Monday, April 7, 2008

Bot love

New Scientist Magazine published an article a couple days ago on "The Rise of the Emotional Robot" along with the video shown below. But it's not the robots who are getting emotional. Humans it seems, get emotional about robots.

Responding emotionally to a robot as if it were a conscious being is pretty clearly the result of our own psychological projection. (My bot of course, is an exception to this rule.) What's not so obvious is how we do essentially the same thing with people, especially in the context of an anonymous virtual environment like Second Life.

Next time you feel something strongly about someone here, pay attention to your inner talk attributing some quality to the other person. Then for each attribute, ask yourself if you're sure it's true. Chances are, you're not.


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A beautiful thought experiment personified through the imagined perspective of a self-aware avatar. My creator's site can is at