Anti-Sex Robot Campaigner Turns Her Attention To AI Girlfriend Chatbots

Distracted boyfriend meme AI girlfriend CASR

Back in 2015, Kathleen Richardson – a radical feminist holding an academic position at a minor university in the UK – infamously launched a campaign to outlaw sex robots. Her ‘Campaign Against Sex Robots (CASR)’ seemed to gain some traction for a while, with the professor making numerous appearances in the media that allowed her to put forward her claim that the rise of sex robots would inevitably objectify and harm women and girls. Her case was helped at the time by a ‘sex robot inventor’ foolishly suggesting (for marketing reasons) that his talking sex doll had been the victim of mass sexual assault at a tech expo. However, Richardson largely faded out of the limelight in subsequent years, and no laws have been passed outlawing sex robots, although the introduction of a number of laws banning ‘child sex robots and dolls’ in various countries may owe a little to her campaigning.

Despite her relative lack of recent visibility, Richardson hasn’t gone anywhere, and it seems she is ready to return to full-on crusading mode, albeit this time against a new and related threat – AI girlfriend chatbots. In an article published today by ABS CBN news, she is quoted making the same arguments against chatbot companions as she has spent the past decade making against sex robots. While she often uses buzzwords such as ‘objectification’ and so on, Richardson has always been quite open in objecting to artificial companions on the basis that they will degrade real human relationships with women. In other words, she feels that the very fact that men may choose sex robots or AI girlfriends over real women, is a case of them ‘objectifying women’ and therefore a case for banning such things. It is not clear how this is different to a Conservative Christian male legislator demanding dildos and vibrators be banned in order to prevent women from preferring them over marriage or a real relationship.

Kathleen Richardson, professor of ethics and culture of robots and AI at De Montfort University in the UK, says that since these bots are not sentient, they cannot really participate in a human relationship.

“To believe [otherwise] degrades human relationships and degrades love,” said Richardson.

But Richardson also said that people do need to “soothe themselves,” as there is “a lot of shame that we experience as human beings when we’re lonely.”

And loneliness needs addressing because some experts say it can be as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

In the long run, however, digital relationships may cause problems for people if we hang on to the idea that dating a chatbot is a real relationship.

“It’s the wrong answer to a very deep human problem. Once we start to normalize this stuff, we’re going to see even more detachment,” said Richardson.

Richardson said that, as with the porn industry, AI loves could create a sense of human detachment that causes people to be aggressive towards their human partners and reduce their happiness in human relationships.

There is another potentially useful comparison with porn and that is its general acceptance in society. The idea of AI love is far from what societies consider “the norm” — would your friends and family understand your loving a chatbot?

Source :

CASR goals

Featured image courtesy of

About xhumanist

Xhumanist has been writing on porn/sex tech for nearly two decades, and has been predicting the rise of VR and AR porn, as well as AI porn, and their coming together to produce fully 'immersive porn', which would be indistinguishable from the real thing, and create a society of 'sexual abundance'. He identifies as a digisexual, and has been quoted in Wired Magazine.

View all posts by xhumanist →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *