In 2050, your lover may be a ... robot

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Will you consider having 'relationship' with a robot?

Yes, I'll be there!
36
33%
No, no matter what! I want real flesh n' bones!
24
22%
Not now, but after certain degree of 'human'-ness technology is reached
29
26%
Not now, but when it's certain they can have souls
21
19%
 
Total votes: 110

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DaFool
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In 2050, your lover may be a ... robot

#1 Post by DaFool » Mon Jun 16, 2008 1:33 am

http://www.physorg.com/news132727834.html
Romantic human-robot relationships are no longer the stuff of science fiction -- researchers expect them to become reality within four decades. And they do not mean simply, mechanical sex.
"I am talking about loving relationships about 40 years from now," David Levy, author of the book "Love + sex with robots", told AFP at an international conference held last week at the University of Maastricht in the south-east of the country.

"... when there are robots that have also emotions, personality, consciousness. They can talk to you, they can make you laugh. They can ... say they love you just like a human would say 'I love you', and say it as though they mean it ..."

Robots as sex toys should already be on the market within five years, predicted Levy, "a sort of an upgrade of the sex dolls on sale now".

These would have electronic speech and sensors that make them utter "nice sounds" when a human caresses their "erogenous zones".

But to build robots as real partners would take a bit longer, with conversation skills being the main obstacle for developers.

Scientists were working on artificial personality, emotion and consciousness, said Levy, and some robots already appear lifelike.

"But for loving relationships -- that is something completely different. In loving relationships there are many more things that are important. And the most difficult of all is conversation.

"You want your robot to be able to talk to you about what is interesting to you. You want a partner who has some similar interest to you, who talks to you in a manner that pleases you, who has a similar sense of humour to you."

The field of human-computer conversation is crucial to building robots with whom humans could fall in love, but is lagging behind other areas of development, said the author.

"I am sure it will (happen.) In 40 years ... perhaps sooner. You will find robots, conversation partners, that will talk to you and you will get as much pleasure from it as talking to another human. I am sure of it."

Levy's bombshell thesis, whose publication has had a ripple-effect way beyond the scientific community, gives rise to a number of complicated ethical and relationship questions.

British scholar Dylan Evans pointed out the paradox inherent to any relationship with a robot.

"What is absolutely crucial to the sentiment of love, is the belief that the love is neither unconditional nor eternal.

"Robots cannot choose you, they cannot reject you. That could become very boring, and one can imagine the human becoming cruel against his defenseless partner", said Evans.

A robot could conceivably be programmed with a will of its own and the ability to reject his human partner, he said, "but that would be a very difficult robot to sell".

Some warn against being overhasty.

"Let us not exaggerate the possibilities!" said Dutch researcher Vincent Wiegel of the Technological University of the eastern town of Delft.

"Today, the artificial intelligence we are able to create is that of a child of one year of age."

But Levy is unyielding. He is convinced it will happen, and predicts many societal benefits.

"There are many millions of people in the world who have nobody. They might be shy or they might have some psychological hang-ups or psycho-sexual hang-ups, they might have personality problems, they might be ugly ...

"There will always be many millions of people who cannot make normal satisfactory relationships with humans, and for them the choice is not: 'would I prefer a relationship with a human or would I prefer a relationship with a robot?' -- the choice is no relationship at all or a relationship with a robot."

They might even become human-to-human relationship savers, he predicted.

"Certainly there will be some existing human-human relationships where one partner might say to the other partner: 'if you have sex with a robot I'm leaving you'.

"There will be others who say: 'when you go on your business trip please take your robot because I happen to worry about the red light district'."
My opinion here is:
Not now, but after certain degree of 'human'-ness technology is reached.
Thinking Reductionist to the extreme, everything is just a sequence of chemical signalling in our brains that cause certain emotions. For example, it's been proven that eating chocolate can make you exhibit the same symptoms as falling in love, since they trigger the same chemical reactions.
If all I'm after are the 'results', then it doesn't matter the method... therefore 'loving' a robot is fine by me.

How about the fact that a robot will be more desirable for those who want CONTROL? Actually, that's good, too. In general I respect people's individuality and autonomy but if it's people I love -- like for example, my own children -- I naturally want some control over them so they won't mess up their lives. Spouses control each other all the time -- the difference is if one is subtly influencing the other or is making stubborn 'I am the boss' demands. By this logic, you may think you're 'controlling' your robot lover, but maybe Honda (or other robot company) is subtly studying and influencing you to become a better consumer -- that part is scary, so who REALLY is in control? But then again, we're already controlled like lemmings in the media oversaturated in advertisements.

I say, bring the robots! The only reason to get a real human would be if I would like children... and many people today reject children, except in developing countries where they're "oppressed".

Discuss.

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Re: In 2050, your lover may be a ... robot

#2 Post by PyTom » Mon Jun 16, 2008 1:49 am

Don't Date Robots!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uu0TXl15PgU

But more seriously, I don't consider dating sufficiently intelligent and emotional robots (or aliens, or whatever) to be a big deal. I don't believe such robots to be even close to existing ("celebrating 30 years of being 10 years away from AI"), but should they come about, I don't see a problem with it.

Of course, I wouldn't give one the codes to the planetary defense grid. Bad Baltar, Bad!

At one point, I was considering a game concept in which a scientist builds an intelligent robot android girl for the military, but then takes her on the run when the military wants to use her only for war. (Why a girl? Because convenient - if unintelligent - robot bodies were available from the adult goods market.) One of the paths would involve falling in love with his creation, if that was possible. (The other one would have involved a female scientist who took on a mothering role.)

I decided against it because it was actually getting a bit too close to my job at the time, and because I'm not a fan of stealing from the military.
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Re: In 2050, your lover may be a ... robot

#3 Post by LVUER » Mon Jun 16, 2008 4:01 am

Chobit anyone?

Well, may be if robot already so sophisticated to the point we can't differentiate them from human being, I will marry a robot ^_^ and have her bear my child (hmm... I don't know)??

I mean, as human, surely we want to find lover that exactly as we want. Like physical appearance, traits, personality, etc. And we can't force them to human being right? But if our lover is robot, it's a different story... just like Persocon in Chobit ^_^

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Re: In 2050, your lover may be a ... robot

#4 Post by Samu-kun » Mon Jun 16, 2008 4:44 am

Yup, I've seen this article before. :3 Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be seeing any girlfriend bots in my lifetime. The technology needed for them is far ahead of what we are capable of producing right now. And even if they are made available, they will primarily be the playthings of the very rich. But I think it'll be pretty easy to form relationships with artificial beings. If it was impossible, then dating sims wouldn't exist. And just why wouldn't anyone not want to have a girlfriend who will never say "no" to you? XD

I guess the only problem is the possibility for problems with the user accessibility. Anyone who's ever used a Vista system knows what I'm talking about. XD

"Let's have sex"

"Notice. I require administrative access to perform this action."

"Okay..."

"Please enter your 12 digit password now."

"Crap... What was my password..."

"Contacting Macrosoft for solutions..."

"Eh?"

"I am sorry. Please contact your service provider to reclaim your password."

"Okay..."

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Re: In 2050, your lover may be a ... robot

#5 Post by Jake » Mon Jun 16, 2008 5:48 am

Samu-kun wrote: "Please enter your 12 digit password now."

"Crap... What was my password..."
If you can't remember a 12-character three-class password you don't deserve to get laid!

Seriously, though, I think a relationship in which your partner was perfectly acquiescent all the time would be pretty dull, to be honest. It'd be less like having a girlfriend and more like having a permanently on-call combi-maid-escort-whore who you didn't have to worry about catching anything from.
Server error: user 'Jake' not found

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Re: In 2050, your lover may be a ... robot

#6 Post by papillon » Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:35 am

It depends on the way they're designed.

Sex dolls (at the really really expensive end of the market) are slowly working on getting movement into them. Get them up to the level of being able to obey orders and carry out a variety of sexual acts, and why NOT have robot prostitutes?

It would be a safe (if cleaned properly) way to explore fantasies, rather like holodeck sex. All those bi-curious people who aren't sure if they *really* want to go there could experiment with the idea without the emotional risk to themselves or their prospective partner.

Actual relationships are trickier.
It'd be less like having a girlfriend and more like having a permanently on-call combi-maid-escort-whore who you didn't have to worry about catching anything from.
Some people are into that. See the number of "Couple seeks girlfriend who will live with us, have sex with both of us, and do the housework" personal ads out there...
I mean, as human, surely we want to find lover that exactly as we want. Like physical appearance, traits, personality, etc.
Er... no, not really. That is, I certainly wouldn't dump my lover on the grounds that 'You don't have blue eyes! I like blue eyes better! I'm going to get a robot so that it can more closely resemble my precise desire!'

On the other hand, check out this story on the subject -
http://ausxip.com/fanfic6/satisfaction.html

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Re: In 2050, your lover may be a ... robot

#7 Post by mikey » Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:48 am

My thoughts: let's say the AI is already in an advanced stage and you can 100% duplicate/create humanlike behavior - so then, there is this equation:

The more the AI is humanlike the less sense it makes for the introverted (since they DON'T want the real-life behavior like being moody, leaving you for a smarter guy, flip out when you don't close the milk carton etc,..), since they typically want to get away from the complicated and irrational behavior or (even worse) expectations. So a 100% woman-like AI is something to avoid.

Yet, the more "customized" and tuned to you the AI is, the less sense of an accomplished relationship you have, there is no feeling of having gone through thick and thin, no arguments, and changing yourself for the other one..., so you have the relationship, but don't have this feeling of having built it and deserving its harmony.

So in that case, the AI should be able to be scaleable, to go between these two extremes, then you'll be able to mix your own blend that will fit you. In this case, I don't see a problem and there are good justifications for a robotic AI girlfriend.

------

And now, a lighter note (the topic just begs for it):

Typically it's the introverted scientist who will try to code the woman's AI - but having no experience with women, he has no way of knowing that the female mind does not operate based on logic or randomness, but on a so far unexplained cosmic principle (many men tried to find this, but they failed).

