A leading expert in the field of artificial intelligence has predicted that robots and humans will be able to have children within the next century, creating a new hybrid species. The claim has been made by Dr David Levy, author of Love and Sex with Robots.

Dr Levy's claims are based on research into bio nanotechnology, stem cells and robot genetics. He is set to reveal his findings at the International Congress on Love and Sex with Robots in London tomorrow (20 December).

In particular he points to the work of scientists at Ohio State University, who used nanotechnology to create a chip that can successfully pass genetic code into skin cells.

According to the Daily Star Online, Dr Levy will say: "Suddenly the very real possibility has appeared on the horizon of the robots of the future manipulating human skin cells to create human sperm and human eggs."

He adds that from them, robots may be capable of "creating an entire human baby whose embryo can be nurtured and carried through pregnancy by a mother surrogate.

"This is how I believe it will be possible, within the foreseeable future, for humans and robots to make babies together."

He will add that the technology to make this possible will be "an odds-on cert" within the next 100 years.

Dr Levy will say that until 25 July 1979, humanity believed sexual intercourse between a man and woman was the only way to conceive a child. That changed with the first successful case of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment and the world's first "test tube baby".

"With the advent of IVF, science rewrote the conception rule book and provided the impetus for researchers to investigate possible alternative means of human reproduction," Dr Levy will say.