Mr. Allister Lee, Licentiate Student in Bioethics and Intern at the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights, gave a talk titled “Love and Sex in the Time of Robots: The Ethical Impact of AI Robots on Human Relationships” at the University of Hong Kong.
Artificial intelligence scholar David Levy declares in his seminal work Love and Sex with Robots that in the near, post-human future, not only will sexual relations with robots be normalised, but it will also be more prevalent to human-to-human sex. Will this be humanity’s (for the lack of a better term) new reality? Current developments in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence have proved Levy’s prediction increasingly probable with Elon Musk’s most recent introduction of Optimus and Hanson Robotic’s Sophia. This progress towards a post-human, AI-inclusive society is also highlighted by intriguing accounts of a man marrying a hologram which raises the question of the social role that AI robots have in society, are they simply tools to complete menial tasks or are they entitled to participate in wider social activities. This talk will outline the current discussion regarding the AI robots and its influence on societal norms and structures. Furthermore, it will expound on AI’s potential affective capabilities and its consequent practical impact on gender division, legal status of robots, and the concept of marriage.
Mr. Allister Lee is currently a licentiate student in bioethics in the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome, Italy. In tandem with his licentiate degree, he is completing a research internship with the UNESCO Chair of Bioethics and Human Rights. He received his first-class honour undergraduate degree in Nursing Studies from the University of Edinburgh. His main research interests focus on artificial intelligence, genome editing and clinical ethics.