Seems David Levy didn’t have the foresight to see problems arising from hosting a conference on ‘love and sex with robots’ in a deeply conservative and religous country such as Malaysia. A storm of moral outrage quickly developed as soon as the media got wind of the planned conference and its subject matter, forcing the authorities to act. Levy has confidently predicted that sex and even marriage with robots will quickly be normalized and accepted by society, and uses the example of homosexuality as an example of how quickly moral attitudes can shift from the conservative to the liberal. Of course, sexual morals can swing either way equally as quickly – Levy ignores the increasing persecution of homosexuality in many African and Islamic societies and an increasing intolerance in Russia. Perhaps just as likely as sex with robots tolerated is the possibility that masturbation will be made illegal worldwide?
In response to the public backlash, Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar ruled the conference illegal and effectively shut it out of Malaysia, which is a deeply religious country. “There’s nothing scientific about sex and robots,” Khalid announced at a press conference. “It is an offense to have anal sex in Malaysia, what more with robots.”
It’s not surprising that Malaysians would object to the LSR conference, especially once media-fed outrage kicked in, though it’s ironic considering their very real struggle with high rates of actual human trafficking. Perhaps the Inspector-General should get in touch with the Campaign Against Sex Robots, which wants to ban sexbots predicated on the idea that they will dehumanize traditional relationships.