It was Alan Turing, computer scientist and Second World War code-breaker, who reportedly said:
Those who can imagine anything, can create the impossible.
Well someone's been imagining sex robots pretty hard, because experts say it won’t be long before we’re having sex and falling in love with them.
Adrian Cheok, professor of pervasive computing, has just organised the second ever Love and Sex With Robots conference in London, where academics presented their latest research.
Topics included robot emotions and personalities, and “intelligent electronic sex hardware”. Sexy.
Cheok says the idea of a robot loving a human isn’t as complex as it might sound. He told Seeker:
The consensus seems to be that we should follow Alan Turning's famous test for artificial intelligence.
If we can't tell the difference between whether it's a robot or a human that's loving us, then that's the answer. If we feel that they love us, then they love us. We don't need to get any more philosophical about it than that.
Honestly speaking, the sex part is the easy part. That's just mechanics. The love part — that's going to be the really incredible thing.
And he says it won’t be long:
The kids today, all their movies are about robots and AI; Ex Machina, Her... Science fiction often predicts what happens in that a lot of young people will be working on this, making this happen. I think it's coming a lot sooner than most people expect.