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Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016

Let's just pull plug on this crazy notion

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

As if you really needed it, let me give you one more tidbit to worry your tired brain. Let's say you are the parent of a young lady who comes home one night and proudly proclaims she has met the special object of her unending love and she plans to marry. Now, imagine that this "special object" is none other than a robot! You think this is far-fetched? Well, keep on reading.

The University of Maastricht in the Netherlands has proudly announced they are awarding a doctorate to a researcher who believes the day will soon arrive when we have marriages between humans and robots. A doctorate, no less!

A wise gentleman named David Levy is a British artificial intelligence researcher at the school. In his doctoral thesis, the good Mr. Levy says that trends in robotics and the "shifting attitudes on marriage" are someday likely to result in sophisticated robots that will eventually become suitable marriage partners.

And Levy didn't just make up this unique idea. He studied 450 publications dealing with every aspect of human/robot relations. His conclusion is straight out of a sci-fi movie. Only scarier!

Levy believes the day will arrive when robots are so sophisticated and so complex that the possibility of a marriage with a human is not far-fetched. So he put his futuristic ideas to paper and earned a doctorate for his efforts.

I seriously doubt - unlike Levy - that this day will ever arrive. I suspect Levy completed the extensive study for academic purposes only. And with a subject as weird, his findings were surely to attract some attention. Beyond that, he might as well have predicted human flight using flapping arms for propulsion. In other words, he proposed something that will undoubtedly never occur in his lifetime so it's hard to dispute a prediction of this sort.

There are ample aspects of our daily lives to cause concern. But I seriously doubt the day will arrive when my darling granddaughter will bring home her robot boyfriend to meet her Granddad. And if she does, I'll just pull the plug or remove the batteries.

Problem solved!

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Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen