March 4, 2004

Turkle on Emotional Agents

by Andrew Stern · , 10:07 am

The Boston Globe ran an article last Sunday about Sherry Turkle, who is hosting an “Evocative Objects” symposium held tomorrow, Friday March 5, at MIT.

The article touches on emotional robotic and virtual characters, including robots in nursing homes.

What has become increasingly clear to her is that, counterintuitively, we become attached to sophisticated machines not for their smarts but their emotional reach. “They seduce us by asking for human nurturance, not intelligence,” she says. “We’re suckers not for realism but for relationships.” … “We need a national conversation on this whole area of machines like the one we’re having on cloning,” Turkle says. “It shouldn’t be just at AI conventions and among AI developers selling to nursing homes.”

We’ve discussed emotion in the context of virtual characters and games several times here on GTxA (1 2 3 4).