This article on human-robot relationships caught my attention because it tied in perfectly with a discussion my online science fiction class ("Who We Are & What We Dream: Comparative Science Fiction") was having in response to one of the short stories we'd read.
Would "relationships with robots would be fake and illusory: perceptual tricks, foisted on us by commercially driven corporations"? Or are we just deluded into thinking "biological tissue is magic" and that "there is little reason to doubt that a robot that is behaviourally and functionally equivalent to a human cannot sustain a meaningful relationship[?] There is, after all, every reason to suspect that we are programmed, by evolution and culture, to develop loving attachments to one another. It might be difficult to reverse-engineer our programming, but this is increasingly true of robots too, particularly when they are programmed with learning rules that help them to develop their own responses to the world."
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