Robot-human marriage is in our future

Daniel H. Wilson in Slate:

ScreenHunter_21 May. 08 15.45It’s hard to think of a more attention-grabbing title than “Robots, Men, and Sex Tourism”—especially in the academic world.

Written by researchers from New Zealand’s University of Wellington and published recently in the journal Futures, the paper predicts that in the decades to come, humans will patronize robot-staffed brothels, freeing them from the guilt associated with visiting a flesh-and-blood prostitute. Perhaps predictably, it sparked a lively conversation about whether the sex industry could be automated—and not a little squeamishness about the whole idea of robot-human relations.

That at least some of us will be having sexual intercourse with robots in the future should be obvious by now. Somebody out there will make love to just about any consumer good that enters the home (and if that’s not the first rule of product design, it should be).

But will our robot-human relations be relegated to the bedroom, or will love enter the equation, too? Is our society headed in a direction that will support this transition? Looking at current trends, I’d say that the answer is a resounding yes.

More here.