Witty and optimistic ...The opening chapters are effective introductions to these concepts for anyone unfamiliar with them. However, anybody already interested in sex technology, robots and science-fiction is certainly going to be familiar with much of this material already ... Devlin proves to be a rational voice amid a sea of speculation and concern ... Devlin’s pro-sex feminist stance is refreshingly well-informed and empathetic. She understands sex and fantasy in a way that many writers approaching these subjects fumble with ... While the first half of ‘Turned On’ is a witty journey through well-worn territory, the second half of the book is a creative, optimistic, open-minded exploration of sex robots.
Devlin is an academic. The way she tells it, she has found herself largely by chance in this research topic — and was then surprised by the media interest. She shouldn’t be. Sex robots throw up some wonderful dilemmas, from the salacious, to the existential, to the philosophical, to all three at once ... This book at times romps through philosophy, technology and social history. One of Devlin’s achievements is to humanise the sex robot makers and the users — we are invited not to laugh at them, but to understand them. However, the breadth of its ambition can leave Turned On feeling a bit shapeless. There are points where it is not always clear where Devlin is leading the reader. Ultimately, though, her conclusion is that society has nothing to fear from the sex robot, and the 'future of intimacy is not bleak.'
There have been however relatively few books that attempt to explore the issues of human-robotic sex in an organized, scientific fashion. Turned On by Kate Devlin attempts to fill that void and does so admirably ... The text is rigorously scientific, at least to the extent that this topic has to date been researched ... This book will not be for everyone. Whether a reader is repulsed or titillated by the concept of mechanical sex, it is present in 2019 and will only become more prevalent and sophisticated. Those willing to look at the human sexual condition and how it may be affected by the emergence of mechanical sex partners will find a fascinatingly deep dive into this subject in Turned On.
Curiously fascinating ... [Devlin] presents her material with intelligence, a clever wit, and a charming sense of humor. Her thoughts on traditional attitudes toward sex, emotional attachment, and misappropriation add clarity and perspective to a narrative that reads as more than a simple discourse on bridging robotic automation and artificial intelligence with adult novelty. Her visit to a sex doll factory provides a future-forward glance at the race to capitalize on this fascinating (and lucrative) niche market ... An immensely absorbing and provocative book.