Why robot nannies probably won’t do much psychological damage

While the issue of robot child care is obviously of critical importance, an appraisal will not benefit either the field or society if it unrealistically exaggerates a threat, any more so than if it unrealistically trivialises danger. Thus while I largely concur with Sharkey and Sharkey (hereafter S&S) on many substantial and important points, I…

Perception, Imagination and Affect in Human–Robot Relationships

As they arrive in our homes, nursing facilities and educational institutions, urgent questions are being asked about the ethics of encouraging people to have feelings towards social robots that have roles as companions, carers and teachers. This article suggests that the quality of these debates is enhanced by examining how people perceive robots and, in…

Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other

Consider Facebookits human contact, only easier to engage with and easier to avoid. Developing technology promises closeness. Sometimes it delivers, but much of our modern life leaves us less connected with people and more connected to simulations of them. In Alone Together, MIT technology and society professor Sherry Turkle explores the power of our new…