Tickets for the 6th International Convention on Love and Sex with Robots (LSR), the academic-led conference on intimacy with robots, have gone on sale.

Due to the global pandemic, the 2021 conference will be the second LRS conference to take place fully online, following the 2020 edition switching from in-person to online. The 2021 event takes place on August 18-20 on Zoom, with tickets priced from $29 dollars.

Organizers said that topics set to be covered include robot emotions, intelligent electronic sex hardware, robotics and electronic sex startups.

“Within the fields of human-computer interaction and human-robot interaction, the past few years have witnessed a strong upsurge of interest in the more personal aspects of human relationships with artificial partners,” they said.

The LSR convention was founded by David Levy, author of the 2007 book Love and Sex with Robots.

Speakers at the 2021 conference will include Dr Justin Garcia, whose roles include executive director of Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute. He is set to release a book entitled The Intimate Animal and has worked with companies such lubricant makers K-Y.

Dr Markie Twist, coordinator of the graduate certificate in sex therapy program at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, will also speak. Dr Twist co-authored the 2019 book The Internet Family: Technology in Couple and Family Relationships.

Also speaking will be Dr Lara Karaian, associate professor at Carleton University’s Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice, and Davecat: a long-time artificial companion advocate.

Dr Karaian is working on a research project entitled Sex/Crime in the Era of Immersive, Interactive, and Intelligent Technologies: A Study of Sextech, Affect and Law. For the project she is investigating how sextech affects legal and cultural constructs of sex crimes.

Davecat describes himself as a ‘robosexual’ and ‘iDollator’. He has been advocating the use of robots for intimate companionship since he acquired one from the Abyss Creations company in 2000.

In March, Levy told SEXTECHGUIDE that after 2021, when the pandemic is expected to subside, the LSR conference will probably become a “hybrid” event featuring both in-person and online elements.

“All you really need is video, PowerPoints and the lecturer talking, and that’s relatively straightforward to convert,” he said. “But for some other events, when you’re dealing with things like robots and physical entities, you would want to be able to see and feel and touch. Physical elements are still going to be important.”

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