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Are robots the new class of social actors?

The Atlantic published an excellent article last week titled “How AI will Rewire Us”.

The author comments on a number of lab experiments where people and robots interact socially, helping humans to relate better to one another. However, in one experiment the bots turned a group of generous people into selfish jerks. In other words, AI and robots can affect how humans interact with one another.

“The fact that AI might meaningfully reduce our ability to work together is extremely concerning.”

 To counter such dystopian scenarios, the author calls for a “Social Suite”:

A crucial set of capacities we have evolved over hundreds of thousands of years, including love, friendship, cooperation, and teaching. The basic contours of these traits remain remarkably consistent throughout the world, regardless of whether a population is urban or rural, and whether or not it uses modern technology.”

It becomes clear that we have to look at robots not merely as human-made logic in a machine, but as a new class of social actors.

Guest post by The Futures Agency content curator Petervan

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