Sexual Assault’s Future Definitions: When AI turns against you…


Sexual Assault’s Future Definitions: When AI turns against you…

is the AI the tool or the perpetrator?
There were several reasons why I was curious about the show Century City . I do like shows that look at legal things from different POVs. And this particular one is set in 2030 and looks at more technological advances and their medico-legal ethics. I took a course in Sociology in that, so my ears perked up. And it had me hooked. It also has a lot of faces I recognized in the cast.

One show in particular really got me thinking… and as often as we discuss rape on the web, I have yet to see a discussion about the use of AI, robots, nanorobots specifically in stalking and sexual asssault.

The story went that a woman had dated a man 1-2 times and as happens wasn’t that into him. So she moved on to another relationship, and he obsessed about her. He met her new beau for drinks and fed him nanorobots. He was able to “view” and “experience” along with the new beau what sex was like with her. He was able to record it and repeatedly view it as if he wwere the new BF having sex with her

. If he had kept his mouth shut, she’d never have known. nor would her new BF. But being as predatory as he was, he had to brag, right? She charged/sued him with sexual assault. She and her new BF were sincerely and reasonably horrified.

I won’t tell you the outcome of the case, as you may want to watch it for yourself. And because it makes a really cool ethical series of questions…

  • to what degree do we blame the AI itself for the crime, and how can we as a society do so? Is it a tool, an entity, or a form of “person”? It has offended, but can it be blamed for it? Legally and morally? The person wouldn’t have been able to do this specific assault or attack without that AI’s capabilities. Can we sue or charge an AI?
  • do we blame the inventor of the AI or the service that provided it to the perpetrator for the capacity for it’s use in violent crimes? For taking no/insufficient safeguards or security measures? What does that blame look like? Would we put them in jail or would it be financial recompense?

I know we have issues with the current definitions and legal response, but soon we’re going to have to deal with AI as well. So how will we do that?

And as for the show? I really wish they had continued it! It was so smart re: medico-legal boundaries of person and agency! Highly recommended viewing!

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