On May 24, we got to see firsthand just how far technology has progressed in recent years as President Barack Obama spoke to and played soccer with a humanoid robot in Tokyo. Our fascination with robots has been the subject of many sci-fi novels, TV shows, and movies over the years, but how close are we to brushing shoulders with lifelike androids? According to a recent poll oversaw by Middlesex University’s Professor Martin Smith, one out of five people in Britain are so enthralled by the thought of robots that they would even consider having sex with one.
Smith and his colleagues surveyed 2,000 UK citizens regarding their perception of what it would be like to walk among human looking robots one day. The poll was meant to coincide with the start of the new FOX TV series, Almost Human. Although many participants welcomed advancements in robotic technology, over a third expressed fears about robots taking over their jobs and the human race in general — cue Terminator references. Even President Obama said his new mechanical friend was “a little scary.”
"While many of us worry about the role of technology and machines in modern society, robots are increasingly being developed for important roles that will help protect and improve our lives,” Smith told The Guardian. “As with the android policemen in new TV series Almost Human, it is true that robots are being increasingly used for tasks that put human lives at risk — a computer-controlled machine can be programmed to approach a terrorist in a suicide vest or clear a building overtaken by gunmen.”
By 2025, 45 percent of those polled believe, robots will replace human soldiers, while 42 percent believe androids will take over our teachers’ place in the classroom. Another 33 percent of survey respondents believe space exploration will also be left up to the machines and 10 percent say robots will patrol our streets after replacing the police force. Twenty-nine percent look forward to owning a car that will be able to drive itself one day.
Now to the most alarming piece of data compiled by Smith’s One Poll. Four percent of respondents expect prostitution will give way to technology in a couple of years. Even more shocking is that one out of five people included in this survey would hire these robot sex workers for a night of fun. Judging by this poll, things are going to get very interesting in the next 20 years if Japanese scientists at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation keep up the hard work.