had a proper opportunity to explore and discern why they may be experiencing what they are feeling,” he explained in a Thursday interview with The Christian Post. “If we are going to presently acknowledge robots’ rights as equal to humans, then companies that make sex robots should genuinely be regarded as sex traffickers.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter