In the face of AI exerts repeatedly predicting the rise of sex robots, it's increasingly difficult to insist that such machines strictly belong to a far-off, dystopian future. But some robotics experts predict we'll soon be doing far more than having sexual intercourse with machines. Instead, we'll be making love to them--with all the accompanying romantic feelings. At this week's "Love and Sex with Robots" conference at Goldsmith University in London, David Levy, author of a book on human-robot love, predicted that human-robot marriages would be legal by 2050. Adrian Cheok, computing professor at City University London and director of the Mixed Reality Lab in Singapore, says the prediction is not so farfetched.
'Digital smell' technology could mean people are soon able to send all kinds of odours via messaging and dating apps. Researchers in Malaysia claim to have created fruity, woody and minty electric fragrances by putting electrodes inside participants' nostrils. They stimulate weak electrical currents behind the nostrils that in turn excite neurons that fed the brain with various smells, scientists claim. 'Digital smell' technology could mean people are soon able to send all kinds of odours to friends and family via online chats (stock image) 'It is part of a whole, integrated virtual reality or augmented reality', lead researcher Adrian Cheok who is the director of the Imagineering Institute in Malaysia told NBC. 'So, for example, you could have a virtual dinner with your friend through the internet. You can see them in 3D and also share a glass of wine together', he said.
Two lovers hold hands across a table, overlooking a virtual vista of the Mediterranean. As the pair exchange sweet nothings, the fact they are actually sitting thousands of miles apart bears little significance on the romantic experience. The couple was deemed "hyper-compatible" by online dating technology that matched them using a search engine infused with artificial intelligence (AI). Using data harvested about their social backgrounds, sexual preferences, cultural interests, and even photos of their celebrity crushes, they were thrust together in a virtual reality of their own design. This technology is in the early stages of development.
Do you know about Eliza? It was a 1960's computer science experience on psycho-therapy and it turned out that patients preferred interacting with the crude algorithms of the technology of the time to meeting a real-life therapist. Oxford professor Viktor Mayer-Schönberger tells that story in Netopia's broadcast on Digital Ethics. Radio Resonance FM host Peter Warren and reporter Jane Whyatt were two of the authors of the report, this podcast is based on the same research but here are the voices of the academics that were interviewed. Other names include Murray Shanahan (Professor of Cognitive Robotics, Imperial College) and Adrian David Cheok (Professor of Pervasive Computing, City University London), both of whom appeared in the Netopia-seminar on the same topic last month.
When trying to stick to a diet, the temptation of delicious sugary snacks can be too much to resist. But there is good news for dieters trying to avoid these unhealthy foods. A device called Taste Buddy has been designed, that tricks the tongue into tasting unappetising'healthy' food as delicious treats. Professor Adrian Cheok (pictured), from City University of London, who led the team that created the device said: 'What started out as a fun engineering experiment has now led to something much more exciting with the potential to have a positive social impact' In its current early form the Taste Buddy consists of a 2 centimetre (0.8 inch) wide tab that sits on the tongue and is wired to a bulky processor. Placed in the mouth, the Taste Buddy emits thermal and electric signals that stimulate the taste buds.