On the train yesterday I got chatting to a scientist...(as you do). He was on his way to London to get hold of a visa which would enable him to work in Japan for the next 12 months. The purpose of his work? To further study and investigate conscious robots.
As he explained it...(I was a bit confused)...there will soon be robots who are capable of thought. Not just a serious of pre-programmed q&a binary - yes/no - switches - which is how stuff works nowadays....(in other words - not just 'database with every eventuality - flow chart processing.'.....get my drift?) - but actual conscious thought processes the same as we have in our wee little brains. These robots will eventually be used to care for people.
I understood what he was saying - and the way he explained it - it certainly seemd possible - if not highly probable - and seeing as he's off to do research on behalf of one of the huge electronics corporations - it's all highly likely.
I said I would be happy to test a nice caring robot - provided they wrapped it in skin - gave it hair and implanted it with george Clooney's face (and obviously...other bits).
Apparently - 'Cyber-George' will be delivered to my house next week :) I have requested that he knows how to make the perfect Gin and Tonic - and that he's totally programmed with page 79 of the Karma Sutra!