Can this robot do your job?

  • Mixologist
    Automated tip required
  • Chauffeur
    Google gets into the car business with an auto-driving car.
  • Stock trader
    In many of the world’s markets, nearly all stock trading is now conducted by computers talking to other computers at high speeds. As the machines have taken over, trading has been migrating from raucous, populated trading floors.
  • Jeopardy champion
    Watson conquered puns and pop culture to beat the human champs.
  • Physician's assistant
    IBM wants Watson to help out with diagnosis.
  • Violinist
    Maybe not quite yet...
  • Proofreader
    A program called Soylent, is "an add-in for Microsoft Word that uses a distributed copy-editing system to perform tasks like proofreading and text-shortening, as well as a type of specialized edits its developers call The Human Macro'."
  • Lawyer
    One expert estimates that the shift from manual document discovery to e-discovery would lead to a manpower reduction in which one lawyer would suffice for work that once required 500.

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Shakespeare tried to tackle this question in Midsummer's when Puck runs around with his fairy potion and makes Titania fall in love with an ass. The difference, I suppose, is that Shakespeare uses a purely fictional world to comment on the fickle nature of love, and now we are getting closer and closer to entering into a world in which that fiction is a reality and maybe love is not so fickle, but can be controlled.

Can you be in love with someone who is not in love with you? Or, is that not really love? Is that just an idea about love that you are projecting onto another person? Doesn't there have to be some sort of interaction, if even in the form of rejection? And can you ever truly interact with a robot? I guess when it comes to sex this sort of thing already exists in the form of vibrators, but I don't know anyone who is in love with a vibrator.

Perphaps eventually we will redefine the ways that we talk about love. We'll have "natural" love (the messy, accidental kind that happens to you that you have no control over) and the more convenient "artifical" love, good for getting over a bad break-up.

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