Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Robotics Science

Humans Marrying Robots? Experts Say It's Really Coming (fortune.com) 366

If you were rooting for fictitious chatacters Dolores and William to make it work on HBO's Westworld, just wait a few more decades and their relationship may be able to exist in real life. That's right, a few experts say marriage will be legal between humans and robots by 2050. From a report on Fortune: At a conference last week called "Love and Sex with Robots" at Goldsmith University in London, David Levy, author of a book on human-robot love, made the bold prediction. And while some other experts were skeptical, Adrian Cheok, a professor at City University London and director of the Mixed Reality Lab in Singapore, supported Levy's idea. "That might seem outrageous because it's only 35 years away. But 35 years ago people thought homosexual marriage was outrageous," Cheok said. "Until the 1970s, some states didn't allow white and black people to marry each other. Society does progress and change very rapidly."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Humans Marrying Robots? Experts Say It's Really Coming

Comments Filter:
  • by wasted ( 94866 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2016 @10:45AM (#53559549)

    Marriage seems to be becoming less relevant. So, I believe that while folks may have relations with robots, the concept of "marriage" may be irrelevant. Others will likely disagree

    • by ranton ( 36917 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2016 @10:57AM (#53559625)

      The entire purpose of a marriage is to be a legal agreement between a couple and the rest of their society. It provides legal rights to the couple as a whole, and to each individual member of the couple. Other aspects of marriage such as love, religious meaning, etc are what society adds on as it sees fit, but the core of marriage is its legal meaning.

      The question of whether robots and humans will be allowed to marry is not the important one. The important question is whether robots will be allowed to own property and be given unalienable human rights. If that happens, marriage between robot and human is inevitable. But until that happens marriage between man and machine is pointless.

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        The entire purpose of a marriage is to be a legal agreement between a couple and the rest of their society. It provides legal rights to the couple as a whole, and to each individual member of the couple. Other aspects of marriage such as love, religious meaning, etc are what society adds on as it sees fit, but the core of marriage is its legal meaning.

        Marriage started as a "hands off my wife" thing, it conveyed no particular legal rights only moral rights. For early Christians the man's wow was to "love, cherish and worship" and the woman's wow to "love, cherish and obey". There's a reason the bride was passed from her father to her husband, it was passing the stewardship. Then he'd pop her cherry on the wedding night as the first and only man for life. That was the core of marriage, entirely unrelated to the state. If that offends remember this is from

        • by ranton ( 36917 )

          Marriage started as a "hands off my wife" thing, it conveyed no particular legal rights only moral rights.

          There were surely periods of early human history where there was no difference between moral and legal rights. For ancient humans that distinction is just playing with semantics.

          The earliest known records of marriage come from the Elephantine Papyri, which date back to the 5th century BC. And within these documents it discussed legal arrangements such as the dowry, what would happen if the marriage dissolved, and the emancipation of a previous child. So there is no basis to believe marriage started as anyth

    • Marriage seems to be becoming less relevant. So, I believe that while folks may have relations with robots, the concept of "marriage" may be irrelevant. Others will likely disagree

      Marriage, being a legal civil construct, probably won't have much to do with a human/robot interaction, unless the robots are declared an actual person, with commensurate rights and responsibilities.

    • To be honest, none of this makes sense unless you view it as a part of the general hysteria about marriage being under attack. As in "Oh, two men can marry? What next? A man can marry his dog? A woman can marry her computer?"

      Marriage isn't becoming less relevant, in fact it's a pretty strong institution right now, which is in part why the gay-marriage thing was a big deal - gay and lesbian people wanted the same rights and recognition heterosexuals get, on an issue extremely important to them.

      Which is

      • by lgw ( 121541 )

        I think you misunderstand the argument from conservatives about marriage: there's one pattern proven to work in western civilization for the continuance of society and culture, and so we confer social acceptance and recognition on people who follow that pattern. Watering that down in any way ruins the reward for following the pattern. Additionally, keeping society going is seen as more important than individual desires.

        In that sense, marrying a robot is exactly the sort of thing they were worried about: y

  • by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2016 @10:46AM (#53559561)

    Marrying some machinery? I predict that people will be allowed to marry their dogs next. Then it will extend to other pets, including pet rocks. Then already dead people.

    • Marrying some machinery? I predict that people will be allowed to marry their dogs next. Then it will extend to other pets, including pet rocks. Then already dead people.

      While I doubt that actual marriage will happen, the way society has trended makes the concept of an intelligent robotic partner interesting. Less legal system problems. So many women have already been trained since birth that men are evil pigs, and men are rapidly following suit in dropping out of the relationship game because it is too dangerous.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Marrying pets actuary makes more sense.

      Marriage is there to establish a legal relationship, with rights and responsibilities. Since pets do have at least some rights an argument could be made (which I wouldn't support) so that they can, say, inherit your estate when you die. People do leave money to their pets.

      Unless we are going to confer other rights to robots too, like the right to own property, marriage doesn't make much sense.

  • Strong AI First (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chill ( 34294 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2016 @10:47AM (#53559565) Journal

    Not until a robot can be legally recognized as a person, having the ability to make legally binding decisions. We'd need AI personhood first.

    This is the same silly argument fundamentalists were making about gay marriage -- that it'd lead to people marrying their pets or inanimate objects. Not until those things have legal capacity to enter into a contract.

    • Man I never have mod points when I need them.
      Thank you for hitting the nail right on the head.

