Sex Robots May Cause Psychological Damage

US researchers have warned that the availability of sex robots with artificial intelligence (AI) poses a growing psychological and moral threat to individuals and society.

They say the technology is escaping oversight because agencies are too embarrassed to investigate it.

The scientists want action to prevent the unregulated use of such robots.

Dr Christine Hendren of Duke University told BBC News that “the stakes were high”.

“Some robots are programmed to protest, to create a rape scenario,” she said.

“Some are designed to look like children. One developer of these in Japan is a self-confessed paedophile, who says that this device is a prophylactic against him ever hurting a real child.

“But does that normalise and give people a chance to practise these behaviours that should be treated by just stamping them out?”

Dr Hendren was speaking here at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

A number of sex robots are advertised online. A US-based firm, Realrobitix, has posted a video marketing its Harmony robot for between $8,000 and $10,000.

It is a life-sized doll which can blink and move its eyes and neck, and also its lips as it talks.

Harmony RobotImage copyright REALROBOTIX
Image caption The Harmony robot has a removable head to put on interchangeable bodies

Speaking with a Scottish accent, the mannequin says, “if you play your cards right you will have some pleasure and fun coming your way”.

And the firm’s founder and CEO, Matt McMullen explains that Harmony has AI that enables “her” to develop a relationship with the owner.

“She is going to remember things about you, your likes, your dislikes and your experiences,” says Mr McMullen.

Kathleen Richardson, who is a professor of the Ethics and Culture of Robots and AI at De Montfort University in Leicester, wants this kind of marketing outlawed.

“These companies are saying, ‘you don’t have a friendship? You don’t have a life partner? Don’t worry we can create a robot girlfriend for you’.

“A relationship with a girlfriend is based on intimacy, attachment and reciprocity. These are things that can’t be replicated by machines,” she said.

Prof Richardson advises a pressure group that has been set up to monitor the emergence of these products. The campaign against sex robots is working with policy experts to draw up legislation aimed at banning claims that companion robots can be a substitute for human relationships.

“Are we going to move into a future where we keep normalizing the idea of women as sex objects?” she told BBC News.

“If someone has a problem with a relationship in their actual lives you deal with that with other people, not by normalizing the idea that you can have a robot in your life and it can be as good as a person.”

 

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If You Get Ghosted After A Hookup, Here’s What To Text Them

You just met the cutest person at your sister’s art show (read: on Hinge) and couldn’t wait to meet up for drinks. After linking up at your favorite Italian wine bar, you going back to their place for a nightcap, you end up staying the night. (Heck, ya!) Trying to “play it cool,” you wait for them to text you for another date. And as the hours turn to days, then —gulp — three and a half weeks, you realize you may not be hearing from them ever again. WTH?

If you get ghosted after a hookup, it’s totally natural to feel a little confused. Did you do something wrong? Make a weird joke? Kind of misread the situation and came off as a fool? A terrible mixture of all of the above? No matter how you slice it, ghosting can make you question everything. Even if you left your hookup feeling like a million bucks, never hearing from someone again can get you all in your own head.

Of course, you’re a flawless angel and someone ghosting you says more about them and their behavior than you and yours. Everyone deserves respect and communication, and someone leaving you out to dry isn’t just “unchill” — it can be really stinking rude.

Portrait of young sad woman lying on the bed looking smartphone feels unhappy. Waiting for mobile message. Feeling worried, hurt, heartbroken lonely ignored by boyfriend not texting on cellphone
Shutterstock

If you had an amazing date, and you’re considering reaching out to your hookup just to know what the F is happening, here’s what experts suggest saying.

“This one is tricky because you don’t want to look desperate, but you need a resolution,” Susan Winter, NYC relationship expert, love coach, and author of Breakup Triage: The Cure for Heartachetells Elite Daily. “Invite your casual date to coffee, drinks, or anything else that they seemed to like, but do it from the ‘I’m doing this. Join me’ approach: ‘I’m going to be at [fill in venue] at [fill in date/time] Stop by if you can.'”

