You can’t buy love, but can you engineer it? A project at the National University of Singapore with all kinds of somewhat unsettling implications is trying to create the means for human-robot love by giving robots all the emotional and biological tools that human have.
That means artificial hormones–dopamine, seratonin, oxytocin, endorphin–that ebb and flow based on how the robot is “feeling.” It also means psychology, in this case using MRI brain scans to recreate artificial intelligence that creates affection–or a lack therof–towards a human counterpart.
Just as in human relationships, this human-robot love is based on interactions. The robot can become bored, jealous, angry, affectionate, or flat-out happy, all based on how the human object of its desire interacts with it. Most of this interaction takes place through touching–another analog to affectionate human interaction. The robot isn’t so cuddly, but give it some puppy love and it will love you back.
But spurn its advances at your own peril. If the chilling conclusion of episode one below is any indication, perhaps this isn’t such a great idea. It might just turn out that hell hath no fury like a lovebot scorned.