Sexbot conference cancelled – for fear guests actually started having sex with robots

The second ‘Love and Sex with Robots’ conference to be held in Malaysia, but was cancelled by the police for being “illegal” and “ridiculous”


The annual conference is supposed to be a safe place for academics from around the world to intellectually discuss a range of topics concerning the ethical and moral implications of “teledildonics” (an actual word I just used). Also on the agenda were “robot emotions”, “entertainment robots” and “intelligent electronic sex hardware”

The conference was due to be held in the state of Johor, but was cancelled during a press conference in October. The main opposer, Police chief Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, said of the event: “nothing scientific about having sex with machines. It is not our culture. We can take action against the organiser if they choose to hold the event”, perhaps in fear that humans might want to have sex with robots then and there.

The organiser’s official statement states that the even was postponed to 2016 due to “circumstances beyond our control.” It has been decided to hold the conference somewhere else: “The conference will definitely not be held anywhere in Malaysia. We deeply apologise to any person or any authority which have felt offence in any way. To our delegates, we look forward to seeing you again next year for the Second International Congress on Love and Sex with Robots. Please stay tuned for next year’s location.”

Having sex with robots is surprisingly topical. This report, called “AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs” was published last year and is a 66-page monster from a bunch of ‘experts’ talking about the importance of robots in our future and claims that in a move away from flesh lights, “Robotic sex partners will be commonplace”. Indeed, ‘futurologist’ Dr Ian Pearson released a study on the future of the sex industry and according to him, s report, virtual sex and copulating with robots will be popular among high-income households by 2030. “The sex market in 20 years could be three times bigger than today and seven times bigger by 2050,” he said.

Last year’s ‘Love and Sex with Robots’ conference was held in Portugal and saw some 40 academics presenting their research. The event’s co-founder Professor Adrian David Cheok teaches Pervasive Computing at London’s City University, is famous for his work on a device he calls the ‘Kissinger’. The ‘Kissinger’ is “set of pressure-sensitive artificial lips that can transmit a kiss from a real mouth to a similar device owned by a partner who might be many miles away”.

Despite the Malaysian Police chiefs protests, there are actually many sexbot advocate’s out there, one being (you may have heard of him) international chess master, businessman and Artificial Intelligence expert David Levy, who published the book “Love And Sex And Robots” in 2007. Levy was supposed to be chairing Novembers conference alongside Prof Cheok.

Levy has said in the past he is “absolutely convinced” that humans having sex with robots is a viable option for people who do not have satisfactory relationships. “For whatever reason there are huge numbers of people who just don’t have a relationship with someone they can love and someone who can love them”, he said. “For people like that, I think that sex robots will be a real boon. It will get rid of a problem they’ve got, fill a big void in their lives and make them much happier.” Levy genuinely believes that real relationships between humans and robots might be commonplace by 2050.

Despite this growing body of academic research and advocates of having sex robots it seems in the main, humans just are not ready for it. In the past an internet campaign was launched to prevent any robot/human relationships, and a Japanese robot company told users that having sex with its robots would void their warranties. And now the ‘annual’ sexbot conference has been shut down after running only a year.

Until things move forward, your robo-sex options are limited to some fairly basic technology (NSFW).