Can We Be Friends with Robots?

Understanding what it might take for a robot to become a true friend

Evan Selinger
Mar 28, 2018 · 8 min read

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Can We Be Friends?

Aristotle’s Got All the Friends

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What the evidence suggests, therefore, is that anthropomorphic objects can affect how much social support people who feel excluded anticipate needing in the near future.

If fairly basic anthropomorphic objects can have such a powerful impact on our sense of social well-being, then truly sophisticated ones — robots that make Siri and Google Assistant seem downright primitive — can be expected to have a greater hold over us, especially younger children who “struggle” with distinguishing between lifelike robots and living beings.

Evan Selinger

Written by

Prof. Philosophy at RIT. Latest book: “Re-Engineering Humanity.” Bylines everywhere. http://eselinger.org/

Evan Selinger

Written by

Prof. Philosophy at RIT. Latest book: “Re-Engineering Humanity.” Bylines everywhere. http://eselinger.org/

When Robots Rule The World
When Robots Rule The World
When Robots Rule The World

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When Robots Rule The World

As robots become more sophisticated — more like us — will we feel the need to give them civic rights, or should they always remain our slaves? Should we limit how ‘human’ robots can seem, or should we hope to make them in the best image of ourselves. The future is complicated.

As robots become more sophisticated — more like us — will we feel the need to give them civic rights, or should they always remain our slaves? Should we limit how ‘human’ robots can seem, or should we hope to make them in the best image of ourselves. The future is complicated.

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