Posted: Sun, November 18, 2012 | By:
by Dick Pelletier
Humans have always been fascinated by robots, fueled in part by science fiction renderings of such characters as R2D2, C3PO, HAL, The Terminator, and Data. However, a world run by robots is no longer science fiction.
Today, robotic systems work on assembly lines, clean floors, monitor kids, help the disabled, explore mars, and assist in our security.
IRobot CEO, Rodney Brooks says the robotics world is undergoing huge changes with major focus now on personal robots. Industry expert Dr. Joanne Pransky agrees. In 10 years, Pransky expects to purchase a robot that can clean house, prepare and serve meals, and help her become more efficient in understanding tomorrow’s confusing technologies.
As machines become more humanoid – in appearance, personality, and thinking – how might their relationship with humans unfold? Would mutual attraction become part of the mix? Americans easily get emotional with their pets, so why not with robots? Could a robo-human relationship actually turn to love?
Pransky believes it would not be wrong for people to fall in love with robots. “We have loved non-human objects for years – cars, boats, and computers. Imagine how we’ll feel when the face of our dreams, with its soft, flesh-like robotic body interacts with us in our home.”
“Robots could provide companionship to the lonely,” Pransky adds; “falling in love could easily happen when we coexist in close quarters with our silicon friends.” However, experts wonder how 2020s ‘bots with only crude human-like feelings might respond. They may love in terms of being loyal, subservient, or trustworthy, but they could not experience what we call falling in love.
Will our robotic future unfold in this manner? Positive futurists say it will, and this writer certainly wouldn’t mind a robot servant helping around the house. At night when I’m sleeping, I could farm it out on a job to earn extra cash. Would I fall in love with it? As long as women are still in the gene pool, I’ll stick with flesh and blood human females, thank you.