At Least One Industry Is Safe From Automation

by Tracy R. Walsh

Philosopher John Daneher argues that the sexbots of the future won’t put prostitutes out of work:

The resiliency hypothesis is the claim that prostitution may be one of the few areas of human labor that is resilient to technological unemployment. By resilient, I don’t mean that sex robots won’t be used; just that they won’t replace human prostitutes. An analogy with sport might be helpful. I can imagine a day when highly realistic human-like robots could battle it out in televised fighting contests (indeed, televised robot fighting contests already take place). I think people could be interested in watching those contests. But I don’t think that robotic fights will replace or overtake the interest in human fighting contests. People will still be more interested in human boxing and MMA and the like because they are more interested in the competition between human abilities. I think something similar could be true of the relationship between robot sex and human prostitution.