Ancient animistic beliefs live on in our intimacy with tech

06-Mar-2020
From Big Think
Our social emotions are now being hijacked by robots.

When Alexa replied to my question about the weather by tacking on 'Have a nice day,' I immediately shot back 'You too,' and then stared into space, slightly embarrassed.

I also found myself spontaneously shouting words of encouragement to 'Robbie' my Roomba vacuum as I saw him passing down the hallway. And recently in Berkeley, California, a group of us on the sidewalk gathered around a cute four-wheeled KiwiBot – an autonomous food-delivery robot waiting for the traffic light to change. Some of us instinctively started talking to it in the sing-song voice you might use with a dog or a baby: 'Who's a good boy?'


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