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Kinder und Maschinen: Sherry Turkle

In der Artikelserie über unterveröffentlichte News auf http://www.edge.org
gibt es einen netten über Kinder und "relationale Technologien" bzw.
Affective Computing.  Mein Fazit: besser ein Furby im Bett als ein
Elternteil, kids!

   Through their experiences with virtual pets and digital dolls
   (Tamagotchi, Furby, Amazing Ally), a generation of children are
   learning that some objects require (and promise) emotional nurturance.
   Adults, too, are encountering technology that attempts to meet their
   desire for personalized advice, care and companionship (help wizards,
   intelligent agents, AIBO, Matsushita's forthcoming Tama).
   We have spent a large amount of social resources trying to build these
   artifacts; now it is time to study what is happening to all of us as
   we go forth into a world "peopled" with a kind of object we have never
   experienced before. We need to more deeply understand the nature and
   implications of this new sort of relationship -- and its potential to
   fundamentally change our understanding of what it means to be human.
   In my preliminary research on children and Furbies, I have found that
   children describe these new toys as "sort of alive" because of the
   quality of their emotional attachments to the Furbies and because of
   their fantasies about the idea that the Furby might be emotionally
   attached to them. So, for example, when I ask the question, "Do you
   think the Furby is alive?" children answer not in terms of what the
   Furby can do, but how they feel about the Furby and how the Furby
   might feel about them.
   Ron (6): Well, the Furby is alive for a Furby. And you know, something
       this smart should have arms. It might want to pick up something or
       to hug me.
       Katherine (5): Is it alive? Well, I love it. It's more alive than
       a Tamagotchi because it sleeps with me. It likes to sleep with me.
   Here, the computational object functions not only as an evocative
   model of mind, but as a kindred other. With these new objects,
   children (and adults) not only reflect on how their own mental and
   physical processes are analogous to the machine's, but perceive and
   relate to the machine as an autonomous and "almost alive" self.
   Children's reactions to the presence of "smart machines" have fallen
   into discernable patterns over the past twenty years. Adults'
   reactions, too, have been changing over time, often closely following
   those of the children. To a certain extent, we can look to children to
   see what we are starting to think ourselves. However, in the case of
   relational artifacts, there is more to the choice of children as
   subjects than a simple desire to stay ahead of the curve in
   anticipating changes in computer culture. By accepting a new category
   of relationship, with entities that they recognize as "sort-of-alive",
   or "alive in a different, but legitimate way," today's children will
   redefine the scope and shape of the playing field for social relations
   in the future. Because they are the first generation to grow up with
   this new paradigm, it is essential that we observe and document their
Und hier der AC-Link, der im Artikel leider fehlt: