Life In The Robotic Moment Analysis

1355 Words 6 Pages
Andrew Conforto
English 101: GW
Professor Mazzaferro
9/14/17
Paper 1 (Rough Draft): Life in the “Robotic Moment” Sherry Turkle’s “Selections from Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other” is a commentary on the changing view of AI, or artificial intelligence, in our progressing society. Turkle’s argument is one based in ethical and philosophical roots and challenges our current definition of what it means to be “alive”. This issue becomes more pressing the more sophisticated, multifaceted, and versatile our robots and machines become. Our era, which Turkle coins as “the robotic moment”, offers a chance to redefine life to not only be limited by biological standards, but rather be based on a combination of
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Intellect allows a possible life form to make critical decisions, learn, and adapt to changes. Turkle discusses primitive toys such as the Speak and Spell, Merlin, and Simon. “This first generation of computers in the playroom challenged children in memory and spelling games, routinely beating them at tic-tac-toe and hangman” (461). Another example of higher level computational intelligence is in SimLife games. The author explains, “Simulation worlds-for example the Sim games-pulsed with evolving life forms” (462). These intelligent simulation programs process a variety of different factors including multiple AI, the environment, and user input. These toys and games display evidence of some level of intelligence in the fact that they consistently best children at their preferred game. The computer games are able to analyze input and make decisions based on the children’s choices. The children simply play the preprogrammed games, rather than facilitate a mutual relationship with these robots. They are not aware of themselves or their situation and are not conscious enough to make decisions on their own. These computers harness only one of the several criteria necessary to determine life in the “robotic moment” …show more content…
Her arguments throughout the essay question the ethics of how we currently treat AI in their evolving, ambiguous state. As robots become ever more human like and advanced like Nexi, these questions become ever more imperative and their answers will set a precedent for the future. As we stand on the cusp of the transition from the “robotic moment” to the “robotic future” as it might be called, redefining our current understanding of what a “life” is becomes an open ended discussion. Taking into account a combination of consciousness, the ability to affect others through relationships, and intelligence we can reach a new definition of life for our era that encompasses more than just a biological life form and allows hybridity of man and machine to be equally represented. Examining several examples of AI reveals that having a single or even multiple of these attributes does not determine life in and of itself, but rather together create a better, working definition of

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