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Feb. 8, 2011

Contact: Patrick Lin


Sonoma State University Ethics Professor to Discuss Sex-Robots on
March 4 at Cal Poly 

SAN LUIS OBISPO — John P. Sullins, ethics professor at Sonoma State University, will speak on “Robots and Sex: Should we Build a Love Machine” on March 4 at Cal Poly as part of the Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group’s Technology, Policy & Ethics lecture series.

The event is free and open to the public. It is scheduled for 2 to 3:30 p.m. in Building 33 (Fisher Science), Room 286 on campus.

In light of robots playing greater roles in society and the sex industry’s tendency toward early adoption of technology, Sullins will discuss how roboticists and engineers are manipulating human emotions in inventive ways, especially our psychological tendency to anthropomorphize objects. And he will address the questions of whether there are moral limits in exploiting human psychology and if there is something more to love than simply satisfying physical desire.

Sullins is an associate professor at Sonoma State University, where he has taught for six years. He received his doctorate in 2002 from the Philosophy, Computers and Cognitive Science program at Binghamton University in New York.  His current research and publications involve the study of computer ethics, malware ethics and the ethical impacts of personal robotics technology on our lives.

The talk is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Patrick Lin, director of the Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group, at or visit

About the Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group

The group is a nonpartisan research and educational organization focused on the risks and ethical and social impacts of emerging technologies. Current projects and interests are related to issues in robotics, human enhancement, nanotechnology, geoengineering and space development, among other areas.

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