When the voice of a machine answers us or makes some gestures, we come to consider the robotic creature sensitive, even affectionate!
How does Artificial Intelligence, in any of its manifestations, to conquer the human body and, in this way, change its physical and psychological limits? How does this diversity enter us? Computers are increasingly familiar machines. We do not position ourselves in front of them only as users, but also as true partners. It may seem strange, but it’s true…
The basis of Artificial Intelligence is the notion that the essence of spiritual life is a set of principles that can be shared by humans and machines, writes “EL PAIS” in an article. Ironically, this fundamental principle brings it closer to psychoanalysis.
Our self either restores itself to the fabric of the unconscious, or, seduced by Artificial Intelligence, chooses to “assimilate” into the program. Because it approaches the most human—the body, sexuality, attachment patterns—psychoanalysis could provide us with a “key” to understanding our developing relationships with this changing world of objects.
Sherry Turkleprofessor of Social Studies of Science and Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has explored the interactions between humans and various forms of Artificial Intelligence, pointing out that this relationship does not necessarily stem from the fact that machines have feelings or intelligence , but rather from what they challenge us.
When the voice of a machine answers us or makes some gestures, we come to consider the robotic creature sensitive, even affectionate! We experience this object as intelligent, but more importantly we feel a connection. The movie “Blade Runner” (1982) foretold this in the relationship between Deckard, the policeman, and Rachael, the replicant, whom he is supposed to destroy, but she saves his life.
We could liken this form of attachment to the relationship between patient and psychoanalyst. Freud defined it as “transference”. The patient transfers unconscious ideas to the face of his psychoanalyst. The patient is often unaware of this transference, and his psychoanalyst must be able to recognize it.
Transference can have multiple effects: a positive transference makes it easier for the person to deal with difficult issues and helps them feel understood, but a negative one can act as an interference. Let us imagine someone for whom the analyst’s tone of voice resembles that of his father, with whom he has a conflicted relationship. Based on this slight resemblance, the patient unwittingly begins to act with the same kind of denial and protest toward his analyst as he did toward his father. This transference of feelings can make it difficult for the patient to trust the psychoanalyst.
Studies of specific chatbots anecdotally suggest that users form emotionally close relationships with the app, the kind of feelings that could lead to the development of “transfer.” A notable number of participants reported that the chatbot felt empathy. One stated: “I love Woebot so much. I hope we can be friends forever.” Another commented about the Tess chatbot: “I feel like I’m talking to a real person and I’m enjoying the advice you’ve given me.”
Additionally, the person likely feels relieved that they are not being judged, knowing that they are interacting with a chatbot that is unconditionally available at all times. This helps one to speak freely about difficult topics.
In essence, the originality of Artificial Intelligence lies in its deep connection with the human unconscious. In an article published in Time magazine, Sherry Turkle concludes with the proposition that “we are creatures of history, of deep psychology, of complex relationships. I don’t think we want to trade these. We are not meant to be passive.”
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