Dr. David Hanson (the robot creator, not the lead singer on MMMBop) has released a real birdcage-liner of a research paper about androids called, Entering the Age of Living Intelligent Systems and Android Society.
Don’t let the pseudo-scientific title fool you. Hanson collaborated with PlayStation on this report to help promote the game Detroit: Become Human. That’s like the Urban Institute issuing a report called The Future of Crime in America to promote Grand Theft Auto V.
In findings based solely on speculation and bad paperback sci-fi plots, the good doctor believes robots will have civil rights by the year 2045. This will come as a complete shock to humans who wonder if they will have civil rights by 2045.
Hanson claims androids will have the “right to marry, own land and vote in general elections” giving them more freedoms than women who currently live in countries ending with “stan.”
He also claims the “Global Robotic Civil Rights Movement” will begin in 2038 which makes me wonder why this uprising will take seven years. Perhaps it’s because robots can’t take a knee… since they don’t have knees. (We can put a man on the moon, but we can’t create a robot with realistic working knees.)
Look Who’s Coming to Dinner
Putting aside any debate about robots being sentient beings, the morality of marrying anything without a soul and the differences between human and human-like, the real question is simple: Why would robots want to marry us?
Much like a bespectacled MIT grad, androids would surely love statistics more than romance. Since the divorce stats between or among humans is astronomically high, I can’t imagine robots would willingly enter in to such a union.
Plus, who says robots wouldn’t love their independence. If Mary Richards could stay single and fulfilled in the 1970’s why won’t her automaton equivalent hang a giant “M” on her apartment wall in 2075?
One Wedding and a Funeral
Another flaw in Hanson’s theory is this notion that humans will want to marry robots. Deep down, we all fear robots want to kill us (in much the same way we fear death at the hands of our house cats). Nothing will make robots want to kill us faster than marriage.
Isaac Asimov’s “Three Laws of Robotics” will not protect us from an irate android who is waiting for us to come home at 3 AM.
- A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
If a wife is crying, a husband will do anything to make her stop: give her a hug, pour her a glass of wine or simply stay out of the way. If a robot husband perceives crying as harmful, “he” may end the human wife’s suffering with a laser through the temple. I know my husband has fantasized about ending my crying that way.
- A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
At the Royal Wedding, Meghan Markle had the word “obey” removed from the vows. Any woman with intelligence—artificial or otherwise—would discard this one immediately.
- A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
Otherwise known as a pre-nup.
In a quarter of a century, humans who want to marry robots will seem as wacky as the woman who married The Eiffel Tower. Their cause will not be helped by the creepiness of the men who are currently dating robots in 2018. (Why do these men always brush the hair of their girlfriend robots? I’ve been married for 29 years. The only time my husband ever brushed my hair is when I broke my elbow.)
Besides, most humans can’t change the time on their microwave let alone handle a robot spouse. If Dr. Hanson’s predictions do come true, our better halves will all be blinking “12:00” until death do us part.