Dr Blay Whitby: Do you want a Robot Lover?
The widespread use of robots in intimate and caring roles will bring about important social changes. Robotic carers and artificial companions are technologies that are likely to be available in the near to mid‐term future.
In Japan and South Korea robots are seen as potential carers for the elderly and as babysitters. Many researchers are looking to make their products display emotion and respond to emotional displays by users. At least one writer has predicted marriage to robots will be accepted in progressive countries by 2050.
Are these socially and ethically acceptable developments? What is likely to be technically feasible and just what should we allow?