Falling For A Robot

Robert Ito worries that social robots are bad for us:

[Sherry Turkle, director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self,] wonders if such human–robot relationships are inherently deceptive, because they encourage people to feel things for machines that can’t feel anything. Robots are programmed to say I love you when they can’t love; therapeutic robot pets, like aibos and Paros, feign pleasure they don’t feel. Are programmers deluding people with their lovable but unloving creations?

"People can’t help falling for these robots," says [Matthias Scheutz, a computer science professor at Tufts University]. “So if we can avoid it, let’s not design them with faces and humanoid forms. There’s no reason that everything has to have two legs and look like a person.”