According to Winter, if you have a really good time on your first date or you’d like to hook up again, sending a casual invite can be a last-ditch attempt to see if your date also felt a connection. “I suggest one last effort at reaching out, but no more after that,” Winter says. “If you don’t get a reply, or get a vague ‘breadcrumb type’ answer, then bail.”

For dating coach and dating app expert Meredith Golden, if your hookup doesn’t get back to you first by text or call post-hookup, it may be time to move on. “If someone doesn’t respond to one text or call, there’s a high likelihood that you’re [getting] ghosted, Golden tells Elite Daily. “Especially if you’ve only gone out less than three times.”

While your hookup leaving you on read can feel totally painful, Golden shares that you may be better off without them. “The person [ghosting you] is making it clear that they lack manners, don’t know how to communicate or don’t want to communicate further,” Golden says. “Don’t waste your time on someone like this — onward and good riddance!”

Though you may initially want to blow up your ex’s phone with “Did you die?!” or “WTF!” texts, Winter thinks that further contact may not be worth your time. “It’s your ego that wants to lash out,” Winter says. “Accept the facts for what they are and be grateful you’re not being strung along or played.” While getting ghosted after a hot hookup can be all-levels of confusing, Winter shares that it may be a blessing in a textual disguise. “It’s better to have an ending before you develop deep feelings,” Winter says.

Young woman in sweater and jeans leaned on wooden table and holding phone
Shutterstock

Of course, if your hookup comes out of the woodwork weeks or months later, you may be facing a whole new round of questions. Can you trust this person? Do you want to see them again? Did they really ghost you? As Golden shares, your response (or lack thereof) should depend on what was going on in your hookup’s life, and why they never got back to you.

“If, for example, they explain and apologize that a parent was ill, certainly give them another chance,” Golden says. “If they pretend like they didn’t ghost — don’t engage.” As Golden explains, sometimes someone isn’t able to get back to you in a timely manner. From work to family issues to illness, there are a lot of extenuating circumstances that may come before texting your hookup. However, with the amount of public Wi-Fi and charging ports around, it’s unlikely that your date’s phone was dead/without service for a month and a half. And if they’re bad at getting back to you after your literal first date, it’s likely they’re not really in a place to be seeing anyone, let alone a superstar like you.

Still, the heart wants what it wants, and you may find it hard to shake your crush on your hookup, even if they’re an unreliable texter. As Winter shares, if you’d like to continue seeing your hookup, it may give you peace of mind to establish some texting expectations. “You can give your new date your terms of engagement,” Winter says. “Tell them that regular contact lets you know there’s interest. Otherwise, you assume there’s no connection.” Additionally, you can let your hookup know that you lose interest when you need to wait four days to hear from them and that you expect a timely response. You’re not “needy” for having clear boundaries, you’re a mature communicator. And honestly, that’s hot.

Though ghosting may leave you with a ton of questions, inviting your hookup to a casual outing may help you pull back the sheet on the whole interaction. (Get it? Like, a person in a sheet being a ghost? Never mind.) While you’re certainly entitled to clarity from the people you’ve hooked up with, if you don’t hear from someone after a while or only seem to get wishy-washy answers, it may be time to move on. You’re a superstar, a powerhouse, and a person that deserves love and respect. And anyone who can’t see that can see themselves out.

 

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Eileen – Chapter 5 – Rings and Things – Part 1

Eileen works Thursday and Fridays.

It was Thursday night and Eileen had a test at Drexel so she said she wouldn’t be able to come in until 5:30. I was fine with that because even if it got busy I could handle it.

It did get a little crazy between 4 and 5 but like I said, I’m accustomed to being by myself and running around doing it all. I was happy when I saw Eileen appear. She approached the counter.

“Go put the towels in the dryer.”

Realizing the place was swinging, she sprung into action.

A few minutes later when we got caught up, I came back to the counter after clean a few of the beds.

“Hi Eileen. Busy tonight. How was your test?”

“Good. Can’t wait for Spring Break.”

