Three things have happened in recent months that promise to change the nature of human relationships forever. A recent report indicates that the marriage rate in the United States is lower than it's ever been and the birth rate continues to decline as well.
The fact that the marriage rate continues to fall is proof that men and women today are making up their own minds about who to marry and when rather than letting those things be determined by family or finances as they have been in the past. With women continuing to take a more prominent role in the work-force, they no longer have to be economically dependent on their husbands as they have been throughout history. This frees them up to choose who they want to be with, rather than who they have to be with and that's a crucial change in marital relationships.
On top of that, two inventions promise to change the nature of romantic relationships even more. In last week's edition of Time magazine that featured the year's 50 best inventions, the one that promises to change us more than anything else is the development of mind reading software. This will allow people to not only know what somebody else is thinking but to actually see it. It's a process called quantitative modeling and when it becomes available to the general public, and it will as all things that work eventually are, we will no longer have to wonder if that special person in our life is lying to us or not, we'll be able to see it with our own eyes.
I've written before about a "love detector" machine that works much like the lie detector machine except that it would tell us whether or not someone actually loved us or not. I thought that would always remain in the science fiction category but I was wrong. Quantitative modeling IS the love detector machine because it will tell us what a person is thinking that goes far beyond what they're saying. A lot of people think one thing and say another and up until now, we've had no ability to tell the difference. We place some emphasis on the things they do but a lot of people are very good at covering up their lies so, in the end, we have to just believe they mean what they say until they prove to us they don't. That proof often comes with a sudden shock that we didn't anticipate. Numerous people have had the sky fall on their heads when their loved one leaves them without any indication beforehand that was going to happen. When quantitative modeling becomes mass produced, that will put an end to the lies and deceit some people run their lives by and that will be a good thing.
The other invention is even more mind-boggling. We all know that robots are becoming more of a norm than an exception and there are now robots that do a lot of the work humans used to do. But that's just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what they'll do in the future. Work is already being done on robots that will, in effect, replace our life partners. Within the next 20 to 30 years, we will be able to have robots built for us according to our specifications and requirements. We'll be able to design their physical features, which will include their skin color, hair fiber, eye color and everything else that has to do with the way they look. We'll be able to give them not only the voice we want them to have but the emotions as well. They can be programmed to be loyal only to us, to love only us and to have any emotion we want them to have. So, if we choose, they will always be true, they will always act the way we want them to act, and they will never lie to us or betray us. And if you get tired of it, you can simply redesign a different model. It's suspected that when a person has the option to choose a robot that has all the human qualities of a person with none of the imperfections, marriage may become a thing of the past.
These things aren't the mental ramblings of mad scientists anymore. They're real today and will become more advanced and perfected as time goes by. There have been more life-changing inventions in the past century than there were in all the years man has lived on this planet before and that geometric progression of ideas will continue.
Progress is not always good but it's always progress. We will continue to progress as a civilization rather than regress and that means life 50 years from now will bear little resemblance to life today. But we will adapt, adjust and move forward, because progress and advancement won't allow anything else.