Then they were used in offices to deliver mail, or to show visitors around museums, or in homes as vacuum cleaners, such as with the Roomba.
Now you have robot toys, like Sony's Aibo robot dog, or Tickle Me Elmos, or digital pets like Tamagotchis." In his thesis, "Intimate Relationships with Artificial Partners," Levy conjectures that robots will become so human-like in appearance, function and personality that many people will fall in love with them, have sex with them and even marry them.
For the uninitiated, chatbots are computer programs that have been designed to simulate conversation with humans—and they’re everywhere.
However, "in a marriage or other relationship, one partner could be jealous or consider it infidelity if the other used a robot," Levy said.
"But who knows, maybe some other relationships could welcome a robot.
There are companies that already sell realistic sex dolls, "and it's just a matter of adding some electronics to them to add some vibration," he said, or endowing the robots with a few audio responses.
"That's fairly primitive in terms of robotics, but the technology is already there." As software becomes more advanced and the relationship between humans and robots becomes more personal, marriage could result.
A friend recently came to me with a problem: He was chatting with a sexy blond woman on Tinder and couldn’t tell if she was a real person.
For the past two days he had been talking with her under the assumption she was a carbon-based life form, but then he started to question her responses.
"There's a trend of robots becoming more human-like in appearance and coming more in contact with humans," Levy said.
"At first robots were used impersonally, in factories where they helped build automobiles, for instance.
"It may sound a little weird, but it isn't," Levy said.
"Love and sex with robots are inevitable." Sex with robots in 5 years Levy argues that psychologists have identified roughly a dozen basic reasons why people fall in love, "and almost all of them could apply to human-robot relationships.
"One hundred years ago, interracial marriage and same-sex marriages were illegal in the United States.