"...Robotic labor seems like a brilliant idea that will ultimately create more wealth, and open up more opportunity for humans to pursue enjoyable work." - Aaron Saenz
Following from this post, when I wrote about the changing role of employment in the future, I now turn to the idea of robots. The article linked to above offers a concise summary of the way things seem likely to go. But I don't want to write about automated manufacturing or similar. Much more fun is an idea I've touched on with Seth's Basement. Artificial companions, in other words.
For around $6,000 USD it's possible to purchase a male or female life-sized doll from a company like Real Doll. Dress 'em how you like and go play. They're an excellent solution for some people's needs. The first person to combine these with (improved) robotics, AI, and the beauty of Asian ball-jointed dolls will be a billionaire within the hour.
I'd have a small harem of around half-a-dozen gorgeous male doll-bots - not so much for sex toys but for more practical purposes. First, they'd all be programmed with martial arts skills and therefore function as security guards. Other useful programming would include DIY skills, cookery, multiple languages, business and finance, gardening, multiple vehicle operation (car, plane, boat etc.), domestic maintainence, and data banks full of useful or interesting information. Being fully programmable, any tendency to drone on about sports, Top Gear and cartoon super heroes will be kept only to the absolute minimum required to allow them to communicate effectively with human males. Also the list of useful doll-bot downloads could be improved upon indefinitely, and no laptop would ever look so cute.