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The Young Explorers' Zone will be closed all day on Tuesday 26 February and will close at the earlier time of 3.30pm on Wednesday 27 February. Sorry for any disappointment caused.

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Rise of the sex robots under the microscope

Life Science Centre in Newcastle upon Tyne is delving under the covers of the world of sex robots with an evening panel discussion featuring experts in the field.


On Thursday 14 June 2018, head to the science centre after-hours for Love Virtually – rise of the sex robots. The panelists will be covering all of the bases, including whether there are actually benefits in having a relationship with a robot rather than a human, or if we run the risk of objectifying women and men – and possibly even exploiting machines that have artificial intelligence (AI).


Linda Conlon, Chief Executive of Life, says: “Robots create both fear and fascination – and, in this instance, possibly some blushing, too. That’s what makes them a great topic for lively debate.


“A talk on sex robots could be seen as just a bit of fun or a bit silly, but it raises ethical questions, such as do robots have rights? The reality is that some people are already using robots for sex and it could potentially be much more commonplace in the future, so we shouldn’t be afraid to discuss what this means for society.”


The Love Virtually panelists are Dr Sergi Santos, developer of the artificially intelligent sex robot 'Samantha'; Professor Kathleen Richardson, Professor of Ethics and Culture of Robots and AI at De Montfort University and founder of Campaign Against Sex Robots; and Dr Trudy Barber from the University of Portsmouth, who is a sexual futurologist and an expert in cyber sexualities. The panel will be chaired by TV presenter Chris Jackson.


Dr Barber says: “When real sex robots appear, it will be in a future where AI is second nature and embedded in all our lives, and sex with technology will be another facet of our daily engagement with others and technology.


“As we have become so attached to our mobile phones, so we will become attached to further future generations of technology that are yet to be invented. I think that sex robots will enhance real-life relationships for some, and will be the only relationship they have for others.”


Love Virtually – rise of the sex robots is a standalone event that has been created to complement the Robots – then and now exhibition, which is at Life Science Centre until 2 December 2018.


While this event is restricted to visitors aged 16 years and older, Robots – then and now is a family-friendly exhibition and does not include any references to sex robots.


Love Virtually – rise of the sex robots takes place at Life Science Centre on Thursday 14 June at 6.30pm. Tickets cost £3 to attend the evening discussion only, or between £8.60-£13.50 to also include a visit to the Robots – then and now exhibition*.


For more information and to book tickets, visit

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