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Human-Robot Love and Marriage 358

An anonymous reader writes "MSNBC has an article on the impending robo-human coupling: 'My forecast is that around 2050, the state of Massachusetts will be the first jurisdiction to legalize marriages with robots,' artificial intelligence researcher David Levy at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands told LiveScience."
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Human-Robot Love and Marriage

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  • You have just destroyed one model XOJ-37 Nuclear Powered Pan-Sexual Roto-Plooker.

    And you're gonna have to pay for it!
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 13, 2007 @10:18AM (#20965609)
      Actually, I worked with one fellow who had his penis injured by a computer.

      Some of IBM's mid-range systems from the late 1980s (actually quite large, physically, by today's standards...) had a circular opening about 2 inches in diameter. This opening was near some circuitry or device that would heat up rather quickly. So with the help of some duct tape and foam, this hardware admin fashioned himself a warm vagina of sorts, right on the side of our IBM system.

      We're not sure how long he had a "relationship" with the system, but it came to an end one day when during lunch he ran over to a group of us, with his hands covered in blood. Apparently the foam vagina tore, and a piece of metal got him on the penis shaft. He went to the hospital, and was okay in the end. But he didn't really last long with the company after that...
  • ...artificial intelligence researcher David Levy at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands told LiveScience.
    Yes, he conveniently left out the legalization of robot prostitutes in Amsterdam scheduled for early 2010.

    After all, though it may be morally frowned upon in the states, who of us hasn't dreamed of going down to the blue light district, picking up a couple of floozybots and voiding their warranties all night long?
  • by katterjohn ( 726348 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @10:10AM (#20965545)
    This message brought to you by the Space Pope
    • by siddesu ( 698447 )
      don't worry -- the average slashdotter will have as much success with robots as he has with women.
      it's all safe here, from women, robot-women and alien women.
      • You can't reprogram a woman.
        • Re:DON'T DATE ROBOTS (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @06:30PM (#20969239)
          Actually, you can reprogram just about any living thing.


          In fact, most couples are constantly training each other. The problem is that in order to train someone, you need to decide what the desired behavior is, then decide on how to reward them, and finally to avoid being trained yourself. Random rewards work best.

          I think that operant conditioning is why a lot of couples do not have sex. (NOT the only reason)

          Each time they are rejected, it is a punishment. There has to be an optimum odds of approval (over 90% but below 100% I think.) Finally, the behavior extinguishes. It's odd because even 1 in 6 food pellets can keep a rat going but humans and sex seems to require higher reinforcement to keep a high rate going. Our "discouraged" rate seems to be once every three to five weeks.
          • by Bluesman ( 104513 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @10:27PM (#20970599) Homepage
            Gotta disagree with this one. And you can never, ever, ever program a robot to act like a woman. There's a simple reason -- women do not operate according to any logical thought process, nor have they been given the gift of free will.

            If you've been married more than five years, you've had this conversation, especially if you've had a child:

            Wife: "Booohooohooohooo!"
            Husband: "What's wrong?"
            Wife: "Nothing. *sniff*"
            Husbad: "Really?"
            Wife: "*sniff* Yeah, I'm fine."
            Husband: "Then why are you crying?"
            Wife: "I don't know!"

            There's just no way you can anticipate or train things like this. I think the closest you can get with a robot is to train it, then take a baseball bat to some of the circuitry.

            But this is a good thing. You seriously don't want your robot to go out to a "party" with other robots and come home having spent $160 on five boutique candles because they came with a free gift in a pink bag.

