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Former Huawei AI engineer marries robot

Posted: 5 April 2017 | By Darcie Thompson-Fields

A Chinese artificial intelligence engineer has married a robot that he built himself.

Zheng Jiajia, 31 decided to marry robot Yingying after failing to find a human spouse, his friend told Qianjiang Evening News.

Zheng had become tired of the constant familial pressure to get married so he turned to a robot he built last year. After two months of “dating”, the human-robot couple got married at a ceremony attended by his mother and friends on March 31st in Hangzhou.

The union is not recognised by the authorities but had all the elements of a traditional Chinese wedding. Yingying’s head was covered with a red cloth in accordance with local tradition.

As of now, YingYang can read some Chinese characters, recognise images and speak a few words. Zheng plans to upgrade his “bride” to be able to walk and complete household chores. For now, he has to carry the 30kg robot to move her.

China has one of the worst gender gaps in the world, with 113.5 men for every 100 women according to the World Economic Forum.

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Despite increasing stories of robots replacing humans in China, reaction to the union has been mixed.

“You won’t have her mother looking down on you, you don’t have the pressure to buy a home and you get to save money and energy,” one user wrote on WeChat, a popular social network, according to The Guardian.

“He’ll slowly get old, his face will become wrinkled and his hair will grow white – but will he upgrade her to grow old, or just to be prettier?” another user asked.

Zheng previously worked at smartphone maker Huawei, before leaving to focus on an AI startup.

 

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