Robots play an ever more important role in our daily lives. Look at health care and at the hospitality sector, where robots support employees in their daily routines. In health care robots also actively interact with patients. Science fiction films take this a step further by exploring the idea of intimate relations, as in Ex Machina and Her.
Where are we heading? Will we really have intimate relations with a robot? Various studies show that we may even marry robots by 2050. Currently, we are already used to having an emotional bond with virtual persons, e.g. with Microsoft’s chatbot Xianco. Millions of Chinese people share everything with this virtual comrade.
The success of Realdolls also proves that humanity is able to have an emotional bond with an inanimate object. At this moment a team of experts from different fields is working on humanizing the Realdolls. Artificial intelligence and nano technologies can make robots look and act like real humans.
Research has been done into what we think about sex with a robot. Men appear to be more positive about it than women. Technological developments would enable humankind to have sexual experiences with sex robots as early as 2025, and as time goes by the experiences will appear more and more genuine. Various futurologists claim that by 2050 there will no longer be a difference between human relations and human-robot relations, and this will be generally accepted in society.
Scientists are also critical of the developments. This sort of robot will negatively affect how we see inter-human relations. On the other hand, robots can reduce unwanted pregnancies, adultery and sexually transmitted diseases.
Before all this becomes reality much research still has to be done and multidisciplinary teams have much work ahead of them. These teams will consist of engineers, ICT specialists, beauticians, materials experts, etc.
Can we halt these developments? The industry is currently working very hard on robotics because there is a multi-billion- euro market for it. The main thing is to make robots safe and reliable for their users, and the quality of the products is once again priority number one. Educating top-quality engineers in the technical connections industry is PIEK’s core business.