Robots will soon be able to experience emotions and will outnumber humans by 2048, it has been claimed.
Dr Ian Pearson, a British futurologist, novelist and engineer, said the robot population on Earth will grow from about 57 million to 9.4 billion in the next 30 years.
Speaking to NOW TV, he also predicted that robots could become “emotionally intelligent” by 2028.
Dr Pearson said his forecast was based on the “modest prediction” that the robot population will grow by a fifth every year.
“Today the global robot population is probably around 57 million,” he said.
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“That will grow quickly in the foreseeable future and by 2048 robots will overtake humans.
“If we allow for likely market acceleration, that could happen as early as 2033.
“By 2028, some of those robots will already be starting to feel genuine emotions and to respond to us emotionally.’
Meanwhile, a survey of 2,000 Britons conducted by NOW TV, to coincide with the second season of sci-fi show Westworld, revealed that 71% of people “fear the rise of artificially intelligent robots”.