I read a fascinating yet disturbing book called, "Love + Sex with Robots: The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships," by David Levy (Buy Direct). In it, Levy discusses in great detail where the robotics industry started as well as where it stands now, and where (he believes) it'll be in about 40 years. I can't do his introduction justice, so I'll quote my favorite bit so far to explain:
"Robots will be hugely attractive to humans as companions because of their many talents, senses, and capabilities. They will have the capacity to fall in love with humans and make themselves romantically attractive and sexually desirable to humans. Robots will transform human notions of love and sexuality."
Before picking up the book, I wouldn't have even given robot love a second thought. But now, a few chapters in, and I'm learning more about the current robotic applications in our everyday world - such as robotic therapists with an unusually high success rate with helping depressed folks.
The whole thing makes me curious. Do you think that robots will replace even some of our relationship needs in the next 40 years? Do you think people will date robots, fall in love, marry, and live happily ever after? Why or why not?