  • by orkysoft ( 93727 ) <.moc.xoblaerym. .ta. .tfosykro.> on Saturday October 13, 2007 @10:12AM (#20965557) Journal
    My god, he hasn't seen the video!
    • by lostsatellite82 ( 1153629 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @10:27AM (#20965679)
      Good this they only have Lucy Liu [] so far. The day they start making Natalie Portman, the world stops producing babies.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by orkysoft ( 93727 )
        No, it would just prevent the Slashdot trolls from producing babies, which isn't much of a change at all.
      • It's true, because when there are robot replicas of her everywhere, we will see her dog ugly face on every street corner and promptly vomit. Undergoing a massive vomiting bout every 5 minutes will cause almost all pregnant women to miscarry, the remainder will seek abortions to save their children from having to live in a hideous world of Natalie Portmans.
  • Obligatory (Score:2, Funny)

    by Aranykai ( 1053846 )
    I for one welcome our new sexual-robotic overlords.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 13, 2007 @10:19AM (#20965615)
    I'm making a note here:

    Remember, your companion cube will never stab you.
    • Nearly ever single line in the opening paragraph sounds really wrong when read that way, but the king is:

      Aperture Science.
      We do what we must
      because we can.
      That gets my vote for both the most sinister corporate motto ever, as well as the most sinister thing I've heard a sociopathic computer say. As a bonus is sounds really naughty in this context.

      Well, it gives a whole new meaning to "Aperture Science," anyway.
  • Sure, and those newlywed human-robot couples will travel in their flying cars to the Space Elevator to spend their honeymoon in Europa's famed tropical resorts.

    Seriously, what's with all these long term technological "predictions"? We barely have any idea about what technology look like in 10 years, let alone 50. Personally, when I see any "expert" saying so-and-so technology will be available in 5 or more years, I just stop paying attention.

    • Interestingly, if you look back at the predictions made over the past hundred years, in most cases they dramatically underestimate the pace of progress (that's what happens when you apply a linear projection to what has become an exponential process.) Last I heard, human knowledge is doubling (or was it quadrupling?) every eight years (and that was several years ago.) That being the case, projecting forward to any point on the curve of technological and scientific progress is a hopeless task.

      AI is no exc
  • "Drat! I knew I should have showed him Electro-Gonorrhea: The Noisy Killer."

    /me queues up for his Lucy Liu-Bot

  • by Whatsmynickname ( 557867 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @10:22AM (#20965647)
    Liubot: Oh, Fry, I love you more than the moon and the stars and the - poetic image number 37 not found
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 13, 2007 @10:23AM (#20965651)
    If there's one field that's progressed fairly craply since the '70s, it's AI (and we were predicting this sort of stuff then - by the start of the 21st century). Yes, we have working algorithms to solve specific problems, and a metric tonne of unconnected papers on the nature of intelligence from every discipline, but the general question of producing something capable of developing human intelligence has not been tackled successfully.

    An academic in a technical field - or, indeed, the average "expert", to be differentiated from a visionary or "big thinker" - himself acts like a very advanced robot in his field; he has got where he is because he has a great memory for previous results, and a great ability to pattern match to apply to similar problems. If this individual is in AI, he creates models in his own image, which are then doomed to be highly specific.

    Humans are more general than this, simply because we're not singularly goal-directed as all these models assume. Put another way: imprison a baby in a bubble and tell him that his only task in life is to compose beautiful music, and he will not - just as non-ethological experiments on primates usually fail to witness intelligent behaviour, because there is no incentive to be intelligent in a cage.

    AI needs the sherpherding of visionaries, not necessarily scientists. Certainly not single-minded-goal-directed scientists.
    • One thing to remember is that when it comes to AI, computers are still underpowered. Things are just now getting to the point where small groups with moderate funding can start serious experimentation. Up until this decade there's been what.. 5 people in the world? ..who had adequate computer power to test their theories on anything except toy problems. This decade that number's going to explode!

      N.B.: Even this decade the computers will be underpowered for anything serious...but high end user-space systems will be able to tackle more than toy problems. At this point we start getting cars that can drive themselves. (DARPA contest to the contrary, we aren't quite there yet.) We might also start getting useful conversations in a clipped form of basic English. (The problem there is that the programs don't have enough real world knowledge to operate outside of specialist they're quite brittle.)

