On April 19, The Register’s readers gathered to consider one of the most fascinating topics in the world of tech: how AI and robotics are going to interact with and affect human sexuality.
As part of the Register Lecture series, Dr Kate Devlin, one of the UK’s foremost experts on human sexuality and technology, walked us through the history of sex and tech before explaining where artificial intelligence, robotics, and sex and love meet today. During the lecture, Dr Devlin examined the ethical and social implications of a world where human computer interaction moves beyond the mouse and keyboard.
As with all the Register Lectures, our readers turned out in force and it was clear at the beginning that many did not know quite what to expect. It is a controversial field crammed with preconceptions and the lecture prompted us to think about just how technology could change some of the most fundamental aspects of being human.
We were very lucky to have Dr Devlin talk to our readers. She’s a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computing at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she investigates how people interact with and react to technologies, both past and future. She works in the fields of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), focusing on cognition, sex, gender and sexuality, and how these might be incorporated into cognitive systems. She was Co-Chair of the widely-reported Love and Sex with Robots conference in 2016 and ran the UK’s first sextech hackathon.
The Sex, AI, Robots and You lecture was a thought-provoking evening in the pub, and a great chance to meet our readers and discuss interesting developments in tech. We look forward to hosting our next Reg Lecture, coming up soon on the 23rd May. Next time it will be a talk entitled “The tech-powered radicals intent on remaking your society” by author Jamie Bartlett.
About the Lectures
Over the last year our Register Lectures have covered topics as diverse as Big Data, interplanetary exploration, the chequered history of GCHQ, the future of driverless cars, and the reality of life as a hostage in Iraq. And now, sex and robots.
We are always looking for fascinating speakers for future lectures. We want people who are not just clever, but who can hold the attention of a room full of smart readers for 45 minutes, before playing Q&A ping pong afterwards.
Alternatively, if you would like to sponsor one of our lectures, then please do get in touch with the team to discuss.