In Markus Dubber, Frank Pasquale & Sunit Das (eds.), Oxford Handbook of the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence. Oxford: Oxford University Press (forthcoming)
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Sex is an important part of human life. It is a source of pleasure and intimacy, and is integral to many people’s self-identity. This chapter examines the opportunities and challenges posed by the use of AI in how humans express and enact their sexualities. It does so by focusing on three main issues. First, it considers the idea of digisexuality, which according to McArthur and Twist (2017) is the label that should be applied to those ‘whose primary sexual identity comes through the use of technology’, particularly through the use of robotics and AI. While agreeing that this phenomenon is worthy of greater scrutiny, the chapter questions whether it is necessary or socially desirable to see this as a new form of sexual identity. Second, it looks at the role that AI can play in facilitating human-to-human sexual contact, focusing in particular on the use of self-tracking and predictive analytics in optimising sexual and intimate behaviour. There are already a number of apps and services that promise to use AI to do this, but they pose a range of ethical risks that need to be addressed at both an individual and societal level. Finally, it considers the idea that a sophisticated form of AI could be an object of love. Can we be truly intimate with something that has been ‘programmed’ to love us? Contrary to the widely-held view, this chapter argues that this is indeed possible.



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John Danaher
University College, Galway

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