This week I started reading a book titled: Alone Together, by Sherry Turkle. I’ve only made it about 20 or so pages and I’m already interested/fascinated by something that has been brought up. In the first few pages Turkle begins talking about the implementation of robots/ artificial intelligence in mainstream society. Now, initially, this doesn’t seem like a bad idea. However, Turkle brings up a very simple, yet profound, idea that people are beginning to expect more from the technological than from the biological.
Turkle talks about how, in her study, people often times find themselves getting frustrated with the complexity of human relationships. In many cases, people suggest that artificial intelligence would be easier to get along with and more enjoyable simply because it is easier. This disturbs me. A lot. Relationships are not supposed to be easy. I can see why some people might wish for them to be, but ultimately, the struggles are what make the relationship valuable and without that they mean very little. Sure, I could go buy some generic chocolate chip cookies from a grocery store, but let’s be honest with ourselves. Homemade cookies are infinitely better. To take this analogy a little farther, the cookies are better simply because we’ve tasted the burned ones, the odd ones, and the three-headed mutant cookie that your baby sibling made. Yet in the end, all of these failures lead us to that final cookie. That little bit of heaven on earth.