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Aspen Ideas Festival: Who Do We Become When We Talk to Machines?

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Sherry Turkle

Airs Sunday, November 15, at 6 p.m. Machines have no friendship to offer, and yet we persist in the desire for conversation, companionship, and even communion with the inanimate. Has the simulation of empathy become empathy enough? The simulation of communion, communion enough? We are at the robotic moment not because we have made robots that are ready to be our companions but because we are willing to be theirs. Who do we become when we talk to machines? What do we forget when we talk to machines? How can we remember ourselves? Sherry Turkle is Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Founder and Director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self.