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Special Issue "Love and Sex with Robots"

A special issue of Multimodal Technologies and Interaction (ISSN 2414-4088).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 December 2016)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Professor Adrian David Cheok

Director of the Imagineering Institute, Iskandar Malaysia and Chair Professor of Pervasive Computing at City University London, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: mixed reality; multisensory telepresence; sensors; pervasive computing
Guest Editor
Dr. Cristina Portalés Ricart

Institute of Robotics and Information and Communication Technologies (IRTIC), Universitat de València, Av. de Blasco Ibáñez, 13, València 46010, Spain
Website1 | Website2 | E-Mail
Interests: computer vision; HCI; augmented reality; multispectral imaging; 3D reconstruction; multimodal data acquisition and rendering
Guest Editor
Dr. Chamari Edirisinghe

Research Fellow, Imagineering Institute, Iskandar Puteri, Malaysia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: social and cultural computing; smart urban environments; social robotics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The advancement in technology and human–computer/human–robot interaction is opening new avenues in research and leading to novel, and unconventional, relationships between machines and humans. Further fuelled by the media, by their portrayal of those relationships, and in most cases undesirably, there is an increasing interest among both the general public and academia regarding human–robot relationships. At this point, where the discourse regarding human–robot intimate relationships has turned to moral and ethical rationalizations, it is imperative for the academia to explore the various approaches to this topic in a compilation of academic writings.

From a research point of view, there are many aspects that should be addressed. One aspect is the technological innovations which are soaring each day with new developments. Humanoid robots are more and more in the conversations, leading the dialogues towards the rights of robots. This is the other facet of this topic, the discussion on whether it is morally and ethically correct for humans to develop relationships with robots and the ensuing issues with this development. It is important to understand these various approaches, and the societal discourse on diverse concerns.

This Special Issue aims to provide a collection of high quality research articles that address broad challenges in both theoretical and applied aspects of the relationships between humans and robots/machines that involve human feelings and emotions, including love and sex. The question “where is the limit?” will be an essential question that is asked to be explored and experimented with as part of this Special Issue.

This Special Issue is intended to cover the following topics, but is not limited to them:

  • Robot Emotions
  • Humanoid Robots
  • Clone Robots
  • Entertainment Robots
  • Robot Personalities
  • Teledildonics
  • Intelligent Electronic Sex Hardware
  • Gender Approaches
  • Affective Approaches
  • Psychological Approaches
  • Sociological Approaches
  • Roboethics
  • Philosophical Approaches
  • Moral and Ethical Approaches

Prof. Adrian David Cheok
Dr. Cristina Portalés Ricart
Dr. Chamari Edirisinghe
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Multimodal Technologies and Interaction is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle On the Use of ROMOT—A RObotized 3D-MOvie Theatre—To Enhance Romantic Movie Scenes
Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2017, 1(2), 7; doi:10.3390/mti1020007
Received: 9 January 2017 / Revised: 16 March 2017 / Accepted: 7 April 2017 / Published: 11 April 2017
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Abstract
In this paper, we introduce the use of ROMOT—a RObotic 3D-MOvie Theatre—to enhance love and sex movie scenes. ROMOT represents the next generation of movie theatres, where scenes are enhanced with multimodal content, also allowing audience interaction. ROMOT is highly versatile as it
[...] Read more.
In this paper, we introduce the use of ROMOT—a RObotic 3D-MOvie Theatre—to enhance love and sex movie scenes. ROMOT represents the next generation of movie theatres, where scenes are enhanced with multimodal content, also allowing audience interaction. ROMOT is highly versatile as it can support different setups, integrated hardware and content and, thus, it can be easily adapted to different groups and purposes. Regarding the setups, currently, ROMOT supports a traditional movie setup (including first-person movies), a mixed reality environment, a virtual reality interactive environment, and an augmented reality mirror-based scene. Regarding the integrated hardware, the system currently integrates a variety of devices and displays that allow audiences to see, hear, smell, touch, and feel the movement, all synchronized with the film experience. Finally, regarding to content, here we theorize about the use of ROMOT for romantic-related interactive movies. Though the work presented in this sense is rather speculative, it might open new avenues of research and for the film and other creative industries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Love and Sex with Robots)
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Open AccessArticle The Cyborg Mermaid (or: How Technè Can Help the Misfits Fit In)
Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2017, 1(1), 4; doi:10.3390/mti1010004
Received: 1 January 2017 / Revised: 15 February 2017 / Accepted: 16 February 2017 / Published: 24 February 2017
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Abstract
In feminist studies, the figure of the mermaid has long been regarded as flawed, disabled and less-than-human. Her theoretical counterpart in that respect would be the cyborg, an image used to show that with the aid of robotics, humankind could be larger than
[...] Read more.
In feminist studies, the figure of the mermaid has long been regarded as flawed, disabled and less-than-human. Her theoretical counterpart in that respect would be the cyborg, an image used to show that with the aid of robotics, humankind could be larger than life. What would happen if we could combine those two images and apply them to create “super love” more-than-human relationships? This article explores the possibilities of technology for “mermaids”, people who normally fall outside the norm, to satisfy human desires in a new way. Two case studies will be presented, first we will look at people who identify as having ASD (Autism Spectre Disorders) and second we explore the use of technology for people who have BDSM-oriented desires (related to Bondage and Discipline (B&D), Dominance and Submission (D&S), and Sadism and Masochism (S&M)). We briefly discuss the added value of practice theory for exploring how people are altered by technè. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Love and Sex with Robots)
Open AccessArticle Not Only the Lonely—How Men Explicitly and Implicitly Evaluate the Attractiveness of Sex Robots in Comparison to the Attractiveness of Women, and Personal Characteristics Influencing This Evaluation
Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2017, 1(1), 3; doi:10.3390/mti1010003
Received: 30 September 2016 / Revised: 25 January 2017 / Accepted: 6 February 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
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Abstract
While some theories, such as the Media Equation, suggest that men will evaluate sex robots to be attractive, other assumptions (e.g., biases of norm adherence) would contradict this hypothesis. Therefore, the present study aimed at empirically comparing men’s explicit and implicit evaluation of
[...] Read more.
While some theories, such as the Media Equation, suggest that men will evaluate sex robots to be attractive, other assumptions (e.g., biases of norm adherence) would contradict this hypothesis. Therefore, the present study aimed at empirically comparing men’s explicit and implicit evaluation of the (sexual) attractiveness of sex robots and women. At the same time, personal characteristics of the observer that might affect this evaluation were considered. An online survey (n = 229) and an affective priming experiment (n = 41) revealed that men rate women to be more attractive than robots if asked explicitly (=self-reported). However, this effect is not present when attractiveness is assessed implicitly (unbiased, directly). Moreover, affiliation-related traits such as loneliness, which have been assumed to be associated with the usage of sex dolls, are not related to the evaluation of attractiveness. Instead, a negative attitude towards robots is an important predictor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Love and Sex with Robots)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Robotic Arts: Current Practices, Potentials, and Implications
Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2017, 1(2), 5; doi:10.3390/mti1020005
Received: 20 January 2017 / Revised: 4 March 2017 / Accepted: 22 March 2017 / Published: 24 March 2017
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Abstract
Given that the origin of the “robot” comes from efforts to create a worker to help people, there has been relatively little research on making a robot for non-work purposes. However, some researchers have explored robotic arts since Leonardo da Vinci. Many questions
[...] Read more.
Given that the origin of the “robot” comes from efforts to create a worker to help people, there has been relatively little research on making a robot for non-work purposes. However, some researchers have explored robotic arts since Leonardo da Vinci. Many questions can be posed regarding the potentials of robotic arts: (1) Is there anything we can call machine-creativity? (2) Can robots improvise artworks on the fly? and (3) Can art robots pass the Turing test? To ponder these questions and see the current status quo of robotic arts, the present paper surveys the contributions of robotics in diverse forms of arts, including drawing, theater, music, and dance. The present paper describes selective projects in each genre, core procedure, possibilities and limitations within the aesthetic computing framework. Then, the paper discusses implications of these robotic arts in terms of both robot research and art research, followed by conclusions including answers to the questions posed at the outset. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Love and Sex with Robots)
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Open AccessReview Familiar and Strange: Gender, Sex, and Love in the Uncanny Valley
Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2017, 1(1), 2; doi:10.3390/mti1010002
Received: 30 September 2016 / Revised: 19 December 2016 / Accepted: 21 December 2016 / Published: 4 January 2017
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Abstract
Early robotics research held that increased realism should result in increased positivity of the interactions between people and humanoid robots. However, this turned out to be true only to a certain point, and researchers now recognize that human interactions with highly realistic humanoid
[...] Read more.
Early robotics research held that increased realism should result in increased positivity of the interactions between people and humanoid robots. However, this turned out to be true only to a certain point, and researchers now recognize that human interactions with highly realistic humanoid robots are often marked by feelings of disgust, fear, anxiety, and distrust. This phenomenon is called the Uncanny Valley. In a world in which Artificial Companions are increasingly likely, and even desired, engineering humanoid robots that avoid the Uncanny Valley is of critical importance. This paper examines theories of the uncanny, and focuses on one in particular—that humans subconsciously appraise robots as potential sexual partners. Drawing from work on love, sexuality, and gender from a variety of fields, this paper speculates on possible futures in a world of intimate companionships between humans and machines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Love and Sex with Robots)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Too Sexy to Compute: A demographic analysis of the likelihood to have sex with a robot
Author: Riley Richards
Abstract: Research in the field of empirical studies on human-to-sex-robot relationships is nearly non-existent even though the first anticipated full functional AI humanoid robot is suggested to go on the market later this year. The current manuscript seeks to answer where the limit is to what kind of person is more likely to have sex with a robot over another. Data was collected across the United States from 136 adults in an online survey. Results indicate non-religious men living and/or growing up in an urban environment are more likely than any other demographic to have sex with a robot. Furthermore, negative attitudes towards robots was a significant negative indicator for women and not for men based on their likelihood to have sex with a robot.

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