Social battle #9: Do you think a human will ever fall in love with a robot?

A couple of weeks ago we posted a newsletter discussing the possibility of humans falling in love with robots.

You’ve all seen the films and documentaries and now you’ve read the articles and studies but is it really possible?

Well, with recent advancements in AI – and certain future advances – making conversations with robots more ‘deep’, it could so herald a human/robot relationship. For example let’s look at Alexa as an example, in their recent updates Amazon has given it the ability to read a book, unlock the doors of your house and even start your car. You can largely engage in conversation with Alexa and it can even roleplay with you.

How long is it until AI becomes self aware? How long is it until AI can be spontaneous and recognise emotions and react accordingly? At the moment we don’t know if they ever will, but it certainly makes you think.

We live in a world now where we are constantly surrounded by technology with the ‘connected generations’ spending up to 20 hours a week browsing the internet. That’s almost a full day out of our week. What’s to say that can’t be replaced with spending 20 hours a week chatting to AI and, potentially, falling in love with it?

RE-UP Co-founder, Pierre and account manager, Lucile discuss the very real possibility of an implicit relationship with something which is… invented.

“I’m personally very attached to symbols in relationships, so if a robot technically fills in my “expectations checklist”, wouldn’t it work?”

The concept of falling in love with a robot bothers me. But, watching the movie Her 3 years ago did put me in doubt.

Being addicted to someone you will never meet can prove to work: a voice (Scarlet’s or others), an epistolary exchange, and so on: long-distance relationships, chats, hotlines, dating apps. So in fiction or real life, not being able to see someone can still make us feel passionate about him or her.

But then, what’s different when there’s no “real human” behind?

Well, it depends whether or not technology would build a unique personality, some emotional attachment and a certain humour that ticks with us. I’m personally very attached to symbols in relationships, so if a robot technically fills in my “expectations checklist”, wouldn’t it work?

Also, in love, we need someone who cares about us, understands us and can act accordingly. As AI may soon surpass human intelligence and give robots a conscience, it would then be possible to be sitting in front of “someone” aware of its own existence and its surroundings.

From a “them to me” perspective, it really looks like robots could tick the boxes. But then, what about the “me to them” and more generally, the reciprocity? Relationships make us learn from one another, grow together and be there for one another. I can foresee the need of a robot’s presence for the loneliest people. But then, would a robot need someone in return? And more importantly, would it love this person? It seems to me that only fake, simulated loving would happen from a robot, and not the true, genuine one. I guess only time will tell, with the technological advancements.

What’s sure for me: reciprocity, emotions and spontaneity are my marching orders, and I don’t feel that they would appear in human-robot relationships.

In the meantime: there are more than 7 billion people on the planet. So before we find the “one and only” robot love, shouldn’t we enjoy what’s already there?

“Some people revere their possessions like a house or a car sometimes more than other humans. For these individuals, the jump to AI is not impossible but to push it as far as making it a trend seems farfetched.”

Will the alpha male or female ever succumb to the attractive power of HAL? Can an intelligent set of algorithms effectively replace human interactions?

I believe there often comes a point in one’s life when people you meet impress you more with their brain than their physical appearance.

Often shortly after you reach that post-pubescent state, or not so shortly after, lightning can strike by the sheer superiority of one’s brain.

With the recent developments of artificial intelligence, and after an impressive demonstration of what Alexa can do, I could now envisage the possibility of someone falling in love with AI more than with a robot.

Falling in love with a “superior’ intelligence and not with a cold sculpture made of metal, wires and printed circuit cards – and silicon to make it feel more human.

Some people revere their possessions like a house or a car sometimes more than other humans. For these individuals, the jump to AI is not impossible but to push it as far as making it a trend seems farfetched.

Love is made of a mix of surprises, unexpected behaviours, sometimes even little OCDs that make people you love unique, different and that will make you appreciate someone (or loathe them in equal measure sometimes).

It is the unpredictability that spices up a relationship. And a programme will probably never be able to replicate these erratic behaviours.

That people will appreciate AI and robots for what they will help achieve is undeniable, to push it to a love relationship is something else.

 

 

Comments(1)

  • Jh@selectedworx.com
    February 21, 2017, 12:12 pm  Reply

    The pending question you skim through naturally is “Can AI love humans ?” (is it #fakelove ? comes in close second position for some obviously, but more seriously). What may be bodily love for an AI, ‘whose’ notion of a body might largely differ from ours.. why couldn’t an AI love another AI, and what’s an ALPHA AI ? a banking AI ? so much for HER 2… more of this please 🙂

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