Tuesday, March 20, 2018

AEON Article - Embracing the robot: is a human-robot relationship wrong?

I have an article in the online magazine Aeon. It's about the moral/social desirability of human-robot relationships. Here are the first two paragraphs:
There is a heartbreaking scene in the middle of Blade Runner 2049 (2017). The hero of the movie, a replicant called K, lives a drab existence in a dystopian, future Los Angeles. The one bright spot in his life is his patient and sympathetic partner, Joi. They share many affectionate moments on screen. But then she is killed, in the midst of declaring her love, in one of the movie’s most gut-wrenching moments. I know I shed a tear when I first saw it. 
There is, however, something unusual about Joi. She is a mass-produced, artificially intelligent hologram, designed to be the perfect partner. She learns from her interactions with K, and shifts her personality to suit his moods. Her ‘death’, such as it is, is due to the fact that she can exist only in the presence of a particular holographic emanator. When it is destroyed, so is she....
You can read the full thing here.

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