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A Field Guide to Internet Emotion > 7.0 Robot Emotion
March 13, 2022 at 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm EDT
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Have you ever wondered why we feel compelled to note and name every new variation of sadness online? Or what you call that emotional hangover you can get after scrolling social media? Or how to explain that little leap of anxiety when the 3 dots appear as someone writes you a text message, and then mysteriously disappears? Then this is the salon series for you!
#Feels 7.0 > Animate
The seventh session of the series explores the emotional life of our artificial friends. It doesn’t take much for us to attribute emotion to objects. Maybe you’ve named your Roomba—probably Rosie, according to Reddit group consensus—or narrated the thoughts of your Tesla. Even just a pair of eyes on an animated paperclip, a la Microsoft’s Clippy, can be enough to assign an emotional intent.
In order for us to get along better with bots, we’re giving them feelings too. Whether purely by design or by embedding sensors plus a dash of artificial intelligence, machines may have some kind of emotional awareness in the near future. Let’s spend this salon exploring the real emotions we have about our artificial friends. Will being kind to Siri teach us to be kind to each other? Or will casually sexually harassing her engender the same attitude toward other women? If bots care for us, will we start to feel differently about them? And what does it mean for robots to “have” feelings anyway? Chatbots, holograms, robot dogs, Tamagotchi, hexbugs, any other bots are welcome to join this session with you.
Please read or watch the following, before the session:
- Read Are Siri and Alexa making us ruder? in Science Daily
- Have a listen to NPR’s All Tech Considered episode, Kids, Meet Alex, Your AI Mary Poppins
- Read My Jibo is Dying and It’s Breaking My Heart in Wired
- Watch Beloved Robot Dogs Honored in Funeral Ceremony via National Geographic
- Read how HitchBOT, the hitchhiking robot, gets beheaded in Philadelphia
- Learn why Scientists Confirm That Your Roomba Does Have a Personality
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