All posts filed under: Psychology

Is It Possible to Degrade and Exploit Your At-Home Sexbot?

If Immanuel Kant were still around, there’s no doubt he would be pro-sexbot. The term, once defined strictly as a physical robot made for sex (think “fembot”), now also encompasses any sort of artificially intelligent (AI) software made for sexual pleasure—and they’re becoming increasingly popular. While Kant makes it clear in his writing that he believes humans are rational beings because they can choose to follow a moral law, non-rational beings are merely “objects of our inclinations.” Under these terms, sexbots are no more valuable than animals—they are “means,” not “ends,” inherently valueless, given meaning only by that which humans ascribe to them. And yet, as sexbots become more intelligent, transitioning from dolls and one-trick robots into artificially intelligent creations, ethical lines are blurring. Is using AI software now exploitative, on par with sexual assault and rape? At what point should we declare AI sexbots sentient beings? Is there a difference between sex slavery with a human and with an AI program? What really is ethical sex? Read the rest of the article at Pacific Standard.

Why We Love Quotes

Marie Antoinette never said, “Let them eat cake.” She said “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche,” which actually means, “Let them eat brioche.” No one in Casablanca ever says, “Play it again, Sam.” Ingrid Bergman actually says, “Play it, Sam” — but that seems less lyrical, less romantic. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle never wrote, “Elementary, my dear Watson.” In fact, Sherlock Holmes never said anything even close to this until the 1929 film The Return of Sherlock Holmes, but by that time, he was simply uttering what Holmes fans had long been misquoting. In Wall Street, Gordon Gekko never said, “Greed is good.” He really said, “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good” — but that sounds labored and unnecessarily wordy. Patrick Henry didn’t say, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” That was misquoted by his biographer William Wirt, who wanted to add a bit of embellishment, a bit of zip. And Winston Churchill, oh Churchill, well let’s just say he was famous for adapting other people’s turns of phrase. But is this even a big deal? …