      But today's interactive systems probably have less computing power on the average than does a mosquito. So it's not too surprising that no real AI has materialized. The question is what's the minimal capacity for understanding natural language...unfortunately, this seems to be equivalent to "how much knowledge of the world do you need to have in order to operate resiliently?" A depressingly large number. But a lot of English can't even be parsed without understanding what's being talked about. So people makes guesses until one of them turns a bunch of phonemes into something sensible. [Note that you can't even get word boundaries without knowing "sort of" what's being said.])

      Now many techniques that were originally created for artificial intelligence ARE being used regularly and all over the programming space...but those aren't AI.

      Also consider that some important pieces, e.g. expert systems, aren't useful outside of the proper context, but are very powerful within it. But these are *COMPONENTS*. It's like complaining because your car's transmission isn't a good vehicle. (OTOH, this isn't entirely a neutral statement. Many of these pieces were oversold by early promulgators who believed that they'd found the last needed piece. It's not a situation of "No blame.".)

      My current projections put extensively useful AI around 2020, and human level AI around 2030. There may be one or two early arrivals, but computer power necessary to embody them won't be cheap enough.

      OTOH, the early arrivals are very important. AIs may be programs, but they also need to learn about the world. This takes YEARS. A decade is pushing it, especially for a new entity who doesn't have a well-defined position in the social matrix. But once it is created, it's a program, and can easily be copied to multiple machines. So if a company creates and raises an AI around '17 (when the equipment for doing so is still too expensive for anything outside a research lab), by '23 (when the const is considerably more reasonable) the entity can be emplaced into, say, a certain kind of new car that can drive itself and park itself, and come for you when you call for it, and protect itself against being stolen...and link itself back to the company for information and upgrades. The next model year they also come out with a wheelchair for quadriplegics that and care for them, assistant surgeons, and agricultural field workers. Experience about the world has been accumulating at a tremendous rate, so the next year they come out with a robot nanny (lots of miniaturization has been going on these last two years!). By the time we get to 2030, we have robot units that are as useful as people in *many* situations, and sessile units that are much more intelligent, but which also understand the world.

      Things won't necessarily happen this way, but they could. If so, society will be coerced into an extremely rapid change. This change could take many different forms, from the extremely dystopian to the extremely utopian.

      O, yes. And if any particular country should decide to not
  • To get an impression about a relation between a woman and a robot read Marge Piercy: He, She and It []. This is my favorite story on the subject. It is settled in the middle of the twenty-first century and deals with human relations (He and She) as well as robot and human interaction (She and It).
  • Would you have sex with a robot if it were nearly lifelike? And wouldn't it just boil down to "rubberdoll + fantasy" or would there be interesting dialogs involved when lying beside each other afterwards in the dark. ... Imagine a romantic walk in the park at night with a Sexaroid (the imho appropriate term for it from "Ghost in the Shell 2")?
    It boils down to the question: How lifelike would it have to be to engage an intimacy with a machine if that is an option?
    • Would you have sex with a robot if it were nearly lifelike?

      Considering the mild success of the Real Doll company, I'd say the potential is there. Besides it wouldn't take much. Most humans have fondness for inanimate objects as it is (their car, boat, power tools, computer) and it wouldn't take much for them to have a sort of fondness for their android love doll.
      • by ErikZ ( 55491 ) *
        They put out a movie with a RealDoll as one of the main characters.

        Hurm. It's not listed on the RealDoll Wikipedia entry, but I'm surprised to see that there are several movies there. Cheaper than a real actress I guess.
    • by hey! ( 33014 )
      I would probably not find it very interesting. But some people certainly will.

      Personally, I think there is good chance that sex with the best possible facsimile technology will be able to make in the next couple of decades would be rather creepy. The idea of having sex with a rubber doll is not particularly interesting to me, but I don't find it repulsive, precisely because the dolls are not really very lifelike.

      Look at it this way: people name their cars, and attribute all kinds of anthropomorphic tra
  • I thought this already happened. I feel married to Windows.. at least at work. At home it feels more like a dirty affair.
  • Yeah, right (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @10:41AM (#20965767) Journal

    How long have we had computers around now? They sure have gotten intelligent right. No, your basic PC is still the same collection of dumb electronics as it were 20 years ago. No OS/interface has even come close to being intelligent.

