Upcoming Events

Nanotechnologies and Nanomaterials

Wednesday 19th May 2021

14:00 - 16:30 GMT

Igor Linkov

Personal Reflection on 20yrs of Nano Risk Assessment and Relevance to Emerging Risks

Vicki Stone

A Framework to streamline nanomaterial innovation and risk assessment – The GRACIOUS project

Sex Robots

Date TBC

Time TBC

Stephanie Galaitsi

Ensuring Consumer Safety for Sex Toys and Robots

Quantum Computing

Date TBC

Time TBC

Evan Peet

Securing Communications in the Quantum Computing Age: Managing the Risks to Encryption

Sex robots

A growing number of companies are currently developing robots designed to provide humans with companionship and sexual pleasure – with a few already on the market.

Unlike sex toys and dolls, which are typically sold in off-the-radar shops and hidden in closets, sexbots may become mainstream. A 2017 survey suggested almost half of Americans think that having sex with robots will become a common practice within 50 years.

How do we ensure they are safe? How will intimacy with a sex robot affect the human brain? Would sex with a childlike robot be ethical? And what exactly is a sexbot anyway?

Ensuring consumer safety for sex toys and robots

Stephanie Elisabeth Galaitsi

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

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.