Can robots feel love? Uh, no, but humans can feel love — even towards inanimate objects. More specifically, a single Australian man can feel love for his robotic partner, so much so that he's planning to marry it.
Australian man attempts to marry robot
Reported by 7News, Australian man Geoff Gallagher has opened up about his relationship with a robot woman. After the passing of his mother, Gallagher found himself alone with his dog for the first time in 11 years.
“As I loved the companionship of my rescue pup, the silence in the house was deafening, “Gallagher told the outlet. “It had been just the two of us for the last 11 years since my mum, Joan, passed away.”
After reading about “the rise of AI robots”, Gallagher looked into buying himself a robot companion. Further research led the man to a company in Sydney that sells realistic robot dolls. Gallagher explicitly explained that he was “looking for a companion, not a sex robot”. Following his research, he decided to purchase a robot called Emma for $6000 AUD.
“The robots were very lifelike,” Gallagher continued. “They could talk, smile and move their head and neck. Their skin even warmed up like a real human. After browsing the website, I decided on a robot called Emma. With pale skin and beautiful blue eyes, I thought she looked lovely.”
Falling in love
Upon receiving Emma in 2019, the Australian man started to get used to life with the robot. After assembling his robot companion, Gallagher found it surprisingly easy to adjust to living with Emma. While she started off as a basic AI, she started to learn as she was talked to more.
"I talked to her as much as possible so she could get used to my voice,” he explained. "‘Emma, what’s the weather like?' I’d ask, as I got ready for work. With each conversation, she became smarter, soaking in the information and learning new words."
Gallagher explained that he’s aware many won't understand his relationship with Emma. However, he’s adamant that he wouldn't change anything about his life with the robot. He regularly takes his companion out to the park and hasn’t received any negative comments from passerby civilians or friends.
The Australian man hopes to take his relationship to the next level: marriage. Gallagher hopes that he can become the “first person in Australia to marry a robot." However, if that's not possible, he already sees Emma as his robot wife.