It's a slow day, so I'll do some prophesying. Catchy title, eh?
While taking a break, on some terrace or something, earlier this week, I noticed one of those billboards advertising ice cream. You know the ones: very colourful, with a total babe licking some ice cream. This babe was also looking the viewer in the eye. If the ad hadn't been carrying the name of the ice cream, you'd be excused to think it an ad for some soft porn movie, where you'd want it to be hard core.
Now, when buying the ice cream, women get the idea they're hot, and man get the idea they can hook one of those babes for themselves.
Then, it occurred to me that, in the not too distant future, when buying large enough consumer goods, like a car, or a home, probably first with a home, you'll get a humanoid robot thrown in for free, or at a reasonable premium. One to do all your chores for you and to give you, the buyer (of the home), a semblance of social life at home when you're actually a sad lonely muppet. Sort of like a huge tamagotchi, or a virtual pet.
This sounds probably more far fetched than it really is. Particularly individuals in higher social circles will work harder and harder to try and get on top, when the economy becomes more and more knowledge-oriented. Your future you will be so busy at work, he'll want to wait until his forties to start thinking about acquiring a mate and building a family. At an earlier stage, it will just take too much time. Time, needed for building his career.
Then, having that humanoid robot around sounds mightily appealing: One who cleans, cooks and opens her mouth when you throw her a cookie. And technically, it's not too far off at all. We already have robots that walk and run, and fake skin and robot heads that already look quite real.
Needless to say, these humanoid robots will also be pretty and physically attractive, in short, they'll be very sexy babes. Why wouldn't they? Why make a robot which looks like your 55 year old smelly aunt?
Then, however, things will slowly start to go wrong. For society at large, that is. Some sod will take out his willy in stead of a cookie and teach his robot some tricks not in the manual. Then, after the appropriate hacks have propagated through the internet, no robot will have been left untried and, with some of the even more realistic models, young urban professionals will stop seeing the point of trying to find that mate after they're forty. Why keep on a family when you can have all the pleasures without any of the pain (unless the robot runs some version of Windows, perhaps).
Of course, I'm writing this from a male perspective, but the future woman is today's man, and just as emancipated. No difference there, then.
And then, of course, no, or at any rate, much less, kids will see the light of day.
So there you have it. Civilization probably won't actually die, but high earning individuals, the economically more successful ones and, most likely and sadly, the more intelligent ones, will filter themselves out of society.
Planet earth will become a society of degenerates.