Codepunk 036 Digital Friends

by Bill Ahern on

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Last episode we talked about whether or not you could have meaningful relationships with a person you've only met in the digital space. In this episode, we're taking it a step further, and asking whether or not you can have a meaning relationship with a purely digital or robotic being, whether a personal digital assistant, non-player character (NPC), programmed algorithm, or cybernetic construct. Sound far-fetched? If you were communicating with someone online who acted like a human in every way, shape, and form, and you established a long-term friendship with them, but later found out they weren't human, would that change how you felt? What constitutes being human? What does it mean being conscious? We get philosophical on this one.