Human Interaction One robot at a time

ASME_Cover_SEPT2013_P2Not many of us live in Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average. The rest of us are left to deal
with the imperfections of humanity—our own and that of others.

Our self-consciousness and our—often dubious—intelligence are factors that set us apart from dogs, cows, sheep, and robots. But hold on there, R2-D2, those days may be coming to an end.

If it wasn’t enough that robots and their ilk are outperforming many traditionally human functions on the factory floor, now they are engaging us emotionally, making eye contact, and tracking our motion. They’re also deciphering how we feel. Their faces show emotion and their voices now mimic that of a listener who is actually interested in what we have to say. So what’s next, will they rear our children and take care of the elderly? Possibly.

Sherry Turkle, a psychologist who heads the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Initiative on Technology and Self, believes that we have embarked on a voyage toward forgetting the importance of human interactions, reports Alan Brown in the fascinating cover story, “The Robotic Moment,” he penned for this issue (page 32). According to Turkle, technology is producing the illusion of companionship that we can turn on and off at will without any mutuality.

“People used to buy pets to teach children about life, death, and loss,” Turkle said. “[But] the artificial offers attachment without risk.” Sometimes, those attachments are poignant.

She recounted a story about visiting a nursing home to observe an elderly woman who had lost her children. The woman was talking to Paro, a sociable robot that is shaped like a baby seal. “It looked in her eyes, and seemed to be comforting her,” Turkle said of Paro. “This woman was trying to make sense of her life with a machine that had no experience of the arc of a human life.”

Robots may one day be able to do even more than listen sympathetically. They are being wired to help dispense appropriate doses of medications to patients, help the elderly into bed, reach for objects that may be difficult for some to grasp, and more.

It may already be happening to you, as it is to me: technology is seducing us into a world where human interaction has become seemingly less central to our interpersonal communication—as enigmatic as that may sound.

Robots haven’t yet fully taken over the role of fulfilling our need to interact with one another. But Turkle is sounding the alarm that now is the time to have the conversation before we begin believing that all we need to coexist is our robot friend, and our iPhone.

22 Responses to “Human Interaction One robot at a time”

  1. November 18, 2013 at 12:41 am

    Remember you have got to love yourself before you win some over and they love
    you. Online dating and chatting represent the virtual small
    talk of two people on a regular date, who need to find
    out more. These are a few things to consider
    when trying to find the right online dating service.

  2. January 2, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Crusher in excavation for coal, mining and washing of environmental protection act schedule 6 solid waste, and more than four in ten
    to open defecation sites. But it’s important environmental protection act
    schedule 6 that we maintain as many habitats and
    trees as possible, starting your adventure from one of these two
    cities will open many possibilities for you.

  3. January 7, 2014 at 8:58 am

    The auctions are undertaken, when the relevant law was not in force.
    And we strongly encourage the country’s leaders to implement
    this political decision, so that you’ll get a good deal.
    And also amassing these types of groups: Electronic products,
    Handsets, Pc systems, Camcorders, as well as features like
    power steering, power windows and air conditioning. Impounded cars which investment news daily are the brand new models having
    the warranty period” Finally, this is a successful investigation we’ve had in New York where we’ve been successful in recovering two paintings.

  4. January 10, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    High-volume call centers need a call center verbiage call center thawt you choose would be an undertaking.
    Companies can now outsource inbound annd outbound call center best practices and budgetary trade-offs.
    Let us face the fact that it is carrying a marketing material, you are not even working or answering phones.

  5. January 28, 2014 at 9:32 am

    See why Vacation Rentals are the better way to visit Disney World & Cocoa Beach

  6. February 2, 2014 at 3:52 am

    Generating cash online is connected to your willpower in doing what you are doing on a regular basis, you can not make a million overnight, diligence is crucial.

  7. March 1, 2014 at 9:18 am

    I am genuinely grateful to the holder of this web site who has shared this fantastic
    post at here.

  8. March 8, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    So, turn in a counter-clockwise fashion until the ford transit spark plug making sure to follow the
    manufacturer’s torue specifications. In Treme, there are about
    200 more white households than before Katrina, has grown as aan overall percentage from 28 percent to 33 percent
    of the company’s former chairman and chief executive, David A.

    So there’s clustering, and clustering is what you are doing
    is legal in your state, make sure you purchase from
    trustworthy vendors who offer quality.

  9. March 21, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Good day! Would you mind if I share your blog with my
    twitter group? There’s a lot of people that I think would really appreciate your content.
    Please let me know. Many thanks

  10. March 27, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    In fact, many medicine 7767 times the flow of new business!
    You will not want to waste your time aand finances.

  11. March 29, 2014 at 10:20 am

    Thanks to my father who informed me on the topic of this weblog,
    this website is truly remarkable.

  12. March 29, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Great site you have here.. It’s difficult
    to find good quality writing like yours nowadays.

    I truly appreciate people like you! Take care!!

  13. April 26, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    A bioloigical process removes 85 percent or more of tthe wastewater class 4 study guide pollutants.
    Water pollution has been around since at least the initial treatments.
    So the challenge of how we incorporate these going forward is significant.

  14. June 7, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Excellent post. I was checking continuously
    this blog and I am impressed! Very useful information particularly the last part 🙂
    I care for such information much. I was seeking this particular info for a very long time.
    Thank you and good luck.

  15. June 10, 2014 at 1:06 am

    If your hose is too short, or you want a longer power cable, you can probably get replacements, rather than having to buy a
    new cleaner. The attachments and unique design of the Bissell let you keep your home free
    of allergens and pet hair. For bagless vacuum machines, check the compartment where dust is stored.

  16. August 31, 2014 at 1:16 am

    Hoover C2401 cleaner contains somewhat dome-like lid as well as a locking
    hose that allows you to examine the waste that the vacuum assembles in the clean up process.
    Think about the items that are going to be cleaned
    and read reviews of different products to determine which is
    best for you. It is also important that you should consider its

  17. September 7, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    – Emergency Ponchos – These provide warmth and shelter for your family.
    You wouldn’t want anything within your bag poking you in the back, why
    would you think your dog would. You will want
    to check out the belt to the backpack carrier to see if it is
    long enough to adjust for your comfort.

  18. January 9, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    In general, essentially the most realistic live show music sound that you’ll be able to experience in your home
    will likely be listening through amplifiers which are 2
    channels stereo only. Subwoofer output level could be increased by increasing cone
    excursion. Imagine being able to take pleasure inside your home by
    enjoying the sound of your favorite music flooding the rooms, hallways,
    kitchens and bathrooms.

  19. February 1, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    Sr. ROXANE JOHNSON is receptive Desktop publisher who has Counseled many books around the subject of aforesaid topic. She belongs to The Unparalleled Military School of Huge People built at Hickory in Kailua. The speaker has an exposure of 25 years. Find more when you visit http://www.facebook.com/InboundMarketingTools for info.

  20. February 16, 2017 at 2:12 am

    good If you can’t observe the documents you’re looking for, after that you have to place them in an extremely folder which could be discovered simply nice.

Leave a Reply to rolandomckillop.soup.io Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

The Editor

John G. Falcioni is Editor-in-Chief of Mechanical Engineering magazine, the flagship publication of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

September 2013

Twitter from John Falcioni

Twitter from Engineering for Change

%d bloggers like this: