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The relevance of R. D. Laing to the AI movement and to media ecology more generally: Projection and the feeling of being understood

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This article is a celebration of Laing, Phillipson and Lee’s Interpersonal Perception and a staunch critique of Levy’s Love and Sex with Robots. It explores how relationships with others mediate self-understanding and interpersonal interaction. Furthermore, by appropriating relevant insights from Laing and his colleagues and re-contextualizing them within a larger media ecological framework, the article seeks to reveal the deep challenges and complexities faced by those who would engage in ‘interpersonal relationships’ with ‘sociable robots’ and/or ‘artificial intelligences’.
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Keywords: David Levy; R. D. Laing; Sherry Turkle; artificial intelligence; projection; social robots

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2019

More about this publication?
  • EME explores the relationships between media, technology, symbolic form, communication, consciousness, and culture. Its scope is interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary. Media ecology provides a rich philosophical, historical and practical context for studying our increasingly technological and mediated society and culture with an emphasis on historical context.
    Media ecology scholarship emphasizes a humanistic approach to understanding media, communication, and technology, with special emphasis on the ways in which we have been and continue to be shaped and influenced by our inventions and innovation. The Media ecology approach is predicated on understanding that media, symbols, and technologies play a leading role in human affairs, and function as largely invisible environments affecting the way we think, feel, act, and organize ourselves collectively.
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