Computers Are One of Us…

Really cool report on a really cool study about how we sort of treat computers like our friends {npr}.

Many people have studied machine-human relations, and at this point it’s clear that without realizing it, we often treat the machines around us like social beings.

Consider the work of Stanford professor Clifford Nass. In 1996, he arranged a series of experiments testing whether people observe the rule of reciprocity with machines.

“Every culture has a rule of reciprocity, which roughly means, if I do something nice for you, you will do something nice for me,” Nass says. “We wanted to see whether people would apply that to technology: Would they help a computer that helped them more than a computer that didn’t help them?”

I know I don’t treat my work PC like I treat my friends, or I wouldn’t have any friends. But I treat my Mac/iPhone pretty well… just sayin’.

Read more here: That Ain’t Smart, That’s Creepy.