People will be tying the knot with robots by 2050 and having sex with them not long after, a British scientist has predicted.
Netherlands university student David Levy has been awarded a doctorate by Maastricht University for his thesis entitled 'Intimate Relationships with Artificial Partners,' wherein he claims that humans and cyborgs will say 'I Do' to each other in the near future, and even consummate the marriage.
Levy claims that by 2050 robots will become so human-like in appearance, function and personality that many people will fall in love with them, have sex with them and even marry them.
In his doctorate paper, Levy argues that psychologists have identified roughly a dozen basic reasons why people fall in love, and almost all of them could apply to human-robot relationships.
"For instance, one thing that prompts people to fall in love are similarities in personality and knowledge, and all of this is programmable," he said.
"Another reason people are more likely to fall in love is if they know the other person likes them, and that's programmable too," he added.
The artificial intelligence scientist said that Massachusetts would be the first jurisdiction to legalise human-robot marriage.
"Massachusetts is more liberal than most other jurisdictions in the United States and has been at the forefront of same-sex marriage," he said. Levy said that the main benefit of marrying a cyborg could be to make people, who otherwise could not get married, happier.
"People who find it hard to form relationships, because they are extremely shy, or have psychological problems, or are just plain ugly or have unpleasant personalities. Of course, such people who completely give up the idea of forming relationships with other people are going to be few and far between, but they will be out there," he said.
Although roboticist Ronald Arkin at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta does not think human-robot marriages will be legal anywhere by 2050, he believes that "anything's possible." "And just because it's not legal doesn't mean people won't try it, "Humans are very unusual creatures. If you ask me if every human will want to marry a robot, my answer is probably not. But will there be a subset of people? There are people ready right now to marry sex toys," Arkin said.
Levy's conclusions were based on about 450 publications about psychology, sexology, sociology, robotics, materials science, artificial intelligence, gender studies and computer-human interaction.