Sex products are some of the most intimate products a person might use, yet many products in the United States are largely exempt from regulation or mandatory safety testing. This has produced documented physical, chemical, and biological risks for users. This talk will examine those risks and consider further risks with the expansion of sex robots into the AI realm. Cybersecurity and AI risks can compromise user privacy, including socio-emotional data, health data, and personal identifying information. There is an urgent for regulators to study sex products, not only to protect contemporary users, but because their current omission from scrutiny creates an opportunity for AI developers to explore social capabilities without accountability. Sex is a powerful commercial motivator, and technology developments that initially gained popularity through applications to sex have previously reformatted themselves for viability in the mainstream markets. Therefore, the AI advancements made for sex robots warrant scrutiny now.
Stephanie Galaitsi works with the Risk and Decision Science team within the United States Army Corps Engineer Research and Development Center. Her research topics include the public health response during the 2020-2021 coronavirus pandemic, governance of synthetic biology, stakeholder engagement in water resources management, automated algorithms and AI , and resilience applications in fields like gerontology, team behavior, and value chain analysis. While some of Ms. Galaitsi’s work provides quantitative data analysis, she also emphasizes incorporating social science perspectives and pitfalls into quantitative explorations. Ms. Galaitsi holds a masters degree in environmental and water resources engineering and a bachelor degree in Middle East history. She lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, USA, where she volunteers as an advocate for safer streets.