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IEET > Rights > ReproRights > Life > Access > Enablement > Innovation > Health > Vision > Nanotechnology > Bioculture > Futurism > Contributors > Dick Pelletier

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Love-‘bots: future robots could become ideal lovers, experts say


Dick Pelletier
By Dick Pelletier
Ethical Technology

Posted: Dec 2, 2013

Although some people might find the idea of love with a machine repulsive, experts predict that as the technology advances and robots become more human-like, we will view our silicon cousins in a friendlier light. As the future unfolds, robots will fill more roles as family caregivers, household servants, and voice-enabled avatars that manage our driverless cars, automated homes, and entertainment systems.

    New Zealand researchers see a bright future for robot caregivers in this 2-min. YouTube Video. Although people have purchased inflatable sex toys for years (see video), as crude as today's 'bots may seem, experts predict that as we trek into the future, robotics development will advance exponentially, and we will eventually accept and enjoy the 'human' qualities programmed into our silicon wonders.

    Today's machines can vacuum homes, stand in as pets, explore planets, and assist in surgeries. Future 'bots will allow handicapped patients to control prosthetic limbs; and latest drone technologies include swarms of mosquito-sized flying 'bots that could search collapsed buildings for trapped victims; or wield crippling stings to terrorists or criminals holding victims hostage. However, some fear security concerns.

    Technologies to build robots that perceive their surroundings, move by themselves, and perform tasks without human oversight should reach fruition by mid-2030s, experts say. By mid-2040s, these marvels could ​exhibit a human-like mind, with fleshy skin; and possess traits vital for a loving partner.

    Jason Nemeth, in his essay, "Should Robots Feel" believes love-companion robots will be practical in the future, and may one day satisfy all our intimate desires. Nemeth is not sure whether human/robot love will experience higher success rates than love between two humans, but he says tomorrow's robots will unlock the possibilities, and humans eager to experiment will take it from there.

    Carnegie Mellon's Hans Moravec believes that by late 2020s, we will create robots in humanoid form. These 'bots would 'drink wine' for fuel, breathe air like us, and appear amazingly human-like.

    Design tricks like these, along with soft 'nanoskin' will make tomorrow's 'bots seem uncannily human, encouraging us to perceive them as friends. Author Ray Kurzweil says tomorrow's 'droids could quickly learn to flesh out our positive feelings, providing an addictive allure almost impossible for us to resist.

    David Levy, author of Love and Sex with Robots, predicts that as robots become more sophisticated, growing numbers of adventurous humans will enter into intimate relationships with these intelligent 'bots.

    A robot partner would be the perfect mate, never showing boredom or being inattentive, Levy says. You will always be the focus and centerpiece of their existence and you never need worry about their being unfaithful or going astray, because loyalty and being faithful will be embedded into their programming.

    According to a Fox News article, researchers recently released a study, Robots, Men and Sex Tourism; predicting lifelike sex robots in brothels by mid-century. View 4-min. video.

    What about the seamy side of, say, robo escorts. Would this be legal where human prostitution is not?

    Today, millions are without regular sex lives or relationships. A world where everyone has someone to love and to be loved might even achieve global peace; a dream humanity has always hoped to realize.

    Another area to consider is robot rights. Tomorrows 'bots may prompt lawmakers to make it illegal to turn off' a robot without their permission. In addition, should robots and humans marry? If future robots can evoke true love, robot-human marriages might one day become socially acceptable and legal.

    As wild as human-machine relationships may seem today, there are reasons to think that love and sex with robots will happen. Robots are already better in math, logic, chess, and games like Jeopardy. With an intelligent mind and beautiful sexy human-like body, tomorrow's 'bots could easily capture our hearts.

    This futuristic journey winds around unknown turns; but whether you love it or hate it; strong public interest suggests human-machine romances could become reality by mid-century. Comments welcome.


Dick Pelletier was a weekly columnist who wrote about future science and technologies for numerous publications. He passed away on July 22, 2014.
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COMMENTS


We used to imagine robots as self-contained, but most computers are
now designed to be dependent on servers run by large companies such as
Apple, Google or Microsoft.  To adopt such a robot as a sex partner or
as a lover means revealing everything you say and do to the company.

Moreover, unless all the software in the robot is free/libre, it will
be under the control of some company and it will probably be designed
to mistreat the users.

See http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-software-even-more-important.html
and http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/surveillance-vs-democracy.html





With all the serious threats, rms, you are concerned about the above? You lack priorities. And how do you know the following will be the rule?:

“means revealing everything you say and do to the company… Moreover, unless all the software in the robot is free/libre, it will be under the control of some company and it will probably be designed to mistreat the users.”





If we don’t want the NSA to know everything we say and do,
we must insist on having control over _all_ our digital systems.
(Love and sex robots are simply examples.)

This issue is important because democracy depends on it.
http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/surveillance-vs-democracy.html explains
why.

How do I know that nonfree software is likely to spy on users and
mistreat them?  Because that’s already so.  See
http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/proprietary.html for lots of real
examples.





Then flood the world with porn/obscenity, so the supersnoopers will be inundated with it. Let’s stop being progressive wusses- the best defense is the offense.
Class action suits against govt. spying wont succeed, there are no ways to compel compliance.





The idea that it is possible to regain privacy by overloading the
snoopers is based on the supposition that they can only spot the
interesting bits by having a human watch and listen.  That’s surely
not true any more.  Meanwhile, we know that the NSA looks for
blackmail information about specific people.

We need to reject systems that snoop on us.





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