    Even a simple thing as translation is beyond todays tech. At best you might hope for a mere word for word translation, with the program often having no clue how to deal with words that are not exactly in its dictionary. As for context based translation, forget it.

    So how is this "robot" going to understand a human? It can't. It would be like marrying a severly retarded person.

    But this 50 years in the future. So? We have had 50 years of computing by now if not more and what progress has really been made?

    If I only look at games then the recent Supreme Commander is offcourse the sequel to Total Annihilation and any number of RTS games. The AI? Frankly it sucks donkey balls, start skirmish mode, turn off fog of war and prepare to cry as the AI commander builds an endless amount of lowest level power generators right next to a land factory meaning that it is stuck for the rest of the game because it can't move for the low level units squeezed around it and the structures.

    This happens every single game, all you have to do is build a basic defence to defeat the light attacks get an artillery force and just shell the commanders position from a safe position (they blow up), repeat for all the commanders and voila, another skirmish won.

    There is not a single game that I ever played that is an exception to the dumb ai rule. No matter what game, once you figured out the AI routine, you got them beat, because they are NOT AI. They are scripts. No more intelligent then a tech support guy who works of a cue sheet.

    A real AI would have to be capable to deal with something it hasn't been programmed for, that is what we humans can do most of the time. No AI tech I have seen or read about is capable of doing that, in fact the best we are trying at the moment is to come up with specialists programs that in a very limited scope can excel at a very limited task.

    Take for instance those robots you get that can sort a number of objects. Very nice, but if they were truly intelligent you could take a robot tasked with sorting by color and get it to sort by alphabet, ON ITS OWN! Humans can, if you are a sorter at a production line told to sort apples by size, and all of a sudden I replace it with books and tell you to sort by alphabet, you can do it. Tell me of a program that even comes close to this.

    50 years from now? We haven't made any real progress in the last 50 years. It ain't about hardware, the problem is that a program that can deal with anything might just not exist.

    The best bet might be to recreate a real human brain, however if you do it with biology, then offcourse you just managed to create a human being, who we better give all the same rights anyway or find ourselves just with a new form of slavery.

    No, sorry if this guy really think AI has advanced this far, some game company should set him a challenge of creating a proper AI for a game.

    • by ErikZ ( 55491 ) *
      The original Total Annihilation had much better AI that "Supreme Commander".

      Frankly, I was shocked at how bad Supreme Commander was. It felt like just another RTS game.
    • Take for instance those robots you get that can sort a number of objects. Very nice, but if they were truly intelligent you could take a robot tasked with sorting by color and get it to sort by alphabet, ON ITS OWN! Humans can, if you are a sorter at a production line told to sort apples by size, and all of a sudden I replace it with books and tell you to sort by alphabet, you can do it. Tell me of a program that even comes close to this.

      Soar. []

      Read Allen Newell's "Unified
    • The cutting edge of Silicon Intelligence is not the NPC's in games. Those are simply a few cheap lines of code thrown in by the game designers to glue up some other problem that was worse.

      Your sorting example is in fact, quite easy to program. One algorithm of many works with the class of sortable objects, against the rules imported for sorting. As long as you correctly defined how to sort by alphabet, it would do fine. (Do you sort by T for The, etc.)

    • You really think AI is going to be programmed by humans? Google Scholar "Evolutionary Computing" and then come back to me.
  • by ofcourseyouare ( 965770 ) * on Saturday October 13, 2007 @10:42AM (#20965775)
    The article dwells on marriage with robots, which I can't see happening anytime soon; but robots as a replacement for human prostitutes? Absolutely.

    The oldest profession is driven by one of humanity's most basic problems (there just aren't enough sexy people to go round) but has lots of downsides (disease, wasted lives, etc). Sex robots seem like a great solution -- provided they are realistic enough to keep the customer satisfied.

