As our Institute for the Future project on the "future of robotics" continues, my colleague Jake Dunagan follows-up yesterday's "epic robot tattoo" reference with another helpful citation: "Blurring the love lines: The legal implications of intimacy with machines," an academic paper by published last year in the journal Computer Law & Security Review. From the abstract (image from this previous BB post):
In this paper, I explore an area of emerging science, android science, and attempt to start a dialogue about possible future legal implications of fully conscious robots, referred to in this essay as humanoids. While the world currently has millions of robots doing industrial, commercial, and household tasks, I focus specifically on the legal challenges of human sexual interaction with future humanoids, albeit notional technology at this point in time. While this humanoid is a giant leap forward technologically, if a self-aware, super-intelligent, thinking, feeling humanoid is developed, the legal system will be hard pressed to distinguish this creature legally from human actors on grounds not stemming from a religious or moral prejudice. I consider whether human–humanoid sexual interactions should be regulated, the possible rights that might devolve to humanoids, and, finally, possible cost and benefit implications to humans in providing protections to humanoids. The objective is to discuss how the legal framework might appear if humans are not the only legal actors.