Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other

Nearest Neighbors

  • The first part of the book The Robotic Moment Sherry looks at human relationships with robotic technology. She starts with how children view toys like Furbys and Tamagotchis. They are comfortable with the idea of a robot as both machine and creature. They are alive enough to be a friend. We love what we nurture. Even though a child can reset a dead Tamagotchi and start again, they will often ask their parents to purchase another. Sherry tells of an experiment where she gave Furbys to children and studied their stories. The emotional reactions are fascinating as the children find the toys irreplaceable and suffer when they are sick or when a well-meaning parent removes the batteries and kills it. There are also stores about experimental robot studies at MIT.
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