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Doc Thinks Siri is As Dangerous as Drugs and Violent Video Games for Kids



Looks like the cuckoo birds are flying around Siri lately. According to this Cult of Mac report, Dr. Keith Ablow, a psychologist thinks that Siri might be potentially as harmful to kids as recreational drugs and/or violent video games. In fact he calls it “toxic psychologically.”

Here’s the relevant quote:

But I believe that personifying machines and interacting with them as quasi-beings actually dumbs down our interpersonal skills and encourages us to treat other people like machines. Ultimately, it diminishes our ability to empathize with one another, because we’ve been chatting up a non-existent person and can get used to considering real people as essentially non-existent, too.

To the extent that people become “attached” to Siri and “rely” on Siri and think Siri is “funny,” they are just a tiny, tiny bit less likely to value a friend’s responsiveness, or a colleague’s help or even to appreciate the nuances in tone of voice that real humans use to convey emotion and communicate with one another.

Hmm? Seems like I can recall a period of history where folks had similar reservations about about psychology.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. John

    12/08/2011 at 11:04 am

    I agree that psychology (a pseudo-science) tends to use a lot of babbling mumbo-jumbo that tries to explain observations in science-speak terms. However, a good scientist does not use terms like always, only, or any other absolute term as future experiments may require our understanding to change. That being said, I’m glad that the psychologist used the words “tiny, tiny” so that a person doesn’t jump to the conclusion that he absolutely believes that SIRI should be avoided like the plague.

    they are just a tiny, tiny bit less likely to value a friend’s responsiveness.

    I have noticed that younger generations who have been raised on texting, Facebook, etc. have difficulty having face to face conversations. This has been lampooned in comic strips like Zits for some time now.

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