Sex robots are defined as physically embodied anthropomorphic agent that is specifically designed to sexually interact with users. However, it is becoming a controversial issue as to whether the human rights of sexual robots are morally justifiable, corresponds to technological development nowadays. In this essay, I will emphasize the importance of sexual perspective in interpreting, analyzing and demonstrating a field of technology in modern society.This essay will be divided into two dominant parts. Firstly, the main debates in two resources, where in the first reading I will delve into a section entitled `Robot sex and consents: Is consent to sex between a robot and a human conceivable, possible, and desirable?’ by Frank and Nyholm (2017, p305-323). For the second reading, I will broadly interpret the incorporation of ethics into designing healthcare robots in a hospital content from the research article ‘A method for integrating ethics into the design of robots’ by Wynsberghe (2013, p433-440). Here, keeping in mind that this article by Wynsberghe does not contain a sexual perspective. In the second part of this essay, I will then demonstrate Frank and Nyholm`s application of sexuality as the primary analytical category to Wynsberghe`s article. Following this, I will discuss the potential changes that the sexual perspective may bring to the latter article with a focus on the research method and the impact of findings. Frank and Nyholm (2017) deal with the hypothetical future of sex robots being integrated into a legal community as ‘electronic person’ (p.306), especially when the quality of robots developed closely to human-like. As such, they concern potential issues whereby the robots may be subjected to ‘sex slave’ (p.306) due to a lack of moral understanding in the community. To avoid this undesirable outcome, they put the focal point on whether it is conceivable, feasible and desirable for sex robots to be designed in such a way that they are capable of consenting to sex, with the association between consent and, free-will and consciousness. To enrich their evaluations, they incorporate different perspective, established by other authors as well as feminism point of view. Each of their discussions starts with ‘no’ answers along with critical reasons, while they also take consideration of ‘yes’ answers to all topics. To their questions; ‘is it conceivable, possible, and desirable…?’ (p.305), Frank and Nyholm (2017) foresee that there is no conceptual disjoint for sex robots possessing artificial consciousness and minimum free will for them to grant or withhold consent in upcoming future, corresponds to technological advancement. While emphasizing the strong desirability of consent, though it may not be sufficient for the human-robot case, they state that capability and value on consent do not have to be adjusted based on personnel or societal norm as such agents may possess different standards. Wynsberghe (2013) research focuses on the framework and concreates methodology for the ethical assessment of robots in healthcare dimension. She emphasizes that ethics much be taken into account for any form of practice regardless of the types of robotic applications. As she strives for the development of robot designs, she sheds light on issues with regards to; ‘delegation of responsibilities’ (p.438), and ‘manifestation of care values’ (p.435), where she cautiously analyzes to mitigate these. Throughout the paper, Wynsberge implements ‘Care-Centered Value Sensitive Design (CCVSD)’ (p.435), illustrating the moral factors in relation to the actors; where in this case nurses, patients and robots, along with their capabilities, limitations, and requirements. Her evaluation is based on a certain extent from contemporary tradition to its modified practice where she deems that would be the pivotal idea in a forthcoming design of robots. She concludes that in a situation of medical-care, novel robots may provide benefits not only to patients but also to the nurses as in a form of physical safety, given that the nurse remains attained and connected to the overall process.Overall, an article by Wynsberghe (2013) is persuasive as in a background of healthcare, that hospitals may benefit from installing robots in a form of reducing workplace accidents by proposing a framework for adapting ethics. Subsequently, I discovered the potential implication of sexual perspective to this paper as Whynsberghe (2013) supports that if the ‘context’ is to lie ‘outside of care domain components remain the same’ (p.439), implying that CCVSD would also apply to sexual context, though its prioritization and interpretation differ. Furthermore, I found that she emphasizes the human-oriented ethical design of robots, whereas Frank and Nyholm (2017) focus on the moral status of sex robots, which provokes a potential elongation in her evaluation. The installation of a sexual perspective may permit her additional discourse more to around robot-oriented. Hence, I believe that the conclusion established by Frank and Nyholm (2017) that, integration of sex robots into a legal community by acknowledging their rights, would have been beneficial as a primary analytical category. Taking account of the moral stances towards robots may prevent them from being categorized under mere things in a prospective situation when robots become capable of possessing autonomic procedure to whether provide or withhold consent. To exclude this robots-centered perspective is those robots which may not be legally and morally desired to have free will and consciousness due to its application, such as industrial robots computed to perform a unified motion with a lack of anthropomorphous features. Exclusion of the moral perspective of robots in terms of sexual context may not be desirable as Frank and Nyholm (2017) conclude that consent to sex is essential for the robot-human case too.The application of a sexual perspective would deliver an impact on aspects of Wynsberghe’s article. One of the concepts involving potential changes is that she may incorporate the moral and legal approach to her research design in addition to her methodological approach. At this point, she incorporates CCVSD approach in her evaluation to provide insightful discourse based on specific context and actors, through the manifestation of moral elements which are; ‘attentiveness’, ‘responsibility’, ‘competence’ and ‘reciprocity’ (p.435). This is a relevant methodology, as it may support the researcher to accessibly evaluate robots that possess different functions in different contexts.Nevertheless, her findings with such an adapted approach may somewhat be restricted as she only focuses on the care realm, which does not extensively evaluate other technological domains, in particular, sexual context. Furthermore, Frank and Nyholm (2017) state that the perceived value of consent is strikingly different between sexual and medical relations, as its standard in healthcare is higher than the sexual domain. Plus, it is not required to determine the reason for sex robots to refuse consent, whereas in the medical context does so. Last but not least, a strong long-term relationship is expected between medical robots and patients while sex robots may not be required to retain such bonds with the users. Due to these restrictions on Whynsberghe’s findings as well as the fundamental discrepancy of value prioritizations, selections and interpretations between sexual and healthcare domains, it may convince the importance of sexual perspective in a field of technology as it proves that the different contexts may possess different perceptions towards the value and morality of designing robots. As such, I believe Wynsberghe (2013) may then broaden horizons on her evaluation that mankind should keep in mind that not only robot ethics, human ethics must be taken into account especially when it comes to sexual context. It may support the statement of Frank and Nyholm (2017) which is to avoid the undesirable outcome of such that robots’ consents are disregarded in future. In this essay, I have explained how Wynsberghe’s ethical evaluation of robots’ design could be enhanced with a sexual perspective, particularly from the moral point of view. This consequently would have provided a more practical understanding of technological development in the upcoming future. Society may flexibly integrate robots into different aspects of jobs whilst taking account of their rights and moral status depends on their context which the autonomic judgment of whether to provide or withhold consent is legally and morally desired.
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