Chess Master and entrepreneur David Levy has published a commercial edition of his PhD thesis (Maastricht University, 2007), Love and Sex with Robots. The 62-year-old Levy says that by 2050 robots will be so nearly indistinguishable from human beings that people will have sex with them and partner with them. Quoted in the Houston Chronicle, Levy offers a perspective that would appeal to people with Asperger's Syndrome:
"I take a pragmatic point of view," he said, "partly because in my original field, computer chess, that was how the problem was solved." Not by making machines that thought like chess masters but by making machines that beat chess masters. Similarly, Levy thinks, robots need only "simulate" human intelligence and emotions "to the point that they are absolutely convincing." If you can't tell whether the thing is man or machine, what difference does it make? You'll treat it as if it were alive. The rest is philosophical hairsplitting.
Surely, if he were still living, Rod Serling could write a Twilight Zone episode with an ending unanticipated by Mr. Levy.