Love and Marriage | Will Robots Replace Humans

By: S. Michael Windsor

Imagine the year 2040, our energy source is outer space and nearly everyone is happily married. However, a normal person cannot tell one thing by looking at many of these beautiful spouses. They cannot see that many of them are robots. True to form and a perfect match for the person beside them. Is this the future of happy relationships? Many scientists claim that it is. At first it may seem a bit strange to the average person, but there are, in fact, individuals who see this as something they would be seriously interested in if and when it appears within the next five years or so. Some of the new developers are Japanese scientists who are naming the new robot android Repliee Q1 Expo. She breathes like a human, flutters her eyelids like a human and even moves like a real human! The robot has over 42 actuators. But as I have come to understand, it is merely the tip of the iceberg as of present time.
Who in the world would marry such a robot? Who knows. But there is evidence out there that there are indeed plans to develop more humanlike robots for the purpose of assisting humans with their every, and I mean every, emotional and physical need. I sit here now writing about this after doing much research on the subject today and realize that it may be quite accepted as a normal undertaking in the future where man will have the option to be with and marry whomever he or she pleases.

This does bring up the question of ethics which is indeed a raging topic involving these sorts of things. But would it really be a bad thing for individuals who cannot actually find a partner who either loves them back, can put up with their personality or mental stability, or just cannot appreciate the way their appearance naturally is?
Developers today are putting the pieces to the puzzle together for just this reason. They want to create a robot that 'bonds' with humans and provides all that our individual urges require. Now, this being said, I would say that is a marvelous idea for many of those who have problems socially or are displeased with what their current relationships provide them both physically and emotionally. Could a robot be an acceptable way to 'fill in the gaps' in relationships in the future? What if these 'devices' did actually come into play and replaced items such as the ever popular vibrator, dolls, prostitutes and such? What would this do to the future of our human existence? It is indeed truth that the technology is here to create such a robotic rendezvous. In 2006, Henrik Christensen, who is the founder of the European Robotics Research Network, predicted that people will be having sex with robots within five years. As there are already lifelike items a person can buy, now all they have to do is add some electronics and a little software, make some major adjustments and presto-whammo...you've got 'love' in the air.
In contrast to that last statement, there are many skeptics on the subject, including many roboticists such as those a the Georgia Institute of Technology who do not think human-robot marriages will take place any time soon. So what is to come of these alternative 'adjustments' to our existence? Only time will tell, with a little 'fine tuning' and good hardware. After reading several articles on this subject, I have become quite intrigued by what these 'walking iPhones' will inevitably provide us fellow homosapians in the future. Here is a link to one article based on these robots: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4714135.stm Will they really be all that great? Will they sell like the wondrous Roomba? How much will they cost a fella to get their top notch 'silichrome' maiden? So it seems they have figured out the 'nuts and bolts' of our human needs, but we will just have to wait and see if all it will take is five years or even ten to nail everything in order to provided such an easily produced alternative way of living.

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