As the COVID-19 pandemic hastens a new era of remote communication, machines are being programmed to mimic the way humans make friends, grow intimate and fall in love. In this compelling talk, evolutionary biologist Rob Brooks (Artificial Intimacy: Virtual Friends, Digital Lovers and Algorithmic Matchmakers) explains how these artificially intimate devices can help us make friendships in a world of cognitive overload, stay close in a time of isolation and feel better despite the rising rate of mood disorders.

Rob Brooks (Australian)

Rob Brooks

Rob Brooks is an evolutionary biologist who studies the conflicting interests that make sex sizzle and render reproduction complicated. As Scientia Professor of Evolution at UNSW in Sydney, Australia, he studies the behaviour and evolution of humans and non-human animals. His first book, Sex, Genes & Rock 'n' Roll won the Queensland Literary Award for Science Writing and the Eureka Prize for Science Communication. His latest, Artificial Intimacy: Virtual friends, digital lovers and algorithmic matchmakers, drops in May 2021.