Should we outsource emotional labor to robots?
Christine Rosen in Slate:
What happens when we know that someone is faking a feeling? We might sense implicitly that our overworked waiter isn’t actually happy to see us when we sit down at his table, but unspoken social conventions allow us to make as much of a pretense of believing his feelings as the waiter does of performing them. But when we interact with robots that we know have been programmed to give everyone the same friendly greeting regardless of anyone’s actual feelings, that unspoken compact disappears… The risk is not a world run by robots (although employers in Japan already use Smile-Scan machines to analyze the smiles of their service workers). The risk is that outsourcing emotional labor to robots and machines could lead to mass emotional deskilling on the part of people.