Intimate Technologies: The Ethics of Simulated Relationships

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  • Intimate Technologies: The Ethics of Simulated Relationships

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Abstract:

  • Abstract (long paper)

    This paper considers the complex relationship between ethics and social technologies. It is particularly concerned with what it means to be intimate or share ideas of intimacy with robots and avatars. Looking to the world of theatre and situating our ethical framework within two specific plays we are able to examine new technological narratives that inspire critical reflection on our current and future relationships, sexual taboos and ethical practices. It also poses the question of the role of the arts in preparing society for dramatic technological and social shifts that challenge what we might think of current ideas of what it means to be human and values that have troubled debates between the biological and the artificial. Such shifts are not gender, or diversity free and we recognize that ethical aspects of technology are always person-dependent, culturedependent and situation-dependent. Within ethics, discussions of privacy and identity move to the foreground of our discussions.