There were some fairly strong emotions expressed in the text chat about this week’s films, of the ‘but it’s a machine’ variety. I absolutely get the point being made but I can’t help wondering if these are learnt or societal prejudices, or whether they stem simply from the loss of innocence that comes with age and wisdom.
From my observations it would appear that very young children show little difference in behaviour whether they’e conversing with a robot, or a 5ft mouse or a fellow human. They’re enthralled by TV programmes presented by a variety of creatures and will throw themselves at their favourite Disney character without a second thought. Maybe it’s only later in life that we start to make a distinction between sentient and non-sentient beings.
As Miller sates in ‘The Body and Information Technology’, “bodies are interpreted through the lens of culture and shaped by social forces”.