October 31, 2011
Alone Together Assessment
The author has explored and researched, through various interviews, the topic of “sociable robots,” technology changing our ideas of community and privacy, and our changing relationships with one another due to technological replacements, robotic moments, and technology in general. She is trying to bring to light that most of us now “create, navigate, and perform our emotional lives” through technology and warn us of the potential dangers of “emotional dislocation.” Turkle stresses “sociable robots” and how we allow them to pose as companions. She explains that we are learning to treat the “inanimate more like human” because we have a tendency to biologically attach to something we nurture or needs to be nurtured. I agree with many of the authors points. As Turkle explains in this book, our society has become what one might think is “close” on the technological front but we have lost intimacy amongst each other. Our dependency on not only technology, but the way technology makes us feel, is rather odd. Technology was initially put in front of us to compute, decipher, or assist with things of a non emotional nature. Now, we seem to be going to technology for every absolute need, even the needs that cannot be in any way, shape, or form really replicated. Turkle gives the perfect example of Miriam and her robotic therapeutic seal Mora. When Miriam is feeling depressed, she strokes her pet seal and as a result her pet seal senses her touch and triggers a warm response. Another example supporting her thesis is the one of the first encounters study with children. In this study, most children were expressing feelings, towards these robots, of love, nurture, and even best friendship. These feelings were somehow perceived as if they were also felt back by these inanimate objects, “Cog loves me; Kismet is like my sister, she loves me.” In this book, Turkle explains that technology is giving us a sense of...
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