Humans could marry robots by 2050, claims researcher David Levy

Humans could marry robots by 2050, claims researcher David Levy

In the present age, robots are becoming more human-like in appearance and behavior. While initially robots were used impersonally in factories and industries to carry out mechanical production activities, they are now being infused with even more life-like characteristics helping them interact with humans. We now have robot toys and pets like Tickle Me Elmos orSony's Aibo robot dog.

In the light of this digital growth, artificial intelligence researcher David Levy at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands has carried out a research as a part of his Ph.D. work on the subject of human-robot relationships. In his study, he covered many of the practices and privileges that surround a marriage, and through this study, he concluded that humans could marry robots within this century. "My forecast is that around 2050, the state of Massachusetts will be the first jurisdiction to legalize marriages with robots”, he said.

He believes that robots will become so human-like that many people will eventually fall in love with themand even marry them.

Levy mentioned in his thesis, ‘Intimate Relationships with Artificial Partners’, that though some may at first consider sex with robots as geeky or weird, but once it gets coverage in some fashionable magazine like Cosmopolitan, many people will be expected to follow suit. He thinks that since there are already realistic sex dolls available in the market, it is just a matter of adding some electronic features to induce vibrations or a couple of audio responses to them.

Refuting arguments given by psychologists, Levy argues that robots can be customized and programmed with certain characteristics of personality and knowledge, thus making them suitable to fall in love.

Despite the arguments, there are many who refute this claim made by Levy. Roboticist Ronald Arkin at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta wonders about the future state of our social fabric if we allow them as a part of our everyday life.

Levy is currently doing research on the ethical treatment of robots and writing a paper on it.