No offence meant to real wives, but I’m talking about rather intriguing predictions which state that, in about 20 years, many will have the perfect wife though she will not be human, but a form of artificial intelligence.
Or, to put it bluntly, a robot.
Remember the “Fembot” in Austin Powers? She had machine guns concealed in very strategic locations. Who knows, we may even have robot police officers, just like Robocop.
All this talk about robots as human companions has seen a resurgence following the marriage of Zheng, a man in China, with a robot, after he failed to find a wife.
No worries, the robot will possibly make him happier since one thing is certain: It won’t instigate an argument or feel left out if, on a guy’s night out, the man, a former engineer for Huawei, comes home late smelling of Vodka with a few buddies to crash for the night.
At this moment, the tale’s underlining message is that of desperation. A young person is forced to find an alternative way after seeing too many failures in the conventional system. Zheng is the pioneer and I am sure many will follow. Reportedly, his bride can utter a few words in Chinese and identify images.
So, it’s not just a machine.
To look at the future, this marriage may trigger an innovative business plan in many who would want to take the market, not with artificial wives, but perhaps with robo-girlfriends.
Their marketing tag line could be: While you wait for the human partner to arrive, why spend time brooding? Take the next best pick who will yield to all your desires.
Talking about desires, I hear there’s a book available called Love and Sex with Robots with certain quarters resolutely holding the belief that, soon, getting intimate with robots will be more enjoyable.
I mean, many won’t have to dread hearing “honey, I have an awful headache today.” Look at it from a rational angle, you won’t feel the unease in articulating the rather “unorthodox” demand.
What about that human touch? The soft whispering, the coquettish behaviour, and the mellow seduction? Well, I am sure we will have softwares to fit each characteristic.
Just like picking up something from the super store we may, in the future, stop the cart and pick up certain softwares: Cooking, dancing, singing, intelligent conversation.
The best-selling writer of the man-robot relationship had said that, before 2050, intimacy with artificial intelligence will be more enjoyable.
Right, cutting out the levity, I feel that from a sociological angle, this practice may even become popular way sooner than expected because such liaisons won’t carry the usual social plus financial pressures.
Obviously, the guy won’t have to answer as to why he wears dirty jeans and goes unshaven for days.
This can work the other way round too, for women, who will have the perfect robo-husband doing the cooking, staying submissive, keeping the house clean, and, at the click of a button, turning into a roaring tiger from a compliant partner.
In tomorrow’s world, getting an artificial spouse may be all the rage. Humans will tend to tilt towards a life without complications
Acquiescent man during the day, marathon lover after dark. These may come with the features of preferred celebrities.
In time, we may soon have a software called love, which may be implanted in the artificial partner with the exclusive data of its human companion so as to ensure that it will only have eyes for “that” human.
Therefore, no roving eyes, infidelity will go down, promiscuity will become a thing of the past, and Nana Plaza in Bangkok plus Pakhi Bhai’s marriage booth will go bust.
Zheng, the Chinese guy, may raise some eyebrows now, but chances of him being more content with life in the long run are higher than his friends who are living with human partners.
Realising this, in tomorrow’s world, getting an artificial spouse may be all the rage. Humans will tend to tilt towards a life without complications.
Just imagine: Football all night, beer flowing while the wife is placidly being charged in the bedroom. Or the other way round, with the hubby unplugged and the girls’ day out extended beyond limit.
However, there is, of course, one massive side to robo-human relation which hasn’t been touched in detail: Procreation.
Well, we do have artificial insemination now along with surrogacy, and other methods. And, it won’t be an exaggeration of imagination if we speculate that one day robots will be so advanced that they will also be able to play the role in procreation. Just pick up the DNA from a bank.
And then, the world will be a place for cyborgs.
Reminds me of a famous story where a character way ahead in a future world is reading a diary left by a human who died long ago.
In the end, the person in the future looks to the horizon and thinks of his ancestor and wonders how it must have been because he is but artificial intelligence.
Well, let’s not go so far ahead: For now, we wish Zheng all the best in marital bliss with a few short circuits now and then. May the force be with him.
Towheed Feroze is a journalist working in the development sector.