Researcher: Humans will love, marry robots by 2050
'I do, Robot.' Technical advances lead to very close relationships with robots.
Computerworld - An artificial intelligence researcher predicts that robotics will make such dramatic advances in the coming years that humans will be marrying robots by the year 2050.
Robots will become so human-like -- having intelligent conversations, displaying emotions and responding to human emotions -- that they'll be very much like a new race of people, said David Levy, a British artificial intelligence researcher whose book, "Love and Sex with Robots," will be released on Nov. 6.
Gone, he says, will be the jerky movements and artificial-sounding voices generally associated with robots. These will be highly human-like machines that people fall in love with, becoming aides, friends and even spouses.
It may sound like science fiction, but Levy, who turned his book into an academic Ph.D. dissertation at Maastricht University in The Netherlands this fall, said it's something we've been moving toward for decades now.
"Robots started out in factories making cars. There was no personal interaction," said Levy, who also is an International Chess Master who has been developing computer chess games for years. "Then people built mail cart robots, and then robotic dogs. Now robots are being made to care for the elderly. In the last 20 years, we've been moving toward robots that have more relationships with humans, and it will keep growing toward a more emotional relationship, a more loving one and a sexual one."
Yes, Levy was quick to say that humans will have sexual relationships with robots, perhaps within five years -- sooner than most might think.
Building that kind of robot will be much simpler than building a robot that could be a good human companion, though. Levy said the biggest advancement in robotics will come in the form of enabling a robot to carry on an interesting conversation, have self-awareness and emotional capabilities.
"There are already people who are producing fairly crude personalities and fairly crude models of human emotions now," said Levy. "This will be among the harder parts of this process… Human/computer conversation has attracted a lot of research attention since the 1950s, and it hasn't made as much progress as you'd expect in 50 years. But computers are so much more powerful now and memory is so much better… so we'll see software that can have interesting, intelligent conversations. It's really essential that both sides are happy with the conversations they're having."
Levy also estimated that robots will be able to have interesting conversations -- not yet at the level of a college graduate but enjoyable -- within 15 years. In 20 or 30 years, however, he expects them to carry on sophisticated conversations.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- 4 Customers who never have to refresh their PCs again This paper illustrates a common theme: the combination of desktop virtualization and thin client computing helps organizations deliver an up-to-date user experience more...
- Mobile Devices: The New Thin Clients Get essential guidance for understanding the role thin clients plus virtual desktops play in the enterprise today.
- Taking Windows Mobile on Any Device Taking Windows applications mobile has many advantages, but the process of identifying a solution is complex. Learn how to solve this complex problem...
- PaaS - Powering a New Era of Business IT Why PaaS has suddenly become relevant and irresistible to many organizations. Dive into the opportunities and considerations associated with using PaaS from an...
- Redefine Your IT Operations: Remote Office IT Has Never Been Simpler Join us to see why PC Pro named Dell PowerEdge VRTX the "2013 Server of the Year." PowerEdge VRTX may be just what...
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have. All Hardware White Papers | Webcasts