While Pixars latest animated blockbuster WALL-E is tugging at the heart strings (and raking in the box-office dollars) with its tale of a lovelorn robot stranded on Earth, an artificial intelligence (AI) expert is predicting that we could eventually be "turning on" robots in more ways than one.
London-based author David Levy predicts that AI will be so advanced within 40 years that robots will assume human characteristics such as conversation, and even, ahem, a high level of intimacy, according to Canadian broadcaster CTV.
Human-looking robots could interact with people on any number of levels, even falling in love and more besides, says Levy. There is love and there is sex, he told CTV. Sex, I think, will happen much sooner.
In a world not dissimilar to that portrayed in the sci-fi movie Bladerunner, robots, complete with soft skin and realistic hair could give new meaning to the "relationship between man and machine" according to the AI expert.
At this stage, however, it is still unclear whether these sex-bots will be pre-programmed with the Kama Sutra or constant migraines.