Should humans be able to marry robots?
August 12, 2015 by Amara D. Angelica
Why yes, predicts Gary Marchant on Slate.
“There has recently been a burst of cogent accounts of human-robot sex and love in popular culture: Her and Ex Machina, the AMC drama series Humans, and the novel Love in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” he points out, along with David Levy’s 2007 book, Love and Sex With Robots.
But will the supremes’ decision open the door to robot-human marriage? Marchant explains that the decision was based on an analysis of four “principles and traditions”:
- Individual autonomy, the right of each of us to decide our own private choices. Check.
- Between “two persons.” “Marriage responds to the universal fear that a lonely person might call out only to find no one there,” the court said. “It offers the hope of companionship and understanding and assurance that while both still live there will be someone to care for the other.” Existing care robots would exceed some people in meeting that criterion. Check.
- Marriage safeguards children and families. Could a future robot be an effective parent? Why not? Check.
- Marriage is “central to many practical and legal realities of modern life, such as taxation, inheritance, property rights, hospital access and insurance coverage.” Hmm … sounds like a legal/accounting robot would excel in those areas. Double check.
As HUMANS viewers know, at least in fiction, “Robot sex and love is coming, and robot-human marriage will likely not be far behind.”