Feeds

AI egghead: Human-robot humping, marriage by 2050

No different from same-sex, or inter-racial nuptials

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Among university roboticists, the scenario of humans having sex with robots is normally seen as inevitable. Further support for this (the assessment of robotics boffins' worldview, not the likelihood of mechanised jigjig going mainstream) appeared last week, as a PhD thesis on the subject was defended at Maastricht University.

The author of the thesis, David Levy (described by the Dutch academics as "an International Master at chess from London") contends that humans will not just be shagging robots in the near future, but also falling in love with them and marrying them.

"My forecast is that around 2050, the state of Massachusetts will be the first jurisdiction to legalise marriages with robots," said Levy at a press conference.

The chess-loving brainbox reckoned that Massachusetts would be the first region to OK people marrying their droid concubines because it had given the thumbs up to same-sex weddings, and because the Commonwealth is crawling with love-starved tech geeks.

"Massachusetts... has been at the forefront of same-sex marriage," Levy said. "There's also a lot of high-tech research there at places like MIT."

According to Maastricht U, "[Levy's] PhD research has encompassed the fields of psychology, sexology, sociology, robotics, artificial intelligence, and gender studies."

Perhaps quite specialised sociology. Levy reportedly reckoned that any stigma attached to getting ones' ashes hauled by a machine would be swiftly dealt with by adventurous ladies-mag journalists.

"Once you have a story like 'I had sex with a robot, and it was great!' appear someplace like Cosmo magazine, I'd expect many people to jump on the bandwagon," he said.

Jump on something, anyway.

Levy reckoned that sex with robots would be on the cards well in advance of marriage, his views roughly chiming with those of Henrik Christensen, who reckons the first proper robo-rogering will happen in 2011.

Depending on your definition of "robot", the machine nookie upsurge could be said to be underway already. Presumably to Levy's way of thinking, today's "dildonics platforms" aren't proper robots, though it wouldn't seem difficult to hook one up to a chess-playing computer of the type he has spent much of his career coding.

Even so, there doesn't seem to be a lot of difference between an electric vibrator and a humanoid (or whatever form factor, erm, tickles your fancy) "robot" programmed to simulate sex with humans. They're both basically masturbation machines, and suggesting an analogy to same-sex relationships between two human beings seems fairly ridiculous, not to say offensive. Suggesting legal marriage to a wanking machine - with all its implications of citizenship, property rights etc - is outright stupid.

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Microsoft's anti-bug breakthrough: Wire devs to BRAIN SCANNERS
Clippy: It looks your hands are shaking, are you sure you want to commit this code?
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.