- Paperback: 680 pages
- Publisher: ReadHowYouWant (21 Jan. 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1459609026
- ISBN-13: 978-1459609020
- Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 3.9 x 25.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,598,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Alone Together:Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other Paperback – Large Print, 21 Jan 2013
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"The idea of gadgets betraying us takes on a more lurid hue when we consider having sex with robots"!!! They go on to call the book "subtle and interesting."
--The Guardian --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Sherry Turkle is the Abby Rockefeller MauzE Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT. She is frequently interviewed in Time, Newsweek, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal, on NBC News, and more. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
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Top Customer Reviews
Provocatively, the main refrain is that in an online culture we are always connected (Turkle says `tethered'), but are rarely (meaningfully) connecting. Although (somewhat ironically) one may hear the same sentiment in a current commercial for a well-known matchmaking website, Turkle's nuanced stance `is not romantically nostalgic, not Luddite in the least'; indeed, she remains `cautiously optimistic'. This is a seriously reflective work well-informed by extensive ethnographic studies. The focus on authenticity and intimacy recalls the concerns voiced by Socrates in Plato's 'Phaedrus' about an earlier technological development--publishing one's ideas in written form--in particular the fear that communication at a distance would undermine genuine (face-to-face) human discourse. This has been a recurrent anxiety throughout the history of communication technologies.Read more ›
The first half of the book is about robot pets, an insight into toys that can learn and seem alive, and how humans - especially children and the elderly - treat them and are affected by them. The second half of the book is about social media. I was shocked (but somehow not surprised) at what she has learned about our new ways of relating:
- the astounding way children and the elderly react to these latest robot pets, who seem real, make demands (suffer when not looked after well) and appear to learn - how they speak to, and treat, these robots - invariably as if they are living creatures - as well as how these robots are meeting many needs for "human" contact;
- the intent is to create ever-more-sophisticated robots who will be used for babysitting and to caretake the infirm - Turkle even discusses marriage between human-like robots and humans as a real possibility, although she expresses her concerns about the inevitable loss of intimacy and authenticity;
- so many ignored children, whose parents text all the way through family dinners and even when collecting them from school (to the extent that they even fail to say hello as the child gets into the car!Read more ›
In effect, this is two books. The first half deals with the kind of interactive robotics that can be introduced precisely because of our neglect of one another: comfort robots for the elderly and interactive ones for kids. The stories that emerge from Turkle's observations of interactions between people and machines in this context are unquestionably disturbing. The common justification is that, given most people working in old age or child care don't bring their human qualities to bear in their work, so what if a robot replaces them? So, here we have the best minds of the age working in well funded labs to design robots that will release us from our obligations towards one another. Robots, Turkle warns, will turn out even better than humans as they won't ever let us down, and the idea clearly alarms her.
The second section is about how the always-on network has altered our perception of social engagement with one another.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I still think about this book, even a couple of years after I read it - perhaps because what it has to say is increasingly relevant. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amber
A thought provoking read. With three teenagers in the house it is good to have some evidence based understanding of the potential effects of technology on our lives.Published 5 months ago by Speedreader
Quite the dullest volume I have attempted to read this year. Unless you are an 85 yr old who has never used the internet or met a young person it has nothing at all to tell you.Published 9 months ago by D J Teader
A highly thoughtful elaboration of key ethical issues concerning us today and into the foreseeable future. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Josey De Rossi
What we all really know but are a little afraid to admit.
Whilst Sherry Turckle - may not have all the answers, this book, no doubt, will ultimately be seen as an important... Read more
A refreshing antidote to the slack-jawed utopianism of so much that is written about the Web and its impact on our lives. Read morePublished on 5 July 2013 by mojohand
I really wanted to like this book. Honestly I did, it deals with a fascinating topic. Sadly however, I found this far too anecdotal, repetitive and bias. Read morePublished on 23 Jun. 2013 by ChrisE