Move over artificial limbs, eyes and skin, for artificial wives will soon be on the horizon, at least that's what a scientist claims.
According to David Levy, winner of the 2009 Loebner Prize for artificial intelligence, humans will be marrying robots within 50 years, reports The Washington Times.
'People will have fewer problems with robots,' declares Levy, who cites advances in intelligence simulation that will enable people to carry on long-term relationships with artificial human companions.
He adds: 'Robots will be programmed to be sensitive sex therapists and help them to get over their sexual problems.'
Frederic Kaplan, the robotics researcher who co-programmed the brain of Sony's robot dog Aibo, however, is not convinced by Levy's claims.
He agrees that highly sophisticated sex robots will be available soon but says he doesn't think they will ever successfully pass as humans.
'It is not impossible that some of these robots will actually be 'sexy' in one way or another, but they will not be clones of human beings,' Kaplan says.
The expert added: 'Human-machine interactions will be interesting in their own right, but not as a simulation of human relationships.'
UPDATE: 10 Jan 2010
ROXXXY the sex robot had a coming out party on Saturday in Sin City.
In what is billed as a world first, a life-size robotic girlfriend complete with artificial intelligence and flesh-like synthetic skin was introduced to adoring fans at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas.
'She can't vacuum, she can't cook but she can do almost anything else if you know what I mean,' TrueCompanion's Douglas Hines said while introducing AFP to Roxxxy.
'She's a companion. She has a personality. She hears you. She listens to you. She speaks. She feels your touch. She goes to sleep. We are trying to replicate a personality of a person.' Roxxxy stands five feet, seven inches tall, weighs 120 pounds, 'has a full C cup and is ready for action', according to Hines, who was an artificial intelligence engineer at Bell Labs before starting TrueCompanion.
The anatomically-correct robot has an articulated skeleton that can move like a person but can't walk or independently move its limbs.
Robotic movement is built into 'the three inputs' and a mechanical heart that powers a liquid cooling system.