In the book "Love and Sex With Robots, writer David Levy lays out the case that: "love with robots will be as normal as love with other humans, while the number of sexual acts and lovemaking positions commonly practiced between humans will be extended, as robots teach more than is in all of the world’s published sex manuals combined.”
Doesn't this come down to a question of inner life? We really value the genuine responses of other beings -- whether it's the person you love or the dog thumping his tail when you get up in the morning. Can a robot ever be programmed with enough human qualities so that we would feel something resembling genuine reciprocal love and desire from it? Today we're talking about machines, but for a nice companion exercise, go watch "The Sessions," the new movie about a man, crippled by polio, who wants to experience physical love and starts his quest with a paid sex surrogate. The questions are similar. Can we get what we want from someone or something who's operating on a very different basis? Leave your comments below or email us at colin@wnpr or tweet us @wnprcolin.