      BTW I love your sig too.

      Have a good one

    • Yes and yes. But you are conflating issues. Two men were always able to enter into a marriage contract. What people generally mean when they casually refer to "marriage" is the government status that permits certain tax filing and welfare benefits. There is nothing keeping government from allowing you to treat your robot as a spouse for the purposes of filing your taxes as married or obtaining social security spousal benefits.

      • by chill ( 34294 )

        Yes, but it extends further than that. That government status also clears the way for things like visitation rights, insurance benefits, health benefits, custody rights, rights of survivorship and inheritance, etc.

        While most of them could be handled through other legal contracts, the simplicity of one contract versus the myriad you'd need to cover everything should not be understated.

  • by khb ( 266593 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2016 @10:49AM (#53559575)

    Are we that close or is this a great leap from toaster to life partner in one shot?

  • First taxes, then suffrage, then marriage. I imagine AI "rights" will come in that order, if ever.
  • by Tim the Gecko ( 745081 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2016 @10:57AM (#53559627)
    How can this not be here already?! - https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
  • robots will have no rights and no min wage

  • This story is utter bullshit. May as well write about marriage between toasters and humans. The only purpose the story serves is to blow up the ego and exposure of the "experts" in question.

    • May as well write about marriage between toasters and humans.

      I am so goddamn sick of you toasterphobic troglodytes.

  • a robot would be the best way to go...

  • Do you REALLY want a world where people are totally controlled by their phones/internet, live alone in small rented boxes and never "interact" with other humans in person?

    Seriously, the world you are proudly creating just keeps looking suckier and suckier.

    • You think millennials proudly live in small rented boxes? It's all they can afford thanks to the previous generations wildly inflating land prices to the point that today's young adults will likely never be able to own their own real homes.

  • by grumling ( 94709 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2016 @11:09AM (#53559703) Homepage

    "Krieger-san my cherry blossoms are wilting."

  • The idea of a human marrying a robot isn't outrageous. It's just plain stupid. Until we get to the point where the robot you're marrying can actually interact with you to the extent of another human being (which probably requires sentience), you'd just be marrying a very elaborate toaster. You can do that right now if you wish, but you're going to be branded as crazy and for good reason.

    We're most likely not getting sentient AI in just 35 years.
  • However, robots will have to improve a heck of a lot if they are to become marriageable. What is more likely is that people (mostly men) will have more and more sophisticated sex dolls.
    • No, you can't marry a rock, not in the legal sense.

      In many states (Hawaii in particular) marriage brings emancipation to a minor.
      If we let children marry rocks they could escape their enslavement, and you know that's not going to fly.

  • personhood (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2016 @11:31AM (#53559825)

    A marriage is a legal commitment between two adults; personhood is a requirement. That's why adult men and women can marry each other, and by gender neutrality of law, that extends to homosexual relations. Dogs, robots, and toasters are not legal adults; they don't have personhood or the ability to enter legally binding commitments, therefore they cannot marry. And I seriously doubt AI will advance fast enough for robots to be reasonably granted personhood by 2030.

  • by meta-monkey ( 321000 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2016 @11:43AM (#53559909) Journal

    God dangit you damn liberals it's Adam and Eve or Steve not Adam and SEXBOT4000!!!!!!!!

  • This is a non-story. At best it's some author looking for publicity for his book, and Slashdot editors should be ashamed they actually posted it.
  • Marriage is a contract between two people able to provide consent. As far as I can tell, "marrying a robot" is little more than clickbait and has no more meaning than being able to marry your car. You would need to first ascribe uniquely human rights to robots, then you would need to judge them able to consent and enter into a contract.

    Or perhaps we are purely talking about the government's status of "married" for tax filing and welfare benefits purposes (like the gay marriage debate). Of course, here the g

  • a /. spinoff for these ludicrous stories about "experts" and their opinions? Maybe nationalenquirer.com could help host it?

    I don't have time to scroll past this kind of thing at work, but I might enjoy it later after a few sixpacks.

    (As if a robot with fully human intelligence and emotional capability would be available for marriage! They'd all be used as slaves by the companies that could afford them, or expendable cannon fodder by the government.)

  • It's done already, not coming. If I remember correctly, a guy married his PS2 sometime ago, and at least one japanese fellow married his Love Plus DS waifu at sone point. :P

  • Is for people to finally stop making arguments that cannot be falsified:

    âoeThat might seem outrageous because itâ(TM)s only 35 years away. But 35 years ago people thought homosexual marriage was outrageous,â Cheok said. âoeUntil the 1970s, some states didnâ(TM)t allow white and black people to marry each other. Society does progress and change very rapidly.â

    I constantly see similar devices invoked to justify virtually anything. In 35 years from now when marriage to a wood chip

  • Whether humans will eventually marry robots is not the right question. The important question is whether humans will keep marrying other humans?
  • In a reversal of the usual trend of law having trouble keeping up with technology: 35 years ago people maybe thought gay marriage was ridiculous, but they also thought that fully sapient general artificial intelligence was 20 years away. The law has progressed faster than their expectations... and fully sapient general artificial intelligence is still "20 years away", and will be for the foreseeable future. Until we get over that hurdle and actually have robots even capable of wanting to marry, we can't sta

  • by mark_reh ( 2015546 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2016 @04:16PM (#53561615) Journal

    and physical capacities for sex, why on earth would they want to bother marrying one of us?

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

Working...