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Will People Be Marrying Robots by 2050?

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Will People Be Marrying Robots by 2050?
Robot spouses have all the makings of a great science fiction story. In December 2016, best-selling author and robot expert Dr David Levy told those attending the Love and Sex with Robots Conference held at Goldsmith’s University in London it would happen.

In fact, Dr Levy stated that by 2050, human beings would be marrying robots. He also said that these robots would be “more attractive than humans”. (1)

Dr Levy believes the robot evolution could possibly happen even sooner. When it does arrive, he believes it will be swift as the world embraces robot lovers. The Sun quoted him saying, “Sex and love with robots at a human level may appear to be a long way off, but the future has a way of laughing at you.”

In April 2016, he Mirror reported, “new research has found that one in four young people in the UK would happily date a robot.” That is a significant number, but what does it indicate? A frustrated dating pool or a generation comfortable with technology? (2)




Why People Might Marry Robots

What would that future look like? Would people customize their robots to resemble an ex-lover or ex-spouse? What about the inevitable star-struck customer desiring a robot that looks like the celebrity? The Sun speculates that some celebrities might decide to license their likenesses to a sex robot company. Imagine bumping into several Brad Pitts at your local grocery store.

Dr Levy pointed out that some spouses might be tempted to replace their current spouse with a sex robot. Instead of a man falling for a younger woman, he might simple purchase a robot. Dr Levy speculates that a common future problem might be people worried they’d be replaced by a younger more beautiful or more handsome robot.

He explains there are many reasons people of the future might turn to a robot for sexual gratification instead of a human. For example, a partner too inhibited to participate in sexual fantasies might be replaced with a willing robot. An opposite scenario might be an inhibited person opting for a robot because the person is too embarrassed to request such sexual favors from their lover or spouse.

In some instances, a deciding factor for a robot lover might be that a robot wouldn’t be capable of passing judgement on their requests, whereas a human lover or spouse might find their taste to be questionable or repulsive. A robot would be 100% compliant to whoever is in charge.

Programmed to Be An Ideal Mate

In addition, an AI (Artificial Intelligence) robot (3) could possibly be programmed with a specific personality or the owner might be able to change the personality whenever desired. The programming capabilities might make it possible to customize every aspect, especially physical ones of the robot lover. If a company could produce such customized robots, then anyone could create their dream lover and/or companion.

Another possible attraction for a robot lover might be the owner could power down the robot whenever he/she didn’t desire the robot to be live.

Cost of living would also be significantly less than two people living in the same household. Other than the initial robot cost and maintenance, the typical cost of feeding, clothing, healthcare, etc for two people living together would be eliminated. The ultimate bonus for a future robot owner would be not being alone.

While cost-saving aspects might be attractive to some, the ultimate attraction factor for a highly advance AI robot would most likely be companionship.

Robots a Remedy for Loneliness?

For many people lonely for companionship, a robot might be more than just a sex toy; it could be a remedy for a lonely heart. Someone unlucky in love and relationships, might turn to AI for the creation of a perfect companion and/or lover. The typical learning curve for a couple in a relationship would be non-existent.

A robot companion/lover/spouse might be very attractive to those wishing to avoid a break up due to incompatibility or other issues. They would simply program their robot partner to know how to meet and respond to their sexual and other desires and expectations.

For some people unable to find a mate or simply don’t have time for dating or don’t have good relationship skills, a robot could possibly be their ideal solution.

In June 2016, Fortune reported that loneliness and the absence of social connections triggers the same dramatic primal reactions that thirst, physical pain and even hunger do (4).

AI robots could possibly increase lifespans among the elderly. A 2012 study titled, “Loneliness in Older Persons, A Predictor of Functional Decline and Death” revealed loneliness plays a more significant role in lifespans than previously believed. The study concluded, “Among participants who were older than 60 years, loneliness was a predictor of functional decline and death.” (5)

Sexy, Compatible and Useful

The expectation of marrying a robot might be that a robot would fulfill more than just a sex toy function, but also serve as a human replacement for a life partner. What about those expectations of a sexy handsome or beautiful mate? In real life, such fantasies might possibly prove unrealistic, but these future robots would make such fantasies very possible.

In fact, The Sun reports that seductive, beautiful/handsome cyborgs are currently being developed. Some manufacturers are striving to cater to the “kinky couple market” defined as couples wanting an erotic threesome, but are unwilling to risk their relationship to jealousy.

Are AI robots purely fantasy? Dr Levy doesn’t believe they are. In fact, take a brief look at the hit TV series, “Humans”, broadcasted on the British Channel 4 and AMC in the US. Based on the Swedish Sci-Fi series, “Real Humans”, the British series explores what could happen to a society with AI robots used for sex, nannies, housekeepers, workers, etc and how humans would become emotionally attached to them.

The series also delves into the “what if” of AI becoming self-aware and a true sentient being. What happens to ownership when such entities evolve into a new lifeform? What rights would future AI robots have? (5)

Robots for Humans in Near Future

Many people might find Dr Levy’s news welcoming and offering a hopeful end to a lonely existence. Other experts like Dr Levy believe it’s only a matter of time before the entire spectrum of human needs are met by robots, including sex, companionship and even marriage.

References & Image Credits:

(1) https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2437596/first-marriage-to-a-robot-will-happen-before-2050-by-which-time-sexbots-will-be-more-attractive-than-humans/
(2) http://www.mirror.co.uk/tech/romance-digital-age-one-four-7832164
(3) http://www.topsecretwriters.com/2013/10/scientists-build-bionic-man-using-artificial-organs-and-body-parts/
(4) http://fortune.com/2016/06/22/loneliness-is-a-modern-day-epidemic/
(5) http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/1188033#30674310
(6) http://www.amc.com/shows/humans
(7) photo credit: Tempesto _MAP0630.jpg via photopin (license)

Originally published on TopSecretWriters.com

  • Terry Grey

    I just watched the series “Humans,” so these questions are fresh in my mind.

    That some people will want to marry sentiant robots is easy to believe (after all, robots are cute!). That robots will meet any reasonable standards of consent is inconceivable during the lifespan of any person currently alive. Simply, none of us have to think about it, except as entertainment or as a mental exercise.

    Consent is crucial. Some people have shown sexual desire — and they would say “love” — for extant persons and objects such as children, animals, mannequins, etc., but as none of these can consent under the law, marriage is barred (and in two out of three examples listed above, consent is legally off the table). At this time, robots don’t exist that can consent in the same way as an adult human. These marriagable robots won’t exist for a very, very, very long time, if ever.

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