A robotic GF would probably have direct electronic access to her built-in phone and would chat in 010010110 language with other robotic girlfriends, and since by chatting they are producing more topics than clarifying, in the end your GF would constantly be online with other robogirls.

There are positives, too: No more "Do you think I've gained weight?". And also, there would be no AI mothers-in-law, I assume... ^_^

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Re: In 2050, your lover may be a ... robot

#8 Post by Mikan » Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:07 am

I'm already deeply attached to my computer, so the question is rhetorical for me.

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Re: In 2050, your lover may be a ... robot

#9 Post by Scout » Mon Jun 16, 2008 12:48 pm

papillon wrote:Some people are into that. See the number of "Couple seeks girlfriend who will live with us, have sex with both of us, and do the housework" personal ads out there...
For what it's worth, I think it's really funny how that sounds weird and sorta creepy for a single person, but the moment you say it's a couple that's into that, it's entirely reasonable and perfectly acceptable.


But I think this part is far more important:
"What is absolutely crucial to the sentiment of love, is the belief that the love is neither unconditional nor eternal.
And I'm also amused by that idea. Because isn't that the ultimate romantic notion-- that love is both unconditional and eternal? That's what makes it true love, isn't it? When you get married, unconditional and eternal love is exactly what you promise your partner. No human's perfect, and it rarely works out exactly that way in the real world... but still, that's pretty much critical to our notion of love, isn't it?

So how come the idea of a partner who really is completely unconditionally and eternally devoted because she's wired that way is just extraordinarily creepy?

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Re: In 2050, your lover may be a ... robot

#10 Post by sake-bento » Mon Jun 16, 2008 12:49 pm

I've had a crush on Wizard from Angelic Layer ever since I read the manga years ago. XD

But I'm only about cute romance and crushes. I'm really not interested in relationships that go uh..."deeper."

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Re: In 2050, your lover may be a ... robot

#11 Post by PyTom » Mon Jun 16, 2008 12:51 pm

Scout wrote:So how come the idea of a partner who really is completely unconditionally and eternally devoted because she's wired that way is just extraordinarily creepy?
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Re: In 2050, your lover may be a ... robot

#12 Post by mikey » Mon Jun 16, 2008 12:52 pm

Scout wrote:And I'm also amused by that idea. Because isn't that the ultimate romantic notion-- that love is both unconditional and eternal? That's what makes it true love, isn't it? When you get married, unconditional and eternal love is exactly what you promise your partner. No human's perfect, and it rarely works out exactly that way in the real world... but still, that's pretty much critical to our notion of love, isn't it?
In my opinion, it's because if love was unconditional and eternal (absolute)... it would be a fact, like gravity. It would not be emotional.

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Re: In 2050, your lover may be a ... robot

#13 Post by chronoluminaire » Mon Jun 16, 2008 1:03 pm

I think I have to weigh in on Scout's side here. I (dare to) believe that my love for my wife will be unconditional and eternal (with continual effort from both of us to maintain that state, and with a healthy dollop of God's help). That doesn't mean it's unemotional; quite the reverse. I find the idea of a completely unconditional love very moving, and likewise a completely eternal love; combining the two makes it incredibly emotional.
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Re: In 2050, your lover may be a ... robot

#14 Post by papillon » Mon Jun 16, 2008 1:03 pm

Scout wrote:
papillon wrote:Some people are into that. See the number of "Couple seeks girlfriend who will live with us, have sex with both of us, and do the housework" personal ads out there...
For what it's worth, I think it's really funny how that sounds weird and sorta creepy for a single person, but the moment you say it's a couple that's into that, it's entirely reasonable and perfectly acceptable.
Well, acceptable to who? There are plenty of personal ads of the single man-seeks-woman-in-the-kitchen type, too. :) But I guess there is a difference in that the crazy couples seem more likely to think that because they're offering an Unconventional Lifestyle it will be far more exciting and interesting and less obnoxious to their prospective girlfriend than the traditional "I am man, you are servant" would be?

Both sorts of ads get mocked though. :) I have no idea how many of them get responses...

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Re: In 2050, your lover may be a ... robot

#15 Post by papillon » Mon Jun 16, 2008 1:08 pm

chronoluminaire wrote:I think I have to weigh in on Scout's side here. I (dare to) believe that my love for my wife will be unconditional and eternal (with continual effort from both of us to maintain that state, and with a healthy dollop of God's help). That doesn't mean it's unemotional; quite the reverse. I find the idea of a completely unconditional love very moving, and likewise a completely eternal love; combining the two makes it incredibly emotional.
My husband doesn't want me to say that I love him unconditionally because he thinks that makes it meaningless... that my love no longer reflects his value to me if I'd love him *whatever* he does, rather than because he is a person deserving of that love. Or something like that. Me, I'd just rather not think about it too much because I don't want to have to try and invent circumstances in which that love would be broken.

On the other hand most people expect parent/child love to be unconditional, don't they?

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