Late last year, robotics experts at a conference in London predicted that human-robot marriages would be legal by 2050.
At the time, the prediction prompted a flurry of media attention, but now the case of a 31-year-old engineer from China and his robot partner has made it look like a rather conservative estimate.
Zheng Jiajia, a former AI engineer at the Chinese telecoms giant Huwaei, has married his robot wife in an informal ceremony attended by his mum and friends, according to local reports.
His robot partner, Yingying, can speak in simple sentences, read Chinese characters and recognise images, Mashable reported.
Zheng, who previously founded Huwaei’s robotics division, has even appointed Yingying as the spokesperson for the startup he now runs.
The AI expert told Pear Video: “My dream of making my own spouse finally came true. I want to see robots in every home, and ultimately I want to build a realistic robot girlfriend.”
As Mashable noted, the whole shebang could be a PR stunt to promote Zheng’s company, but he does seem pretty serious.
Zheng has plans to give Yingying the ability walk and do chores. Right now, he has to awkwardly carry her where he goes.
For years, robot-humans relations have been a matter only explored in films and literature, but as AI improves and sex dolls become more advanced, it seems they might be about to become a lot more common than we predicted.