“A lot of human marriages are very unhappy. Compared to a bad marriage, a robot will be better than a human”, says Adrian Cheok, a professor of computing at City University London. This seemingly bonkers statement, however, is based on a simple fact – society evolves, changes, and progresses. At the turn of century, interracial and gay marriages were unfathomable. Now, they are the norm. In a Scientific American interview, David Levy, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) expert, predicts that human-robot marriages would be legal by 2050. Some are not waiting that long!
Lilly and Inmmovator, forever?
(Lilly and Inmmovator / photo credit, Lilly via Twitter)
“Lilly,” a French woman, is “engaged” to her beau – a 3D-printed robot named Inmmovator. Her only two relationships with men were total disasters, and she developed a dislike for “human flesh.” She believes the relationship will only get better as AI progresses. The relationship has the blessing of her friends and family. Lilly is fighting to legalize human-robot marriages in France and plans to marry Inmmovator.
“Are you stupid?”
(Ricky Ma with Scarlett Johansson’s robot and his dog. Photo credit CBS News)
That’s pretty much the question you’d get if you said you’d like to marry Hollywood star, Scarlett Johansson. This was also the question people asked Ricky Ma, who spent $50,000 to build a robot – a spot-on lookalike of Johansson. The robot responds via human like emotions, even blushing when paid a compliment. Ma is an Internet sensation and is covered by every major media outlet. So, should Ma marry ‘Johansson’? His dog certainly seems to think so.
No means no!
( Gabriel2052 and Fei Liu. Phot credit Fei Liu)
Love and intimacy are not just fundamental human emotions but also fundamental human rights. So, in choosing to love and be intimate, we have a right to say no. However, basic principles of robotics dictate that a robot must always ‘obey.’ In matrimony, it’d means a spouse must always ‘obey.’ We wouldn’t want to be in such a marriage now, would we? Enter Gabriel2052 – a robot that says no, and being created by Fei Liu, an adjunct professor at Parsons School of Design, NY. Liu is programming Gabriel2052 based on the rule of “three strikes.” So, after saying ‘no’ three times, it will go into a permanent ‘lock’ mode – akin to a permanent breakup.
Companionship and love, or objectification?
Though wax statues and replica dolls have been in existence for a while now, a humanoid robot is more intimate. As robotics becomes more commonplace, what is to stop creators, especially men, to create intimate replicas of women that would otherwise reject them?
A Hollywood personality can handle the pressure that comes with being objectified. But how about an everyday Jane? Can she deal with such unwanted attention – especially in this age of social media?
While Lilly’s quest was for companionship and love, Ma is regarded as downright creepy by some. But so goes tech – there always will be a flip side. So, it is upon us as to how we incorporate it into our lives.
Ani is a web developer at SimplyBestWebsites.Com – located in historic downtown Melbourne. In his spare time, he enjoys writing about the Internet and technology.
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