    So, naturally, we need a X-prize for this problem: a competition for a sex robot that can pass a sexual Turing test. The original Turing Test was for a machine able to hold a conversation indistinguishable from human conversation. We clearly need a sexual Turing test, for a machine able to generate a sexual experience indistinguishable from sex with a human.

    I suggest we need two categories:
    1) one for "fully autonomous" sex robots, driven by their own AI
    2) the other category for "puppet robots" controlled remotely by human operators who would move the robot's limbs, speak through its mouth, etc.

    Obviously to start with, robots in the puppet category could be much more realistic than those in the autonomous category. The job of being an operator would be very similar to the job of working on a sex chat line.

    But even robots in the autonomous category might be reasonably convincing, even using current technology as used in Aibo or toys such as the "Fur Real Friends Butterscotch Pony". []

    Butterscotch is a soft pony toy costing $299 which responds if you stroke it etc. It's not a huge leap from this sort of reaction to the sort of response one would need for a sex robot. Just read the blurb for Butterscotch and replace in your mind the word "pony" with "girl" or "boy"...

    With realistic animation, movement and sounds, this incredibly lifelike pony is a very special, once-in-a-lifetime friend. This adorable pony ...really 'comes alive' as she moves and responds to your loving care! Touch or talk to your pony and her head moves! As you continue to interact with her, watch her ears wiggle and her eyes blink! Be sure to take extra-special care of your pony. Feed her the carrot and groom her with her brush. Watch her swish her tail back and forth! She even whinnies and snorts, and will sniff your hand! Sit on your pony for a pretend ride...!

    The sex robot is with us already; just currently disguised as a horse...
    • A different opinion (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      As someone who has utilised prostitutes on many occaisions [1] I can't see robots replacing them for quite some time. At the time I was going through various personal issues [2] and a lot of the benefits I enjoyed were more about being in the company of person who seemd to care about me rather than about the actual sex (although that was also very good ;-) )

      A skilled prostitute is capable of making you feel extremely good on both a physical and mental level, to the point where you happily hand over the fee
    • Actually it sounds like that horsey could already be a sex robot for females. After the way I've heard some women talk about horse riding. Seems to be a very different experience than for us men. I can just imagine mommy 'borrowing' her daughter's pony for a ride every once in a while. Of course the problem with real women is they don't usually care about sex that much. Not enough testosterone in their blood I guess.

      Bring on the Sean Young-Rachael androids/replicants. And the sooner the better. Not gonna ha
    • by dosius ( 230542 ) <> on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:26AM (#20966107) Journal
      Shall we start an "XXX-Prize" then?


    • Just read the blurb for Butterscotch and replace in your mind the word "pony" with "girl" or "boy"...

      Or not. But I can almost guarantee that bestiality robots would be illegal in Mississippi.
    • >> naturally, we need a X-prize for this problem: a competition for a sex robot that can pass a sexual Turing test.

      Uhm... I suggest the name "The XXX-Prize"

    • ********************
      * Turing Sex Robot *

      > Greetings, Professor Falcon. Would you like to play a game?

      > Let's play "have sex" again.

      > Wouldn't you like to play a nice game of chess?

      > No. Let's play "have sex."

      > Very well. Male or Female?

      > Male.

      > I'm tired, can't we just go to sleep?

      > No, I want to play "have sex."

      > I have a headache, I've been chasing kids around all day.

      > C'mon.

      > Please? We'll definitely play tomorrow, I promise.

      > Fine. wq!

  • So what will come first for the entire US, Gay or Robot marriage?

    How long after that will same sex person/robot marriages be legal?

    And what will the politically correct term for a person/robot marriage be anyways? I vote for Cyber-marriage or "marriage 2.0".
    • by teslar ( 706653 )

      So what will come first for the entire US, Gay or Robot marriage?

