Ok, sex with a robot or an inflatable doll, is not adultery – not today. But perhaps someday. Family law has some interesting issues to consider in the future. And the not too distant future at that.
Lest you think I've lost my mind (and you would not be alone), consider this. At 2010's Adult Entertainment Expo (no, I was not there), an inventor by the name of Douglas Hines introduced an anatomically correct, customizable, touch-responsive, personality-changing sexbot named Roxxxy.
Roxxxy costs $7000 and folks were pretty snarky about her chances for economic success. But a year later, it was reported that Hines, the founder of TrueCompanion (do not click on that link from your work computer), now has 4,000 pre-orders. The snarkiness has receded.
David Levy, the artificial intelligence expert and author of Love and Sex with Robots (did you know there was such a book?), believes that human-robot sex, love and marriage is inevitable within the next couple of decades. To my enormous amusement, he says that robots may be more emotionally available than the "typical American male." Is that because they set such a low bar?
Robots can be programmed to be faithful of course, and to utter silly statements of adoration and admiration to the most Homer Simpson of males. The gender absurdity will cut both ways, though my prediction is that men will outbuy these robots by an enormous margin.
Even today, if a robot becomes the obsession of one's spouse and that spouse leaves home for the robot, can you sue for alienation of affections? Not the robot of course, but the inventor? The manufacturer? San Francisco Attorney Sonya Ziaja has speculated that the law will one day have to face regulating the relations between humans and machines.
One day, the law may indeed construe making love to a robot adultery and our job may include the analysis of solid state hard drives, EPROMs and volatile RAM – and who knows what else?
So if a husband says to his wife, "Honey, you watch Dancing With the Stars– I'm going to shag Roxxxy for a bit and then I'll be back," is the wife supposed to be pleased? It wouldn't play well in my house.
Robotics and artificial intelligence are sure to give the law a lot of challenges. From my foxhole, take a hike Roxxxy – I'm still the Queen. And it's good to be the Queen.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 703-359-0700