Robin Marantz Henig in the New York Times:
A few months ago I wrote a magazine article about scientists who are building robots capable of a rudimentary form of sociability. As part of my research, I spent a few days at the humanoid robotics laboratory at M.I.T. And I admit: I developed a little crush on one of the robots. The object of my affection was Domo, a man-size machine with a buff torso and big blue eyes, a cross between He-Man and the Chrysler Building; when it gripped my hand in its strong rubbery pincers I felt a kind of thrill. So I was primed for the basic premise of David Levy’s provocative new book, “Love and Sex With Robots”: that there will soon come a day when people fall in love with robots and want them for companions, friends, love objects and possibly even partners for sex and marriage.
That day is imminent, Levy writes, especially the sex part. By the middle of this century, he predicts, “love with robots will be as normal as love with other humans, while the number of sexual acts and lovemaking positions commonly practiced between humans will be extended, as robots teach more than is in all of the world’s published sex manuals combined.”
If this seems a bit much, hang on. Levy, an expert on artificial intelligence and the author of “Robots Unlimited,” builds his case gradually. He begins with what scientists know about why humans fall in love with other humans. There are 10 factors, he writes, including mystery, reciprocal liking, and readiness to enter a relationship. Why can’t these factors apply to robots, too?
More here. [Thanks to Ruchira Paul.]