Social media, algorithms, personal robots and the human animal
Here I am again, writing out some of my layperson observations and thoughts about the human animal and its world; I’m ever in search of simplicity in a complicated world.
The other morning I listened to a segment on NPR discussing algorithms and the human animal.
Another similarly veined program spoke some on personal robots and human animals interacting with them.
Hmmm! Imagine it, a personal robot. Not too difficult to imagine actually. It seems rather a logical next step as I contemplate how many seem quite plugged-in to all variety of social medias, many times interacting more with social media then whichever human beings might be nearby. In my mind it looks like a bunch of boats, a few choice individuals aboard each boat; and though all are basically traveling down the same canal, they keep themselves more or less separated.
Of course, choices based on preference have been a part of the human animal psyche landscape all along. From survival and pack dynamics, preference serves to innately guide the human animal towards what and whom to interact with and which to avoid. If and when right-feeling beings can’t be found or connected with from within the pack, the hunt begins outwardly and a new pack may be born. For the sake of the health of the gene pool and survival of the species, seeking beyond the immediate pack is of course just another part of Natural Law.
I look at the many “hook-up,” social sites out there, and the many, many lonely beings; they all want interaction, but just only on their terms. Well, wouldn’t robots – a programmed reliable, understanding, available best friend – be helpful then? Certainly sounds easier than the ways the human animals goes about social interactions now.
A friend-bot could sit with abandoned, ill people and keep them company for hours on end without issue. The despairing teenage misfit could finally have a trustworthy friend. The ill-matched but married couple possibly destined to beat the crap out of each other, could have a bot on-hand to always be available as the buffer or the communication bridge or the wailing wall. Those suffering with social anxiety could at last have a safe friend to lean on. One could even have a work-bot to send off into the hard world-of-work; interactions with other work-folks could be a whole lot safer, less fraught with emotional drama or the stress of stuffing emotions away to accommodate the current typical, paid-for plastic demeanor of “professionally pleasant.”
Hmmm! Seems kind of good, eh! Of course using a bot to tend to human animals’ interpersonal needs and shortfalls could encourage human animals to just give up trying to interact altogether. Yeah, but, it looks a bit like that’s already happening to varying degrees. Then wouldn’t robots be the logical next step?
Of course there is another quite big worry with robots and it’s not that robots would replace humans altogether (though why human animals would be needed any longer would actually be a mystery at that far-away point). The worry is what kind of programming would go into these potentially wonderful personal robots? Does the programming get filled with politic propaganda? Would some corporations insert commercialistic programs into the personal robots to insidiously encourage purchase of some product? Would robots be programmed by power-consumed persons to subtly erode and eventually destroy things like personal freedoms, personal choice and individualism in order to create more pliable, easily led and controlled humans?
This all brings to my mind the wonderful animated feature, Wall-E, and all the robots and the floaty-chairs aka personal transportation robots.