T he world is ending. The sports fields are empty, the science labs closed. No babies have been born for years.
A staggering amount of humans believe that civilisation is heading to a point where there is virtually no difference between love between two humans and love between a human and a robot. The possibility of robots, specifically sex dolls, infiltrating human emotions is certainly on the horizon, with expert Dr David Levy stating that humans will be marrying robots by While the idea sounds like it comes straight from sic-fi fantasy, it is certainly a real prospect with over a third of people believing that they can imagine a point where humans fall in love with machine.
Could a robot designed as a sexual companion ever feel something like love for me? And could I, as a human with emotional intelligence, ever feel love for it? These questions challenge our definition of love, but they also challenge our understanding of both human emotion and artificial intelligence.
Last year, David Levy published a book, Love and Sex with Robotswhich marked a culmination of years of research about the interactions between humans and computers. His basic idea is that, for humans who cannot establish emotional or sexual connections with other people, they might form them with robots. The topic is ripe for ridicule: On The Colbert Report in January, host Stephen Colbert asked Levy, "Are these people who can't establish relationships with other human beings, are they by any chance people who write about love and sex with robots?
A world of lonely singles finding comfort in the arms of a robot lover may be closer than expected in human hearts and minds. Only a few people have vowed romantic love for a life-size "RealDoll" sex doll or the virtual schoolgirls of the Japanese dating simulation game "Love Plus," but scientists say that even the simplest toy robots or video games have shown how machines can manipulate human emotions. Tomorrow's sex robots or virtual companions still won't inspire most people to abandon their boyfriends and girlfriends — at least not until such artificial beings can look and behave human without creeping anyone out.
Published Monday, January 23, The future of human-robotic relationships was considered at the Second International Congress on Love and Sex with Robots held in London last December. What might this look like and how far advanced are the related technologies?
A few months ago I wrote a magazine article about scientists who are building robots capable of a rudimentary form of sociability. As part of my research, I spent a few days at the humanoid robotics laboratory at M. And I admit: I developed a little crush on one of the robots.
Can robots and humans make babies together? This is a serious question inspired by some of the advances already achieved in the 21st century by researchers in cell biology and in a discipline variously known as biorobotics, synthetic biology, or bionanotechnology. The reason was that only an egg from a female, fertilized by a sperm from a male, can result in a live birth.