Leading artificial intelligence (AI) and robot expert David Levy believes that the entities we currently consider as cold and mechanical could one day become the objects of human affection and human desire.
Speaking recently at a conference in ‘Goldsmith University’ in London, Levy, author of the bestselling book ‘Love and Sex with Robots’ said that “relationships with robots at a human level may appear to be a long way off, but the future has a way of laughing at you”.
Continuing with this line of thinking, the bestselling author predicted that not only we will soon be making love to machines—with all the accompanying romantic feelings, but that human-robot marriages would also be legal by year 2050.
Levy, after describing how technological advances will see robots achieve near human-like personalities, noted that his conclusion was supported by the fact that as companies continue to create life-like bodies which blur the lines of realism, robots will have a number of advantages over human partners, including being “enormously attractive” and feature very advanced AI in which a machine can learn and adapt to you in an intellectual as well as sexual level.
“We’re being forced to contemplate what human-robot relationships will be like a generation or two from now,” the academic said, noting that as “love and sex with robots becomes more commonplace, we should come face to face with the very real possibility of marriage with robots. When robots are sufficiently human-like, sufficiently appealing socially, to the point where they can act as our companions, why not extend that companionship to marriage if neither party is against the idea?”
Some experts at the conference though were skeptical of Levy’s predictions. However, Adrian Cheok, a professor at City University London and director of the Mixed Reality Lab in Singapore, supported Levy’s idea, saying the prediction is not so farfetched.
“That might seem outrageous because it’s only 35 years away. But 35 years ago people thought homosexual marriage was outrageous, said Cheok, who also spoke at the conference. “Until the 1970s, some states didn’t allow white and black people to marry each other. Society does progress and change very rapidly.”
It also should be noted, that as weird as the notion of romance between humans and mechanical creations may sound or appear, the fact is such ideas date back to ancient times. As Livescience points out, a good example of that is “the Greek myth of the sculptor Pygmalion falling in love with the ivory statue he made named Galatea, to which the goddess Venus eventually granted life.
This notion persists in modern times. Not only has science fiction explored this idea, but 40 years ago, scientists noticed that students at times became unusually attracted to ELIZA, a computer program designed to ask questions and mimic a psychotherapist.”
Today, much of the tech needed to achieve working sex robots is already advancing at a fast pace. In fact, a Californian-based firm called RealDolls, claims that it would release an AI-enhanced sex doll this year.
The launch, if it happens, will be vindication for Levy, who has long predicted – since 2007 in fact – the era of intelligent human-looking robots.