A crucial guide to life before—and after—Tinder, IVF, and robots.

What happens when we entangle our lives and our emotions with machines? How have our notions of marriage and parenthood evolved, as reproductive technologies continue to gain ground? How does our understanding of gender change as medical advances enable individuals to transition from one set of sexual characteristics to another, or to remain happily perched in between? What will happen to love and sex and romance as our relationships migrate from the real world to the Internet? Can people fall in love with robots? Will they?

In "Work Mate Marry Love," Harvard Business School professor Debora L. Spar offers an incisive and provocative account of how technology has transformed our intimate lives in the past, and how it will do so again in the future. In their day, the street light, the car, and later the pill all upended courtship and sex. Now, as we enter an era of artificial intelligence and robots, how will our deepest feelings and attachments evolve accordingly?

In the past, the prevailing modes of production produced a world dominated by heterosexual, mostly-monogamous, two-parent families. In the future, however, these patterns are almost certain to be reshaped, creating entirely new norms for sex and romance, and for the construction of families and the raising of children. Steering clear of both techno-euphoria and alarmism, Spar offers a bold and inclusive vision of how our lives might be changed for the better.

384 pages. Hardcover.

About the Author:

DEBORA L. SPAR is a professor and Senior Associate Dean at Harvard Business School, and former president of Barnard College. She has written extensively on the economics of the human fertility industry and the evolution of the Internet.