Chinese AI engineer marries robot he built himself

Posted at 3:08 PM, Apr 05, 2017

It was love at first reboot.

Chinese media reports that an AI engineer “married” a robot he built in the city of Hangzhou last Friday.

According to the South China Morning Post, which cites the Qianjiang Evening News, 31-year-old Zheng Jiajia married his robot, “Yingying,” in a traditional yet informal Chinese wedding ceremony.

Though Yingying is unable to walk or move, she was able to consent to the marriage. She is able to respond to basic audio prompts, read Chinese symbols and recognize images. Zheng says he hopes to upgrade his “wife” soon to allow her to walk and “help out with household chores.”

It’s widely speculated that Yingying and Zheng’s marriage was held as a marketing even for Zheng’s startup company, Brian of Things. Yingying is listed as the company’s official spokesperson.

Business aside, Zheng told Pear Video he was thrilled to begin his life with his new robotic wife.

“My dream of making my own spouse finally came true. I want to see robots in every home, and ultimately I want to build a realistic robot girlfriend."

Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.