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Meek at whose everlasting feet
A myriad daisy play --
Which, Sir, are you and which am I
Upon an August day?

Emily Dickinson
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AM/PM Session - 3 July 2018 - How humans bond with robot colleagues

NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,057 Teacher
We read an article looking at the relationship between people and robots they work with:


Vocabulary Top 10:

lurk - to wait in a secret or hidden place especially in order to do something wrong or harmful

just so happens - used for saying that something is true, although it is surprising

bond - to form a close relationship with someone

clumsy - moving or doing things in a very awkward way and tending to drop or break things

have a mind of its own - to have its own ideas and make its own choices about what should be done

ascribe - to say or think that (something) is caused by, comes from, or is associated with (something or someone)

footage - scenes or action recorded on film or video

befriend - to become a friend to (someone)

anoint - to officially or formally choose (someone) to do or to be something

anthropomorphise - considering animals, objects, etc., as having human qualities (e.g. the ball 'Wilson' in Castaway)

Do you have any robot colleagues?
What do you think about classing extremely advanced robots as 'electronic persons' and giving them some human rights?


  • MonikMonik Posts: 1,001 ✭✭✭✭
    @NatashaT I don't have any robots colleagues.. Well, not yet. So, I consider the idea of having them as colleagues a bit fun.

    According to the article, I agree about how easily humans can attach to any sort of thing. It's proved that we tend to bond to someone or something in general, is part of our nature. However, they are giving them much more importance it deserves. Big companies and manufactures have incepted us the idea of having a better life with robots simply because "they are better than us". The article also points out that people enjoy when robots behave in a similar way to human beings. Is not crazy humanize a machine given them features to be more like us? Wouldn't them drift us apart?

    This is not only about making better robots but changing the way we conceive life.
    I'm pretty sure that most of us understand what technology means in our lives, but sooner or later the mindset of new generations will change, then what we think as unthinkable will be a fact in the future. :smile:

  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 1,929 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I agree with @Monik that, in one not too far future, the robots might replace not only our human colleagues, but friends and possibly partners too.

    So, in a bid to refine anthropomorphisation of the robots, we even more give them familiar features, while altering, from top to toe, our world how we have known it, to day.

    It's a U-turn in the way we are going to conceive life and vital relationships.

    However, I also think that one push for humans to bond with their colleague robot, is also simply fear.

    Who knows ? They could silently stand up or reach out, while you're busy with some task, confidently turning your back to them.

    Their shadow would loom at your back, until they snap and grasp your arm with their iron claws, and squeeze it like it was a ketchup tube.

    Therefore, it's perhaps better to establish a friendly relationship with such a clever and apparently pacific and untiring mechanical co-worker: just in case.

    Maybe, we could also be able to detect, also to mark with a pen, a smile between two of its ' head's ' LEDs: it shouldn't be difficult to imagine, given the universally accepted stylized emoticon smile: :)

    I don't think bonding with robots might turn out a serious problem, as long as this tendency doesn't come out of mental disorder, or social loneliness.

    As long as all come down to collective playful entertainment and involvement of intelligent machines, pretending they can share our feelings and laugh at our witty statements, it all can fall into normal workplace routine.

    Opposite the case, I believe, the individual employees ordinarily get in a face to face chat with their robot next desk: it could be a pathological behaviour, unless they really share a common interest... say, maybe they support the same football team.

    Honestly, I consider that the strongest bonds might be tied between robots and employers, or bosses in their turn.

    Efficiency, productivity, no need ever neither to get days off work, nor to enjoy any kinds of leaves; they never get on strikes, because the wage, better its lack, is never raised as a questionable matter.

    The day artificial intelligence will gain that bit of creativity, fancy, imagination, it still lacks, I think, we'll finally and absolutely rely on robots, as the only entities entitled to and qualified for entering workplaces and professions.

    What our human-specific roles then ? To stay put, waiting for the metallic bread winner, to buzz, beep and clang their way back home.
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
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