A crucial guide to life before―and after―Tinder, IVF, and robots.
What will happen to our notions of marriage and parenthood as reproductive technologies increasingly allow for newfangled ways of creating babies? What will happen to our understanding of gender as medical advances enable individuals to transition from one set of sexual characteristics to another, or to remain happily perched in between? What will happen to love and sex and romance as our relationships migrate from the real world to the Internet? Can people fall in love with robots? Will they? In short, what will happen to our most basic notions of humanity as we entangle our lives and emotions with the machines we have created?
In Work Mate Marry Love, Harvard Business School professor and former Barnard College president Debora L. Spar offers an incisive and provocative account of how technology has transformed our intimate lives in the past, and how it will do so again in the future. Surveying the course of history, she shows how marriage as we understand it resulted from the rise of agriculture, and that the nuclear family emerged with the industrial revolution. In their day, the street light, the car, and later the pill all upended courtship and sex. Now, as we enter an era of artificial intelligence and robots, how will our deepest feelings and attachments evolve?
In the past, the prevailing modes of production produced a world dominated by heterosexual, mostly-monogamous, two-parent families. In the future, however, these patterns are almost certain to be reshaped, creating entirely new norms for sex and romance, and for the construction of families and the raising of children. Steering clear of both techno-euphoria and alarmism, Spar offers a bold and inclusive vision of how our lives might be changed for the better.
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