      Gay. I see a very simple scale here:
      1. Marriage between members of the same species capable of producing offspring
      2. Marriage between members of the same species not capable of producing offspring
      3. Marriage between members of different sentient species
      4. Marriage between living and artificial beings
      5. Marriage between a sentient and a non-sentient species

      Regardless of whether you would see gay marriage as equivalent to hetero marriages or not

  • Data (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dotancohen ( 1015143 )
    Didn't Data mention to Tasha that he is "fully functional" once?
  • by pla ( 258480 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @10:57AM (#20965891) Journal
    My forecast is that around 2050, the state of Massachusetts will be the first jurisdiction to legalize marriages with robots

    Using an artificial device for sexual purposes does not equal marriage, people.

    Marriage exists for one reason, and one reason only - Succession of property rights. Allowing humans and robots to marry would mean allowing robots to own land. No more, no less.

    You can talk about medical power of attorney (would that even apply to a robot?); a stable environment for raising children (definitely wouldn't apply); a religious institution to make sex okay to your friend in the sky (yeah, like the fundies wouldn't just love this one); but all those come secondary to the state sanctioning a legal contract between two humans.
    • by Nf1nk ( 443791 ) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `kn1fn'> on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:51AM (#20966323) Homepage
      We have personhood for corporations, why couldn't a machine qualify for personhood? Why couldn't a machine own something? If for some reason someone built a machine with interests outside of a primary function why couldn't a machine persue those interests?

      Medical power of attorney? If I was a lonely old person having a robot caretaker that understood my wishes and could express them to medical personnel would be valuable.
      A stable environment for children? Why not? Many children are raised horribly by TV, I see no reason that a child raised by a suitably programed robot could not be very well adjusted. This would have to be intricately programed, along more emotional lines than logical lines, but it could provide more consistent results than many people.
      As for legal contracts between Man and machine, isn't that the next step in the EULA?
    • From a legal standpoint in today's world in a western country, yes. However there's plenty 'o people who have marriages for other reasons, as you point out with the "fundies." For quite a while marriage was primarily a religious shindig. Also for a good period of time for a good chunk of people it was used to foster goodwill between nations. And then there's that whole emotion thing. I really wouldn't rule out the possibility that a sizable chunk of the western world in the near future would consider a
  • We can't even get our policies worked out so as to allow gays equal rights. I doubt robots will fair any better, since the Christians undoubtedly have something against them as well.
  • by It doesn't come easy ( 695416 ) * on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:13AM (#20966017) Journal
    Marriage is a contract. It implies enforcible rights for all parties which are part of the contract. One can already have sex with a machine without requiring marriage. Marriage is much more than just sex. Were human society to allow "marriage" to a machine, it would also have to have accepted many other rights that go hand in hand with the concept of a "person". And even 40 years from now I would bet that human society will have a fundamentally difficult time giving a machine the same rights as a human. For example, imagine your 12 year old daughter being given a death sentence for deliberately turning an AI program off improperly and "killing" the program. Would you be willing to say the life of the AI program is equal to your daughter's life? Unlikely. People may call it marriage but it won't be, any more than wrecking an AI driven car will be involuntary AI-slaughter.
  • She's only programmed to be very nice
    But shes as cold as ice
    Whenever I get too near
    She tells me that she likes me very much
    But when I try to touch
    She makes it all too clear.

    She is the latest in technology
    Almost mythology
    But she has a heart stone
    She has an IQ of 1001
    She has a jumpsuit on
    And she's also a telephone.
  • And what about the related debate - the humanity (and marriagability) of robots who used to be people? That one's coming too.
  • by grumling ( 94709 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:25AM (#20966093) Homepage
    Deckard: She's a replicant, isn't she?
    Tyrell: I'm impressed. How many questions does it usually take to spot them?
    Deckard: I don't get it Tyrell.
    Tyrell: How many questions?
    Deckard: Twenty, thirty, cross-referenced.
    Tyrell: It took more than a hundred for Rachael, didn't it?
    Deckard: She doesn't know.
    Tyrell: She's beginning to suspect, I think.
    Deckard: Suspect? How can it not know what it is?

