Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Here is Paro, the robotic harp seal, about which (whom?) Sherry Turkle writes in "A Nascent Robotics Culture: New Complicities for Companionship." And here he (why always he?) is, at work as a therapy robot. And finally here he is as a patient.

Turkle, and several of my students, found Paro creepy; more precisely, they found creepy the ease with which people decided to nurture Paro and treat him as a real, living being. In some studies people seemed to prefer Paro to human interaction, and that might be a slippery slope to people becoming totally isolated.

However, I can't resist this thing, even in the pictures. I wouldn't have a chance.

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