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AI egghead: Human-robot humping, marriage by 2050

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

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At times, Levy appeared to hint that it wasn't just homosexuals who were in the same frame as wankbots.

"One hundred years ago, interracial marriage and same-sex marriages were illegal in the United States. Interracial marriage has been legal now for 50 years, and same-sex marriage is legal in some parts of the States," he said, seeming completely lacking in any grasp of the difference between human beings and masturbation aids.

Just because people are willing to screw machines - or apple pies, or sheep, or holes in trees - doesn't mean that Massachusetts is going to say they can marry them. (Or that any Cosmo scribes are going to admit doing so.)

Genuine artificial sentient beings might be produced on Levy's timeline (though not Christensen's, we submit). They might be of a nature which led to their being granted human rights and status, at which point it might be possible for a marriage to one to have some meaning.

It's difficult to imagine a machine like that having any inbuilt urge even to reproduce itself, though - let alone any desire to have sex with humans. Unless it had been externally programmed to have such urges - which would seem somewhat perverse or even criminal, in the case of a genuine artificial sentience. The postulated AI spouse of the future might be willing to hand out a sympathy shag to please a sweaty human partner now and then, via networked wankbot perhaps, but it would probably be quite difficult to tell the difference from ordinary machine relief.

Apparently, Levy's PhD work was supervised by Professor Maaike Meijer, of the Department of Gender Studies, and Professor Jaap van den Herik, of the Department of Computer Science. He got his doctorate from Maastricht U.

Heigh ho. No point getting worked up about another stupid PhD thesis, especially as it doesn't even mention the cybernetic baggage in Terminator 3. Coverage from LiveScience.com is here. ®

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