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The Daily Mail informs us that:

A French woman has revealed she is in love with a robot and determined to marry it. [...]

Now, Lilly is reportedly engaged to the robot and says they will marry when human-robot marriage is legalised in France.

This news comes with pictures and is taken at face value by the newspaper. However its validity seems a bit doubtful, both because robots currently are little more than mannequins, but also because there's no plan to legalize human-thing marriages in France.

I'd like to know in first instance if this person exists and whether she made these statements, and if she does, whether she's believable (e.g. is she a known prankster, con artist or specialist in fake news?)

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    'Being engaged' is just a public statement that you intend to marry. Anyone can announce that they intend to marry anyone or anything at all, "once marrying the whatever-it-is becomes legal". Whether the wedding will ever happen is beyond our scope. – DJClayworth Dec 26 '16 at 3:15
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    Is that the definition? In that case, I would like to publicly announce Gisele Bundchen and I are engaged! More seriously, I believe in most jurisdictions, it is a bilateral (perhaps unenforceable) agreement, making an engagement to a non-person impossible. – Oddthinking Dec 26 '16 at 5:04
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    Your argument from incredulity seems based on wrong facts. "because robots currently are little more than mannequins" - not necessarily. One of recent TED talks had examples of empathetic robots that patients admitted to forgetting weren't human after extensive communication. There are sex toy robots. Seems on both emotional and physical level, they are far more than mannequins at this point of technological development. (it's a great question overall though) – user5341 Dec 26 '16 at 15:44
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    The claim that she "says they will marry when human-robot marriage is legalised in France" seems entirely plausible but rather unremarkable. People say all kinds of things for all kinds of reasons. Whether or not human-robot marriage will at some time in the future be legalised in France seems outside the scope of this site. – A E Dec 26 '16 at 17:47
  • @user5341 I am not making any argument, I am simply stating why I don't necessarily believe this news without further evidence. If I actually had a convincing argument, I wouldn't need to post here! :-) – Sklivvz Dec 26 '16 at 19:08
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TL,DR: it all boils down to a single, poorly-verified self-report. But since the whole claim is a report about one person's feelings and plan, there's little substance in the first place.

The story has been reported in the French press recently, but it isn't new. A recent report is ‘Interview : Lilly, pionnière robosexuelle, “Que du bonheur”’ (‘Lilly, robosexual pioneer: “pure bliss”’), in Maïa Mazaurette's blog, dated 20 December 2016. I would normally consider this a reliable source as Maïa Mazaurette also writes for the French reference newspaper Le Monde. But as of today, six days after the blog post, it has been pulled. The entry is still visible in Google's cache, with a photo. It does include the claim of “fiançailles” (engagement) to the robot, which was built by the woman in question, and a desire . So I would treat the existence of someone who claims to be a woman “engaged” to a robot she built as proven, but the validity of that claim is subject to caution. The blog entry may have been pulled because the journalist realized that the entry was a fake, or because the person desired to reclaim some privacy.

A blog entry dated the previous day is still online, announcing the interview for the next day. It claims that the woman “created [her own robot] in 3D”, “defines herself as robosexual” and “waits for a country to legalize human-robot marriage”.

The interview cites an article on futureofsex.net dated 1 December as well as the now defunct @Lillyinmoovator Twitter account. The futureofsex.net article, in turn, only cites the Twitter account and an interview with Lilly.

A Facebook event announced the engagement of Inmoovator and Lilly on 30 October 2016. I didn't find any trace of any ceremony.

Note that unlike marriage, “engagement” (fiançailles) is not a legal framework, only a self-declaration. (Marriage is defined by the Code civil, which does not mention fiançailles at all. An older law mentioned “promise of marriage or engagement” (promesse de mariage ou fiançailles), but only in the context of paternity declarations, and that article was repelled in 1993.)

None of these reports mention any concrete plan for a legal framework for a human-robot marriage, only a hope that this would come up in the future.

The robot would presumably be based on the InMoov design, which is designed to be built by an individual with affordable equipment. (There are numerous reports in Le Monde, e.g. “30 years after its invention, 3D printing technology makes rapid progress”). This of course doesn't say anything about the claim we're interested in other than ruling out one way it could be implausible.

Overall all the reports seem to stem from a now-dead Twitter account (@Lillyinmoovator) and some online interviews with the presumed holder of the account, plus a few photos of a woman with an InMoov robot, all of which first appeared on said Twitter account. The first secondary source was the futureofsex.net interview on 1 December in English, then there was the 20 December interview in French, then a lot of tertiary sources around the world picked it up.

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    -1 most of the info you added (civil code, InMoov design, news reports) don't demonstrate the existence of a person named Lilly + you seem to have reworded my answer with a bit more details. – Sakib Arifin Dec 28 '16 at 6:09
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The story is based on this dead twitter account which was deleted by its owner. A google search for her twitter username returns the following top result:

lillyinmoovator

A google Image search for her Twitter account returns lots of pictures similar to the ones shown in the report cited by OP, from the account associated with the username lillyinmoovator. Whether her real name is Lilly can't be verified since her account is currently deleted.

enter image description here

enter image description here

The Daily Mail article in the question attributes the authorship of the story to Khaleda Rahman for Daily Mail Australia.

Victoria Craw, a journalist for Rupert Murdoch owned news outlets, also reported it at News.com.au, and was syndicated at The Sun, República and Jezebel.

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    Note that news.com, daily mail and the sun are all Rupert Murdoch properties so they might be syndicating similar content. – Sklivvz Dec 26 '16 at 21:38
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    News.com.au is also owned by Murdoch. It is large, but not reputable. – Oddthinking Dec 26 '16 at 22:37
  • Note: The story wasn't based on the Twitter account. It was based on email conversation with the person behind the Twitter account. – Oddthinking Dec 26 '16 at 23:04
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    The Jezebel article doesn't have more information about why she deleted her Twitter account. It has speculation about it. This is precisely the distinction we need to be careful about. This answer doesn't bring us any closer to knowing it this is a hoax or not. – Oddthinking Dec 26 '16 at 23:06
  • @Oddthinking Thanks for pointing that out. I removed the whole quote. – Sakib Arifin Dec 27 '16 at 5:40

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