Could You Fall in Love With Your Computer?

As computer technology continues to improve one of of the questions on many people’s minds is just how far they will go. Are they going to eventually have the intelligence to communicate with human beings on their own level. To take the question to another level, some experts are wondering if a human being could fall in love with a computer, and to what extent a human would have to need companionship in order to do so. In fact, a recent film starring Joaquin Phoenix explores this very issue. The Spike Jonze film “Her” is about a lonely man falling in love with a computer, which is an advanced artificial intelligence. The computer is named Samantha and is voiced by Scarlett Johansson.

The film is a nod to our 21st century technology, with the artificial intelligence being mobile, allowing Theodore to talk to Samantha on the computer, and through a device similar to a Bluetooth in his ear when he is on the go. The main thing about Samantha is that the AI feels completely real and human and although computers have not quite advanced to the point of this film yet, the technology is startlingly similar and it is quite easy to see how the path could lead to that. Gary Clayton, an expert on computer speech and artificial intelligence at Nuance Communications, the film doesn’t just have the ring of truth to it, it is something that they are actually working on.  ”We’ve got a way to go yet, although the big companies are marching very quickly toward that end,” he says.

Computers are advancing faster than ever, with some systems being able to read the expression on your face, and the mood of your voice, just like humans do. Also, the computer AI that Clayton is working on can even recognize someone’s voice. Of course, the computer in the film can do a whole lot that computers may never be able to do in real life, like composing a love song for Samantha’s “owner”. Already, scientists are attempting to teach computers how to recognize pattern based human pursuits.