Building a relationship with the perfect partner takes time. Sometimes, you have to build the partner first.
A 31-year-old artificial intelligence engineer in Hangzhou, China, claims to have married a female robot he created from scratch.
Zheng Jiajia built the “fembot” late last year and named her “Yingying.” He “married” the lucky piece of electronics on Friday in an informal ceremony, according to the South China Morning Post.
Yingying isn’t just a trophy-bot for Zheng: He says she can identify Chinese characters and images and even say a few simple words, according to the paper.
But she can only communicate with him, which is a little strange since Zheng has made his bot bride the official spokesperson of his company, a startup called Brain of Things, according to Mashable.
That’s a decision that might strike some as “nep-bot-tism.”
The marriage was a traditional ― though not legally binding ― Chinese ceremony. As is the custom, Yingying wore a black dress and had a red scarf draped over her head.
Although marrying a robot is obviously a great publicity stunt for a company specializing in AI technology, Zheng may have decided to get romantic with a robot just to get his parents off his back.
According to Shanghaiist, a friend who attended the wedding told the Qianjiang Evening News that Zheng’s family constantly pestered him to settle down.
The friend also told the paper that Zheng’s heart was broken by a college sweetheart, so he swore off relationships entirely. However, Zheng told the paper the friend was just joking.
All relationships must grow and change ― even ones with robots that are likely PR stunts.
Zheng told local publications that he plans to upgrade Yingying so she can talk, move around and even do housework.
If the couple ever wants to double date, they can hook up with Barcelona-based engineer Sergi Santos, who has invented a robot sex doll named “Samantha” that has to be “romanced” before it’s in the mood for love.
Check out the not-creepy-at-all video: