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The Future of Human-robot Relationships

A Controversial Discussion

Photo Credit: BBC News 

Artificial Intelligence has allowed humans to explore a whole new realm of personal connections. There are noticeable dangers that arise with human-robot relationships that scientists and psychologists begin to question with this developing technology. Starting with what A.I.’s can provide for humans, understanding the psychological desires of humans and being educated on the extent of human-robot intimacy are important aspects in which this developing technology is not suitable for society.

We as humans are complex creatures that require a great amount of physical attention and emotional stability. There are hundreds of areas to explore within the realm of Artificial Intelligence and one of the least looked at is the direct impact A.I has on humans from an emotional and psychological standpoint. Beginning with the education process of what Artificial Intelligence really has to offer to humans is crucial for being in the loop for the upcoming years. It is encouraged to be aware of the mindsets and intentions that certain people possess with children and adult robots in their daily routine. 

Diving into this discussion, humans must question if robots and humans can develop a physical relationship. It is within human nature to become attached to objects or things. According to the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, attachment towards an object is due to a lack of unreliability in their lives. This also stems from not having enough security in their personal lives (Vol 48). Developing feelings or an emotional attachment is a given when someone’s day is engulfed in something. Attachment is difficult to shake. With robots slowly becoming integrated into society, this area needs to be looked at a little more deeply. Personal attachment to a robot can lead to a lack of social interaction, causing social skills to decline throughout society. This type of attachment to objects is especially concerning when robots are becoming more and more public.

A.I. Robots produce human-like characteristics. This is a quality that is appealing to people based on the familiarity of their intelligence and all human imitated mobility. There is a concern for Artificial Intelligence to be advancing this far in which humans can become detached from the social world. In 2016, the movie Her starring Scarlett Johansson touched heavily on how easy it is to become invested in A.I. that poses as its own entity. The movie offers excellent visual insight on what the quality of life could be like in the case of full emotional investment in A.I. The protagonist in the movie realizes that his relationship could only go so far with his Artificial Intelligence which causes tension, communication, and physical concerns.

On the flip side, there are also robots currently on the market in the form of human adults and children who have the capabilities of offering and receiving sexual favors. Child-like robots were created for people with sexual tendencies towards children. This particular type of A.I. was intended to prevent the users from preying on human children. According to the author Delargi in UK News, psychologists are saying that pedophilia is not something an individual can eliminate. It is a desire that they are trained to simply resist their urges. People are calling to stop the creation of child robots because it contributes to an individual’s illegal and unacceptable tendencies. The developer companies are making pedophilia acceptable by marketing these to sexual predators. Ethics vary by culture and it is difficult to regulate the distribution of these robots as it is morally acceptable in some countries. An article published also in the UK in Independent Magazine highlights that border patrol officers are confiscating child robots that are being imported and manufactured from China and Hong Kong. This poses a question: where does the law come into play when we are talking about robot entities? One individual has already received a jail sentence for the importation and mass distribution of these objects. But is that fair considering these are robots we are talking about, not the selling or distribution of real human children? 

Whether or not having a relationship with a robot is healthy or ethical, there are areas in which this practice poses a concern for society. If someone chooses to use a sex-bot for pleasure or purchase their next significant other, robots could never truly replace an organic human to human relationship.

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The Future of Human-robot Relationships
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