    Tyrell: "More human than human" is our motto.
    • how is copying word for word from the script insightful?
      • by ettlz ( 639203 )

        how is copying word for word from the script insightful?
        By not quoting the more obvious "whether I'm a replicant or a lesbian" excerpt.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by grumling ( 94709 )
        After I posted, I thought I should have put a little comment for people who may not figure my point. Imagine sitting in a bar. A beautiful woman is making eye contact with you. You buy her a drink. You hit it off. You begin seeing her on a regular basis. She talks about her past, you talk about yours. Everything is right with the world. You decide to get married. Suddenly, the state tells you that you may not be married because she is a replicant. Bad news for you, devastating for her (since she didn't know
  • Somehow, I doubt that as the dominant species on this planet, we would ever give any rights to artificially created beings who might or might not be artificially intelligent.

    We still have, as a species, problems with respecting each other's rights...

    So my prediction for the future is that any robots, replicants, or whathaveyous that we create will be deemed "property" and/or slave-labor (maybe not called as such, but treated as such).
    • by smchris ( 464899 )
      More likely the way American society is going, corporate princes will give their robots in the inner circle rights to control lesser humans for efficiency and chuckles.
  • "Unit 057, do you promise to not injure Cindy, or through inaction, allow Cindy to come to harm, to obey all her orders except where except where such orders would conflict with the first situation, and will you protect your own existence as long as doing so doesn't conflict with the first two situations?"

  • What about dogs? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Loke the Dog ( 1054294 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:52AM (#20966349)
    Dogs have been around for thousands of years, yet I still can't marry one here in Sweden. Hell, I can't even marry a woman under 18 or a man. Yes, I can engage in "partnership" with a man and with special permission from the state, I can marry young women. But no, I can't actually marry them without being investigated by the government. I don't know the exact laws regarding this in the US, but I bet they're similar.

    Now, perhaps you think it would be wrong to marry a dog or a 16 year old girl. But I don't see why. I can't prevent either of them from divorcing me. Im not allowed to hurt them or kidnap them just because they're married to me. Being married to someone gives me no special legal rights, except inheritance (and that part should be removed as well). All marriage means is that two individuals promise each other eternal loyalty. Nothing else.

    So what's the problem here? People like preventing others from doing what they think is morally wrong. People like to meddle in other peoples business. By 2050, you still won't be able to marry people of the same sex in most countries, you won't be able to marry people under 18 in most western countries, and you sure as hell won't be able to marry machines of any level of intelligence in any country.

    Marriage has no place in legal textbooks.
  • Why would a mighty robot want to marry a puny human?
  • Why does it not surprise me that this story generates a lot of interest here?

    Finally, there's hope for some of the geeks here to get laid.

  • I did not see it mentioned, but an older science fiction film called "Creation of the Humanoids" dealt with the idea of human/robot relationships. A number of other films and shows have touched it too, but "Creation of the Humanoids" (1962) had a legal situation where a human could be formally "married" to a robot. If I remember correctly, it was called "being in report" in the film.

    The movie is a bit talky, but has a couple of interesting ideas that rise above its budget and the dialog is usually engagin
  • I had to read that twice and check i hadn't fallen asleep for a couple of years (old-school rip van winkle style) and woken up on the 1st of april.

    This sounds like a bad re-run of futurama.

    Hopefully by 2050 we'll have the "dont date robots" and "electric ghonorea (sp?), the noisey killer" videos. Although, they may be so badly encumbered with DRM we wont be able to view them.

    HAH, trust the MPAA/RIAA to ensure the future death of mankind because people cant see instructional video's about why they shouldnt c
  • She wrote her own vows. I cried like a baby. A hungry, angry baby.
  • The artificial intelligence of today is absolutely nothing like human intelligence. Nothing. It does not need to be made more powerful or be improved. If there would ever be true artificial intelligence it would need to be founded in completely different logic than currently exists.

    Oh yes, there are learning algorithms and some surprisingly dynamic image recognition systems and neural networks and all that. But have you ever tried conversing with a bot? They throw back canned responses and also ton

The following statement is not true. The previous statement is true.