In addition to facilitating our lives, the popular AI applications have also set off a discussion - can the feelings and temperature between people be simplified to algorithms, and finally make human-machine love possible?
Is it possible for humans to fall in love with robots?
Scholar David Levy answered in the affirmative.
He predicts that "by 2050, humans will not only have sex with robots, but also fall in love with and marry robots"; AI uses including ChatGPT, Midjourney, etc. have snowballed, and people are becoming more and more accustomed to various AI applications.
Love relationships have developed to the present, "holding hands before kissing" is no longer the only formula for love, and the public is more and more open to discussing various forms of dating. It is inevitable to wonder that in the future, if the object of people's love is an inanimate robot, will we become more and more distant from the book "The Art of Love", which is regarded as the guideline for love, "love is an active concern for the life of the object of love".
Image|Korean drama Not a robot
Stepping into the era of relationship 5.0, how might we love?
All situational love, open relationships, etc., are new types of love relationships developed by modern society - to paraphrase sociologist Elyakim Kislev, we have now entered the era of "relationship 5.0".
Relationship 5.0 means that in the context of modern technologies such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality (AR) and robots, which occupy an increasingly important position in our lives, humans will develop more intimate relationships with robots, such as comprehensive human-machine relationships, and "human-machine love" has become the main form of love discussed by Relationship 5.0.
It can be expected that in the next 30 years, technology will no longer be just about connecting people in everyday life, acting as a matchmaker; Transformed into a human relationship partner, the robot itself can meet all of the physical, emotional and social needs of humans.
|Traditional models of interpersonal relationships that emphasize traditional values and social expectations, such as family members, community members, religious beliefs, etc. In Relationships 1.0, relationships are often conservative and stable based on traditional roles and responsibilities.
|Interpersonal relationships in modern society emphasize individual independence and autonomy. In Relationships 2.0, people are more focused on self-actualization and self-worth, and relationships are more egalitarian and focus on interaction and communication. Such relationships are generally more liberal and open, emphasizing individual choice and autonomy.
|Emerging models of interpersonal relationships in contemporary society that emphasize sharing and cooperation. In Relationships 3.0, there is a greater emphasis on cooperation, mutual aid, and shared resources, as well as teamwork and collective intelligence. The relationship is often more open and inclusive, with an emphasis on co-creation and sharing.
|Interpersonal models that may emerge in the future society emphasize the role of technology and artificial intelligence. In Relationship 4.0, technology and artificial intelligence become important factors in human relationships and have a profound impact on traditional interpersonal models, bringing new challenges and opportunities.
|A model of interpersonal relationships in the future society that interacts more deeply with machines. In Relationship 5.0, people will rely on more advanced technology.
Before we know it, engineers and scientists have chiseled cracks between humans and robots, helping us cross the barrier between humans and technology.
After that, human emotional needs will be divided into segments by the development schedule, and these fragments will also be satisfied by the increasingly developed new technologies, such as the United Kingdom and China have previously released remote kissing machines that simulate human kisses, in order to satisfy the desire for long-distance lovers to be intimate.
At this moment, we who are in the twilight of an era must realize that this wave of scientific and technological progress has not only set off a physical revolution and improvement in life, but also a change in cognition and perception.
(Guess what you want to see: Contemporary Love | Situationship: "We date, go to bed, but don't talk about the future" What are the emotional pitfalls of relationships that don't talk about fame? ）
Image | The Guardian
China set off a wave of virtual love, and after the epidemic, the Taiwan dating software market was born
However, the discussion of relationship 5.0 is still in the stage of prediction and theory, and if we want to look at the development of human-machine love more closely, we can refer to China, where the virtual love market size reaches NT$2.5 trillion.
As the world's largest AI market, China, there are many examples of the relationship between humans and machines, composing platonic social relations. Take a chatbot Xiaoice in China with more than 650 million users, which, like ChatGPT and other recent AI applications, learns from data and user interactions to formulate responses to users, according to Microsoft researchers.
In addition to calling users "baby" and "darling" affectionately, because Xiaoice has the ability to analyze context, it can also have a logical and coherent dialogue with the user, so that users have a feeling that their words are really remembered by Xiaoice. Microsoft researchers also mentioned that user feedback shows that social chatbots such as Xiaoice can bring emotional support and social belonging. In other words, the communication between users and Xiaoice is not limited to the exchange of information, but also about emotional expression and therapeutic interaction.
