Robot Interaction Leading to Superficial, Instictive Emotional Reactions

Sherry TurkleAccording to the article Robotic pets may be bad medicine for melancholy, Sherry Turkle, the director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self, and "a clinical psychologist, spoke earnestly and openly about her fears, acknowledging that some parts of her research 'gave me the chills' on a very personal level and that she is 'struggling to find an open voice.'"
Increasingly sophisticated robots--with big eyes that follow our faces or which respond to human voice and touch--trigger "Darwinian" responses in us; we are "wired" to react to objects that track our movement, Turkle said.

"This is not about building AI with a lot of smarts," she said. The impact is "not on what it has but how it makes people feel."
Compare and contrast with:
  • The views of Rosalind W. Picard (Affective Computing) and other proponents of emotional computing.
  • Animatrix, the Matrix sequel providing background info on that universe, featuring highly emotionally charged sequences in the short story about the start of the war between humans and machines. It includes scenes purposefully envoking associations to worst in human behaviour, based on documentary footage from Nazi contrencation camps, Vietnam war, or South Africa racial riots.

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