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

End of Part 1

  • Several chapters at the end of part 1 tell of further studies of newer robots and their human interactions. One thread of conversation at MIT includes the ethics of exposing children to sociable robots. While robots like My Real Baby are popular with children, it seems that it is the elderly that fall in love with them as it makes them feel wanted. If the elderly are tended by underpaid workers who may do their job by rote, it can be easier to accept a robot nurse. Sherry notes that pretending behavior is something humans do as well as robots. Adult children may prefer robot care for aging parents in order to help them stay in their homes longer and avoid the possibilities of abuse, neglect, or theft that can happen with real care givers. If we gain comfort from pets, which have limited understanding, why not embrace relationships with robots.
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