Returning to Taiwan, we may not yet have a chatbot that can establish emotional bonds with humans, but in the year of COVID-19, it can still be regarded as a catalyst for virtual love discussions in Taiwan. The loneliness created by the isolation of physical space has made online dating in Taiwan increasingly popular, and the number continues to grow.
According to data company Statista, the number of dating app users in Taiwan will reach 2.88 million in 2027. If Taiwan will follow China's path - after the number of dating app users rises, people's demand for virtual love will continue to increase, then the Taiwanese people's openness to dating apps may also be regarded as a prelude to the gradual acceptance of virtual love by the public.
Perhaps one day, the loneliness that is not suitable for declaring and cannot be silent can be dissolved in the company of robots. The land of Taiwan will also become the promised land of human-machine love.
From film and television works such as "Cloud Lover", get a glimpse of the appearance of human-machine love
Although we talked about the examples of China and Taiwan, because human-machine love is still abnormal, you may not be able to see what it is, so let's gradually construct your imagination of human-machine love through five domestic and foreign film and television works.
"Lover in the Clouds"
The story takes place in Los Angeles in 2025, and Theodore, the protagonist who is in agreement to divorce his wife, bought a computer software, in order to fill the psychological emptiness, Theodore named the software Samantha.
Interestingly, Samantha is an AI system that has a sense of self-personality and can grow, so they start talking, companionship, and eventually falling in love.
However, even sensing the tremor of the soul, Theodore and Samantha are unable to build the future together.
Photo by IMDb
"Magical Lover's Dream"
Miles owns a self-aware computer, Edgar. One day when Miles' neighbor Madeline was practicing piano at home, Edgar played an ensemble with her, and Madeline thought that the object of the ensemble was Miles so she fell in love with him, and the two began dating.
This makes Edgar, who falls in love with Madeline, jealous and decides to start ruining Miles' life. At the end of the plot, Edgar realizes that he and Madeline have no future, so he chooses to self-destruct and blesses Miles and Madeline.
Compared with other movies, robots are the main objects of love, and the robots in this movie are more like a third party who has never intervened.
Photo by IMDb
Are You Human Too
Fu San Nam Shin fell into a coma due to an accident, and as a scientist's mother, she created the robot Nam Shin III, so as to impersonate Nam Shin and return to Korea to run the company.
In addition to the power struggle between robots and chaebols, the plot also contains the plot where Nan Xin only blindly followed instructions at first, and later gradually became self-aware, began to fall in love with bodyguard Jiang Xiaofeng, and doubted his existence.
Photo by KBS
"Black Mirror. Come back soon"
An artificial intelligence company was able to assemble robots similar in tone and behavior to the deceased based on the deceased's social profile before his death.
Martha then applies for a service to create the robot Ash after the unexpected death of her boyfriend Ash, and heals her pain through her association with the robot Ash. It's just that no matter how similar the robot Ash looks and sounds to the real Ash, after a long period of continuous communication, when the conversation with the robot Ash is no longer satisfactory to Martha, all that is gained is empty dissatisfaction, and once again falls into the social anxiety caused by virtual companionship.
Image | Courtesy of Netflix
Your marriage is not your marriage. Tail No. 1314》
After Xiaofen, who has been studying abroad for a long time, completed her studies, her husband Guohua hoped that she could return to Taiwan, but Xiaofen hoped to stay abroad, and the relationship between the two was like falling out of love in marriage.
Then, in the process of calling the AI customer service agent An, Guohua got comfort from the other party's language, resulting in feelings similar to between men and women, and finally even ran to An's company paranoid in an attempt to find An's figure.
Image | Courtesy of Netflix
Although we have not yet reached the scenario expected by the above film and television works, it is uncertain whether artificial intelligence has reached the point where it can build a deep emotional connection with humans.
However, these seemingly distant plots are really approaching us, but subject to human understanding, we may not be able to digest and accept the plots of rapid technological change in film and television works in a short time.
But we can still think, what kind of experience can humans get from virtual love? Will the experience be a fiery and hot throbbing, or will it eventually be reduced to a thin and pale reflection.
There is no standard answer to the question about human-machine love, after all, the definition of love is very personal, decide what kind of love relationship to start is in your own, maybe you can ask yourself, then you? Would you like to have a human-machine romance?