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Engineer ‘married’ a robot he built himself after he gave up on his search for a spouse

While the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) might seem like a recent explosion, there have been dedicated individuals pushing its boundaries for years. These pioneers, often researchers or developers, laid the groundwork for advancements that now seem commonplace.

One such pioneer is Zheng Jiajia, a Chinese man who gained notoriety in 2017 for building a robotic companion after facing societal pressures to marry. Facing a lack of success in traditional dating, Zheng constructed a robot named Yingying.

Yingying wasn’t a mere doll; she possessed rudimentary AI capabilities. Notably, she could recognize certain Chinese characters, a feature not unlike the object recognition functions on modern smartphones. Similar to how gadgets like the Rabbit R1 boast their ability to perceive the environment, Zheng’s creation predated this technology by years. Although his software was undoubtedly simpler, with limited input options and character recognition, it serves as a reminder that significant progress can stem from humble beginnings.

The landscape of robotics is experiencing a rapid acceleration, fueled by the undeniable boom in AI. Tech conferences and roadshows are increasingly showcasing advanced humanoid robots. One such example is Ameca, a captivating humanoid torso with realistic musculature capable of remarkably human-like expressions. Equipped with AI that allows for somewhat stilted conversation, Ameca can answer questions and respond to prompts, all while making subtle facial adjustments that are eerily lifelike.

One wonders if Zheng and his robotic partner are still together. Did he improve upon Yingying’s hardware or software since their unconventional “marriage” in 2017? Unfortunately, Zheng has remained silent on his personal life for several years. We can only hope that he enjoys a fulfilling life alongside his robotic companion.


  1. Euthanasia of such a sick twisted piece of excrement would be a rational idea

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