Teaching and Laboratory Staff - National and Kapodistrian University of Athens - Department of Communication and Media Studies - School of Economic and Political Sciences - Psychology of Interpersonal Relationships
Title of Paper:
My dear robot: Emotional connections, intimacy and sexuality between humans and machines
Subdisciplinary Area: Cyberpsychology
Keywords: Human - robot relationships, Artificial intelligence, Intimacy, Interpersonal relationships, Sexuality, Mind, Anthropomorphism, Self
Abstract: Social robots in the near future will be part of the lives of millions. This presentation examines the parameters that may lead people to form emotional connections with these ever-evolving "tools". Of course we are referring to one-sided connections, since the developments in the field of AI, though impressive, are currently far from the creation of conscious machines.
To begin with, our growing familiarity even with virtual artificial companions such as Alexa and Siri, seems to create a symbiotic human - "machine" relationship, at least in terms of information management and dealing with loneliness. In this context, the psychological traits that characterize the human species, allow for projections and unconscious transferences to "machines", similar to those actuated upon humans and pets.
In addition, modern scientific approaches regarding how the mind works, as well as commercialized propositions such as the quantified self (self-tracking apps), promote a social representation of the human mind as some kind of "machine", which functions through biological algorithms. Establishing such a representation will increase the likelihood of accepting emotional or even sexual relations with something artificial, that seems to be not that very different from us, affecting the way we perceive ourselves and our relationships.