Sunday, December 23, 2007

We will soon be emotional about machines!

Two from today's Washington Post:

"Programmed for Love: If advances in artificial intelligence continue, your next lover may have an on/off switch." The Washington Post, December 23, 2007. (Review of LOVE AND SEX WITH ROBOTS:
The Evolution Of Human-Robot Relationships
by David Levy)
Here's a prediction that'll make you squirm: In the future, people will fall in love with robots. Robots will not be cold, predictable machines, but actual lovers -- precocious, sexy, and remarkably humanlike in appearance. Humans will even marry robots in certain obliging jurisdictions. Now send the kids into the other room while we mention the obvious, bizarre implication: Someday, people will have sex with robots.
"A Dinosaur With a Future?" by Mike Musgrove, December 23, 2007.
Pleo, (a toy computer controlled dinosaur) sold for $350 by California start-up Ugobe, has been the subject of fascination in the geek community ever since it made a preview appearance at the prestigious Demo technology conference in 2006.

Pleo has two built-in microphones for hearing, a camera for detecting motion and sensors under his skin to tell him when you're petting him. In his belly are a USB port and an SD card slot, in case you want to load him up with the latest software posted online by his creators or by other Pleo enthusiasts and programmers.
Comment: It will be interesting to see how psychologists trying to figure out how human emotions work, computer scientists seeking to figure out how to make machines more user friendly, and entrepreneurs seeking money develop emotional robots. The Asians will probably lead hear.

Bob Textor years ago talked about tempocentrism, recognizing that values change with time, and that people in the future will judge technologies differently than we do. Emotional responses to machines may be a major difference in values! JAD

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