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Robots and Romance Slidshow: the Science and SciFi of Emotions

Robots and romance- that phrase can summon the sweetness of forbidden romance novels like Silver Metal Lover, the naughty parts of HBO Westworld or Ex Machina or just plain creepy obsessions like Saturn 3 . This RTSF slide show lists some of the popular works of fiction on Robot-Human Love (TV Tropes calls this the robosexual trope), LBGTQ Robot Love, Booty Calls, and Robot-Robot Love. At the very end, we’ll give our recommendations for the top 5 most accurate and enjoyable science fiction touching on emotions.

But, more importantly, let’s explore the technology of emotion in these stories. Are robot emotions realistic? Well, yes, the idea that robots would have emotions is plausible. Emotions show up in artificial intelligence for robotics in two places. One is in human-robot interaction- we expect social robots to understand, and at least play along, with our emotions. If you want to learn more about that, there’s a chapter in the book Robotics Through Science Fiction: Artificial Intelligence Explained Through Six Classic Robot Short Stories. The other is embedding real emotion into robots, which is the teachable moment in robots and romance.

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