In the weeks leading up to the debut last night (Jan 13th) of the new Fox TV show Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles much of its national outdoor advertising campaign (bus-stop and billboard posters) featured the poster (shown left) of the show's attractive actress Summer Glau who plays the half-woman/half-robot terminator unit Cameron Phillips sent to protect John Connor -- Sarah's son.
No doubt this image of a sexy woman who is really a robot will fuel discussion or at least fantasies (especially with lusty hetero males) on the popular, recurring Sci-Fi theme of the possibility of humans having relationships with human-like robots.
But really, just how likely is a time when humans will have sexual or loving relationships with lifelike female, male, or transgender robots? Well, according to David Levy, an expert in robots and artificial intelligence, a time when humans will routinely be having sex with robots is actually only about forty years into the future.
Levy is the author of Robots Unlimited, published in 2005, and more recently the provocative book Love + Sex With Robots: The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships, which was just published by Harper Collins. He asserts that such technological advances are just around the corner and that they will be not considered weird but, he believes, generally be very warmly accepted.