Would You Marry a Robot?

Most Popular
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Yesterday, I wrote about a new book, Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other, written by MIT professor Sherry Turkle. As part of her preparation for writing the book, Turkle spent 15 years studying "sociable robots" — elegant computers meant to simulate humans and developed to perform duties like providing companionship for the elderly and baby-sitting for the very young. Although Turkle is impressed by these robots, she's also skeptical about them, concerned that if robots become commonplace in our daily lives, we'll lose a lot of what makes us human — our social skills, our empathy, our ability to make emotional connections… She's worried that, along with the Internet and wi-fi and smart phones and all the rest of it, robots will contribute to our increasing alienation and sense of disconnect.

Most Popular

In an article for The Chronicle of Higher Education, Jeffrey R. Young profiles Turkle and discusses her book. In doing so, he notes:

Some robotics enthusiasts argue that these sociable machines will soon mature, and that new models may one day be judged as better than humans for many tasks. After all, robots don't suffer emotional breakdowns, oversleep, or commit crimes. In his 2007 book,
Love and Sex With Robots
, David Levy, … an expert in conversational computer software, argues that by the year 2050, some people will even choose to marry robots. By then, he says, many human couples will bring in robot babysitters when they want to head to a holographic movie (or whatever the entertainment is by then).

MARRYING ROBOTS? What?

I mean, I think I dated one once...

Legally, I don't think it will ever be possible to truly "marry" a robot. (Right?) But do you think you'd ever want to spend the rest of your life with one? If, say, that robot could be programmed to do everything you want him to do sexually? (Come to think of it, I do have a very meaningful relationship with my vibrator.) If he could have interesting conversations after a long day at work, and pick up your dry-cleaning, and do the laundry, and make dinner, and be a wonderful polite date?

(Or would you rather just get a mail-order husband?)

Love & Sex
Share
3 Divorce Attorneys on How Power Couples Handle Cheating
​​In light of Lemonade. ​
Woman in bed, black and white.
Love & Sex
Share
My Weird, Fun, Life-Changing Quest to Have Sex with 100 Different People
For my milestone birthday, I set some *goals.*​
Love & Sex
Share
Adventures of a Sex Phone Operator: The Surprising Highs, the Grossest Lows, and the Lesson I Took Away from It All
​I knew the experience might change me—but I didn't realize how much.​
Love & Sex
Share
5 Affirmations for the Modern Dating-App-Using Girl
Repeat until you don't feel like a broken-down, garbage person anymore. ​
Love & Sex
Share
I Tried "Sex Dust" and Here's What Happened
A scientific experiment of the libido kind.​
Love & Sex
Share
​10 Ways Weed Makes Me a Better Girlfriend
On always taking the high road.​
black and white bride
Love & Sex
Share
The Emotional Weight of Being a Wife
​​Why is the maintenance of our relationship my responsibility?​
Multi-colored condoms
Love & Sex
Share
Why It Sucks to Date as a Happily Childfree Woman
​​My male partners assumed that deep down, I *really* wanted kids. ​
Love & Sex
Share
I Made My Stomach Pooch Its Own Tinder Account
And still got all the swipes. ​
Love & Sex
Share
How My Boyfriend and I Finally Learned to Fight
A guide from comedian Nikki Glaser.​