The fifth International Love and Sex with Robots Conference is the latest sextech event to move to a virtual format, following the ongoing global health pandemic.
The event, organised by Virtual Brain City Berlin, will run from the 7th-8th December 2020, via Cisco Webex.
Ahead of the conference, organizers have put out a call for papers for presentation, to bolster those already submitted.
Once peer-reviewed, a range of papers will form a special edition of the Journal of Behavioral Robotics. The best of the bunch will be put in contention for the Dr David Levy Special Best Paper Award. Submissions should be made by September 5, 2020.
Special focus this year will be put on sextech start-ups. Other topics will include intelligent sex hardware, teledildonics, clone robots, gender approaches and robo-ethics.
Speakers already lined up to appear include Dr Sven Ripsas of the Berlin School of Economics and Professor Dr Ingo Rollwagen of Applied Sciences. They’ll be joined by organising stalwarts including Dr Adrian David Cheok and the aforementioned Dr David Levy.
Breaking the curse
This is the first conference to be managed independently of former organisers ACE (Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology). If it goes ahead, it’ll be the first (relatively) hassle-free conference in several years.
Last year’s conference was cancelled after Trump/Breitbart collaborator Steve Bannon’s planned keynote led to a massive backlash from potential visitors and sponsors.
The previous conference in 2015 was moved from Malaysia to the UK following threats of arrest from local law enforcement, should it go ahead. It finally went ahead in London, at a location kept secret until the last possible moment, lest any protests derail it further.
The team hopes that by virtualizing this year’s conference, they will not only ‘beat the virus’ but also break the curse of recent years, whilst simultaneously opening it to a far wider audience than ever before.