When Will We Have True Relationships with AI?

1 min read
Photo by Amanda Dalbjörn on Unsplash
Photo by Amanda Dalbjörn on Unsplash

Can you imagine having a relationship with any kind of artificial intelligence?

Ted Chiang’s brilliant new story collection Exhalation, includes the mind-expanding novella The Life Cycle of Software Objects.

The novella asks great questions about artificial intelligence, technology, and human relationships–three of our favorite topics at Residence 11.

Read a sample of Exhalation at this link.

At the end of the collection, Chiang imagines how we might form deep relationships with AIs. He hopes to see a future where “people putting real effort into their individual relationships with AIs.”

That idea goes way beyond the sex robots we see in headlines and movies. This is about having a real relationship. Chiang explains:

“Sex isn’t what makes a relationship real; the willingness to expend effort maintaining it is. Some lovers break up with each other the first time they have a big argument; some parents do as little for their children as they can get away with; some pet owners ignore their pets whenever they become inconvenient. In all of those cases, the people are unwilling to make an effort. Having a real relationship, whether with a lover or a child or a pet, requires that you be willing to balance the other party’s wants and needs with your own.”

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