It’s take two for the academic congress, but this time in the UK.
Around this time last year, organizers of the Second International Congress on Love and Sex with Robots were in a predicament: cancel the workshop or risk arrest.
Apparently, picking Malaysia as the host country was a misguided choice—a point that really hit home when Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar declared the event illegal.
The senior officer warned he could use many laws against the organizers if the workshop, originally scheduled for November 2015 as part of the 12th Advances in Computer Entertainment (ACE) Conference, went forward. Feeling so strongly the event violated the country’s conservative values, he said he’d move against them even without a lodged police report. Heeding this heavy caution, organizers Adrian Cheok and David Levy called off the workshop.
A second shot at (robot) love
With that unfortunate drama over, registration has now re-opened for the Second International Love and Sex with Robots Congress. It’s set to take place from December 19 to 20 in a more amenable location: London, England.
Joining last year’s chairs is Dr. Kate Devlin, a computing lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London, the institution hosting the conference. In a news release, she said she wants to refocus and expand the discussion on human-robot relationships.
“Our research aims to carve a new narrative, moving away from sex robots purely defined as machines used as sex objects, as substitutes for human partners, made by men, for men,” she said.
“Cutting edge research in technology and ethics is vital if we want to reframe ideas about the human-tech relationship.”
Session topics will include:
- Robot Emotions
- Humanoid Robots
- Clone Robots
- Entertainment Robots
- Robot Personalities
- Intelligent Electronic Sex Hardware
- Gender Approaches
- Affective Approaches
- Psychological Approaches
- Sociological Approaches
- Philosophical Approaches
Full registration costs £200 and student registration costs £125. To buy tickets, visit the conference registration page here. The complete speaker list is expected to be confirmed later this month.
Image source: Love and Sex with Robots