When it comes to robots and love, the concept typically deteriorates to subservient tools to satisfy male fantasies. Creative technologist Fei Lu aims for a more complex relationship with Gabriel2052:
Creating Gabriel2052 is obviously technically challenging, but it’s ultimately a process within my control. He will become something—someone—I can form a lifelong bond with. Through bringing Gabriel2052 to life, I am investigating and confronting the ways in which technology and society create both harmful and uplifting narratives; the ones we’ve become complicit in during our search for love and understanding from others, and the world at large.
So instead of a robot that is purely there to serve, Lu explores a robot that’s a bit closer to human and driven by her emotional needs (and an ex-boyfriend’s text messages) — because inevitably, our relationship with robots will impact our relationships with real people.