Skip to content

Sex Machines: Robots and Human Intimacy


Sex robots are an endless source of anxiety, titillation, humour and fascination in popular culture – from Westworld to the novels of Philip K Dick to the fembots in Austin Powers. But what does the real future of sex and artificial intelligence look like? And how will we navigate the ethical questions (and erotic possibilities!) of intimacy with androids?

Kate Devlin is a London-based computer scientist and a leading voice in sex robots research. She’s also the author of an insightful, optimistic and witty new book on the subject, Turned On: Science, Sex and Robots. In this conversation, she’ll talk through the philosophical and legal implications of emerging sex technologies – and discuss both the alarming and positive breakthroughs in the field. We need to ‘think outside the bots,’ Devlin has written, and focus more on the future of multi-sensory virtual experiences.

In July at the Wheeler Centre she’ll discuss the good, the bad and the malfunctioning in our future sex lives.

North Melbourne Books will be our bookseller for this event.


Kate Devlin

Kate Devlin is a writer and academic. She is Senior Lecturer in Social and Cultural Artificial Intelligence in the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London. A former archaeologist, with a PhD in computer science, Kate researches into how society interacts with and reacts to te... Read more

Vanessa Toholka

Vanessa Toholka is a management consultant, with over fifteen years experience working in digital content and strategy. She cut her teeth in New Media and Digital Services at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, before moving into professional services where she specialises in knowledge manageme... Read more


The Wheeler Centre

176 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

More details

Stay up to date with our upcoming events and special announcements by subscribing to the Wheeler Centre's mailing list.

View our privacy policy
Acknowledgment of Country

The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we live and work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present.