The 4th international event to be held in Brussels
Organizers of the controversial and previously postponed Congress on Love and Sex with Robots have announced a new date for their fourth event!
Digisexuals, academics, and sex tech professionals alike are asked to attend the conference on July 1 and 2 at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), in Brussels, Belgium.
For this year’s conference, organizers have also partnered with the University’s Interdisciplinary Bioethics Research Center, whose mission, according to its site, is to study “ethical issues raised by the development of life and health sciences and techniques.”
For academics and the sex tech industry
The event itself continues to aim to be a venue for academics and members of the sex tech industry to meet, share ideas, and possibly even develop new concepts.
The conference will cover teledildonics, intelligent electronic sex hardware, roboethics, robot emotions, and others.
Controversy after controversy
That being said, calling the Congress on Love and Sex with Robots controversial might be a bit of an understatement. While the inaugural event back in 2014, held in Madeira, Portugal, went smoothly, the unfolding of the following two was, shall we say, rocky. To put it mildly.
The second event, originally scheduled for Iskander Malaysia back in 2015, had to be cancelled when Malaysian authorities got wind of the subject matter, forcing organizers to scramble to find a new venue.
This third event subsequently moved to the United Kingdom, where even there it had to go through a last minute location change to protect the safety of the attendees due to death threats from Muslim extremists.
Yet more protests
Planners for the latest event might have tried to play it safe by moving the venue to the University of Montana.
But then organizers made the questionable decision to schedule Steve Bannon, the ultra-right wing founder of Breitbart News and former Chief Strategist for the Trump administration, as the keynote speaker.
Due to the ongoing challenges and drama faced by the event, it is perhaps hard to understand how organizers didn’t think that choosing the divisive figure would not incite protest.
Yet this time outcry and planned protests came from the other (left) side of the political spectrum. It caused organizers of the Advances in Computing Entertainment Conference (ACE), which the Congress on Love and Sex with Robots was part of, to cancel the event yet again.
Previously, the organizers rescheduled the 4th event to occur in Las Vegas in January 2020 during the annual AVN Adult Entertainment Expo. Now they’ve instead opted to hold it sooner and in the European country.
“The ACE conference is still planned for Las Vegas in 2020 but we are hoping that the event this year will be sufficiently well received that we can stay in Europe next year,” organizer David Levy told Future of Sex in an email.
Will we see another controversy?
As there is of yet no information on who will be attending, or speaking, at the fourth congress it is extremely hard to predict if history will repeat itself and protests will end the event again.
We’ll just have to wait and see.
Image sources: Tyler Bindon, San José Public Library, Sascha Pohflepp, Jennifer Boyer