Why Robot-Human Marriages Are 'Inevitable'

It comes down to human rights, not robot rights: Gary Marchant
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2015 12:31 PM CDT
Why Robot-Human Marriages Are 'Inevitable'
Get ready for robot marriages, says Gary Marchant.   (Shutterstock)

Being married to a robot could be pretty sweet: It could care for you, offer companionship, even have sex with you. Are we creeping you out yet? Well, you might as well get used to the idea. "The era of love and sex with robots has begun," writes Gary Marchant at Slate, and "with sex and love will come calls for the right to marry." Marchant admits the courts aren't likely to expand the definition of marriage to include robots anytime soon, but that doesn't mean the current definition is set in stone. After the inclusion of same-sex marriage, Marchant argues robot-human marriages "might be next on the list." Realistic sex dolls and robot-human relationships on screen are already bringing the topic into discussion. Marchant takes a look through the lens of the Obergefell v. Hodges decision.

That decision was based on four "principles and traditions": one relates to the practical and legal realities of modern life, like taxation, and one refers to safeguarding children and families. Neither apply to robots in any obvious way, though a robot could serve as a parental figure in the future. The two others, however, just might apply. Though marriage is described as being between two persons for the purpose of companionship, Marchant says robots may someday achieve the status of "person" and would certainly be good companions. But most relevant is the principle of individual autonomy, "the right of each of us to decide our own private choices and intimate relationships." In other words, "robot-human marriage is not about robot rights; it is about the right of a human to choose to marry a robot," Marchant writes, adding it's also "inevitable." Click for the full piece. (More robots stories.)

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