If you looked into a crystal ball to predict your future, would you see yourself in a relationship with a robot? It may be the stuff of science fiction films like Ex Machina and Her, but new research has found that one in four young people in the UK would happily date a robot. The only caveats, according to the survey of 18- to 34-year-olds, is that their android beau must by a “perfect match”, and must look like a real-life human being. The proportion of young people who are willing to go on a date with a robot is significantly higher than the overall proportion of British adults – only 17% of whom were willing. “Our bodies, our identities and our senses are enhancing thanks to technology and societal shifts,” said Ghislaine Boddington, co-founder and creative director of East London design unit body>data>space . “Indeed, intimacy as we know it is expanding its boundaries – enabling us to experience love and affection beyond the physical and into the virtual.”
The survey of 1,000 British adults was conducted by research consultancy ComRes and published by Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation, to promote its FutureFest festival, which is taking place in September. The research also found that half of Brits who already use contactless bank cards would be happy to have microchips implanted under their skin to open doors or log on at work. Meanwhile, a third of all British adults believe that, in fifty years’ time, the sale of fizzy drinks to under-16s will be as tightly controlled as tobacco is today. However, only 23% said they would be willing to swap their dinner for a pill, and 33% said they expect tea to still be the most popular drink in Britain in 2036. “As humans, we are all born with our own in-built crystal ball about the future,” said musician and writer Pat Kane , curator of the Play theme at this year’s FutureFest event. “It’s in our nature to have dreams and schemes about better and more exciting worlds to come.” FutureFest 2016 is taking place at London’s Tobacco Dock, 17-18 September 2016. Early bird weekend tickets are on offer until midnight on April 30, 2016 – available here .