“I can imagine.”

I am so grateful to have found some solid help for our busy season. Amelia and Eileen are truly a blessing. I really like them both.

I try to keep Eileen working primarily on the register. She needs to learn the system and the different transactions. Once I get these girls fully trained I can get them scheduled on some Saturdays so Achilles and I can finally get some time off.

The night is going well and we’re busy. At one point this woman who had been sitting in the waiting area approached the counter.

“Hey guys, it’s been awhile and I just wanted to check how much longer it will be.”

We ask her name and find out that someone is already tanning under her name in room 9. So that’s weird.

I immediately rectify the situation by sending her to one of the premium beds under the house account.

Later, when the woman who went into 9 comes out we tell her what happened, she tells us she thought she heard her name called by Eileen and just went to 9.

It was so busy and there’s so many people coming and going at the salon, it’s hard to keep track of everybody. Plus, Eileen is new and doesn’t know anybody yet. For all she knew the woman who tanned in 9 was the right person.

The woman was apologetic and we told her things happen and not to worry about it. We all had a laugh and I went back to clean the bed in room 9. But when I got there I noticed the little sign we put on the bed that says it’s been sanitized was missing.

Image result for sanitized sign for sunbed

Did the lady that was in here steal someone else’s tanning session and our little sign?

Weird. I looked all over the room for it but couldn’t come up with it. I go back up to the counter and tell Eileen, but we’re too busy to worry about it now.

As the night goes on Eileen and I are chatting when the crowd slows down. I see that she’s been texting a lot (Which I don’t like at work) but I don’t really mind. She says she’s texting her boyfriend back at home and that they’re having a “jiffy.” (Which is her word for a spat)

“What can you possibly fight about when you’re not even together?”

“Just stupid stuff. I think we both get frustrated that we have to be apart for long periods of time.”

“You’re going to see him in three days.”

“I know I’m so excited. It’ll be fine once we’re together.”

“I’m sure it will be. You’ll get to be with your man every day for a whole week.”

“I know. It’ll be great. He’s the first boy I ever kissed and fell in love with. We’re going to get married when I graduate college before I go to law school. I have everything I want for my wedding on Pinterest. I even know what kind of ring I want. (Whips out phone and shows me photos of diamond rings) You’re invited to the wedding.”

I think all of this teenage love stuff is absolutely adorable. I’m rooting for these kids. I imagine young Danny going to automotive school to become a mechanic. He met the sweet raven haired doll in high school. They fall in love. Lots of making out and dates. Then he finally relieves Eileen of her virginity and the die is cast.

I hope the relationship survives. Four years at Drexel is a long time in a young woman’s life. The college years are critical. She’s only 18 years old. I’ve seen pictures of this guy, Eileen is clearly the prize. If she meets someone else or if he gets tired of waiting and hooks up with some of the local talent out in St Louis, the relationship will be devastatingly destroyed.

I don’t meet many 18-year-old girls, but I remember little Haley when she worked here. She had a boyfriend. When I asked her about when she was supposed to go off to college in Hawaii how it would affect her relationship.

“I’m not sticking around here for some boy. I want to go to medical school.”

Even my daughter Lorelei doesn’t think about marriage. She’s been in a relationship with her boyfriend for three years. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t want kids either. (Huge savings there) But I picture Eileen and Daniel married when she’s 22 years old. Does he get her pregnant after she finishes law school or during? Probably after. Law school’s another four years so she’ll still only be like 26 years old.

I’ve never met a teenager that was so set on getting married to the first guy she ever fell in love with. Usually young women burn through a few guys to find what works for them. Or at least find out what they don’t want in a man. But maybe Eileen has hit the lottery right out of the gate.

Can you imagine that? Meeting someone as a teenager and marrying them and it actually working? I would never let my teenage self make a decision for my adult self. (I wouldn’t even let my thirty-five year old self make a life decision for me now!)

Eileen is a bright and beautiful girl. I love working with her. I wish her much happiness and look forward to working with her if she returns every year to work here at the salon.

 

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