5 thoughts on “Human-Robot Relations

  1. mpthompson

    Though robots aren’t yet advanced enough to provide the perfect illusion of companionship, that day is not far off.

    Working with robots, I can tell you that the day is pretty far off indeed. Certainly not in the foreseeable future (ie. the next 20 years). I’ll be surprised if in that time we invent a consumer robot that is as self-aware and smart as rat. Of course, some people have rats (and even snakes, tortoise or frogs) as pets so there are bound to be early adopters of such robots. However, robot are going to have to become much, much better to be anything close the relationship depicted in Robot and Frank or the concerns outlined in this article.

    Besides, for the sake of argument, let’s say that an acceptable companion robot could be built and be available to consumers five years from now. Who is to judge that a personal relationship with such a robot is bad? Human relationships can be very painful, boring or unfulfilling for some people and seeking companionship with a robot may be the best alternative available. Does anyone begrudge an elderly person getting pet dog or cat for companionship? What difference does it make if one substitutes the dog for a robot? I fail to understand what this article is specifically saying we should “worry” about.

    If someday robots do indeed become self aware and capable of forming relationships with humans, I can only think it will enrich our lives to be exposed to perspectives on life from an artificial being. I certainly would conversing with an artificial being to be fascinating, but I’m not holding my breath that I’ll experience it in my lifetime.

  2. Alan K. Henderson

    Though robots aren’t yet advanced enough to provide the perfect illusion of companionship, that day is not far off.

    They can’t make Paris Hilton lifelike – you think they can do any better with machines?

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