Robot Love- the Next Fundamentalist Taboo?
New Scientist magazine predicted this week that advances in technology mean that the prospect of humans falling in love with increasingly lifelike personally customized robots will soon become reality, though cautioned that tech-lovers could quickly find themselves ostracized and condemned by puritanical religious bigots.
“ONE of the more outlandish objections to same-sex marriage is that it will open the door to people marrying animals or inanimate objects,” the acclaimed science magazine noted
“It is hard to see wider society accepting such relationships as valid . . . The love for a robot may become a love that dare not speak its name.”
In a related feature in the same issue, New Scientist also noted ‘how easily humans fall for inanimate objects’ and pointed out how many humans are already becoming romantically involved via the internet even before meeting in person.
“It is perfectly possible to feel strongly attracted to someone you’ve never met,” University of the West of England Professor Alan Winfield pointed out.
“If a conversational AI (Artificial Intelligence robot) is compelling and gives the impression of getting to know you, then you are going to form a bond.” (http://bit.ly/1m9wguJ )
The magazine’s vision of humans and robots becoming increasingly indistinguishable struck a chord with the society depicted in sci-fi classic Bladerunner, which was based on Philip K Dick’s even more prescient novel of the 60s: Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep.
Speaking about the book and film to Starlog magazine in 1991 just before his death, the remarkably visionary author outlined his message.
“One of the basic themes of the novel is ‘what constitutes the essential human being and how do we distinguish and define the essential human being from that which only masquerades as human’,” he continued.
“And the second theme is the tragic theme that if you fight evil, you will wind up becoming evil, and that this is the condition of life,” said PKD. (Starlog Magazine: http://bit.ly/1mt3by2 )
Jonty Skrufff: https://twitter.com/djjontyskrufff