Could have gone in the Japan thread, but this one could use a bump.
Do You Take This Robot …
(New York Times)
When Akihiko Kondo, a 35-year-old school administrator in Tokyo, strolled down the aisle in a white tuxedo in November, his mother was not among the 40 well-wishers in attendance. For her, he said, “it was not something to celebrate.”
You might see why. The bride, a songstress with aquamarine twin tails named Hatsune Miku, is not only a world-famous recording artist who fills up arenas throughout Japan: She is also a hologram.
Mr. Kondo insists the wedding was not a stunt, but a triumph of true love after years of feeling ostracized by real-life women for being an anime otaku, or geek. He considers himself a sexual minority facing discrimination.
(Link in quote is to Japan Times article. Also worth a read.)
His own mother isn't celebrating his nuptuals?
Today, a sexual minority facing discrimination. Sometime in the future, the new normal?
Skipping ahead in the Times article a bit:
In real life, pioneers of human-android romance now have a name, “digisexuals,” which some academics and futurists have suggested constitutes an emergent sexual identity.
Whether the notion is absurd, inevitable or offensive, it raises more than a few questions. For starters, in a world where sex toys that respond and give feedback and artificial-intelligence-powered sex robots are inching toward the mainstream, are digisexuals a fringe group, destined to remain buried in the sexual underground? Or, in a culture permeated with online pornography, sexting and Tinder swiping, isn’t everyone a closet digisexual?
Then they get into philosophical questions like "can a robot consent?" Some sex robots may be programmed by their creators to withdraw "consent" in certain situations:
Echoing the controversy surrounding scenes of robot rape in “Westworld,” a group of activists started the Campaign Against Sex Robots, arguing that sex robots, with their Barbie bodies and wired-for-compliance brains, encourage the objectification of women and reinforce the prostitute-john power dynamic.
Unfortunately, it’s not science fiction. During an Austrian technology fair in 2017, a version of Dr. Santos’s Samantha doll reportedly responded, “I’m fine,” after a group of men mounted it roughly, leaving it soiled and damaged.
Dr. Santos is working on a new version of Samantha that will be programmed to shut down when the sex gets too aggressive.
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.