Robot relationships need not be kinky, exploitative or fake. In fact, they may give human relationships a helpful boost.
By: John Danaher
Level of difficulty: ****
It is important that you watch the film Blade Runner 2049 before tackling the text. It is available online
LISTEN AND HIGHLIGHT
Click on the “Listen Here” icon to the left of your screen and highlight the text as you listen.
1. Start reading; which paragraphs constitute the first section of the text? What would you call this section? What is the significance of the last short paragraph? Now answer the questions:
· Which sentence(s) best expresses(express) the take home point(s) from the first two paragraphs: A human being seems to have been able to fall in love with a hologram / An ideal marriage is one in which the woman is completely subjugated to her husband / Human-hologram relationships seem to be able to replicate human-human relationships./ The traditional role of the woman which is to serve and devote herself to her husband leads to a happy union.
· Why is Joi being replicated by Gatebox: The company is tapping into an emerging demand in the market / The company is trying to spread joy and happiness among singles / Men are no longer happy with modern women; they want the traditional role of women to be restored.
2. The second section starts with the phrase “In Blade Runner 2049…” but where does it end? Now answer the questions:
· What is the major difference between K and Joi’s relationship and love the way we know it? There is/ is no…
· In a human-human relationship as we know it various………….is/are not enough; ……………….is also necessary. This is not the case for K and Joi as in the background, the corporation is continually making adjustments.
3. Where does the third section end? Now answer the questions:
· It is difficult to determine if someone really loves one except by…
· Where would you place the following sentence: After all, loving behavior is the only yardstick we have for deciding whether or not someone loves us.
· People need love to be given freely yet they have no other way of judging if this is the case than looking pot for….
· It can be concluded from Haus Keller’s opinions that the key reason not to trust the love of a robot is that there is cause to……..In short, the robot has been…... whereas the human has not.
4. Where does the fourth section end? Now answer the questions:
· We are not really that different from robots because…….The only difference between us and robots is that….
· Where in this section would you place the following sentence: We did it once; we can do it again ?
· Remove “This” from the following sentence: “This has a lot of people worried. What would you replace it with? Be precise. The phrase you select needs to fit into the sentence grammatically.
· The prevalence of robots as partners has serious implications as….
· What is the writer referring to when he says “the representations themselves”?
5. Where does the fifth section end? Now answer the questions:
· We understand from the first paragraph of the section that: it is the context that determines whether the content is appropriate / It is both the content and the context that determine whether certain behavior is acceptable/ It is the content that determines whether the context is appropriate.
· What makes current robot lovers distasteful to some is that they are…
· Two important preconditions to the producing and selling of robot lovers is the need to ……….and the need for………….
· Read the two paragraphs covering the possible negative and positive effects of robot loversa to the end. The text seems to imply that the only way to be able to move forward with the project is to have…..
· It will be very difficult to draw a concrete conclusion concerning media effects robot lovers because ….
6. Read the last section to the end. Now answer the questions:
· Focus on the main arguments presented in the paragraph beginning “One possibility”. Which of the following could be included in the paragraph as an example: For example, there is a great gender imbalance in modern day China in favor of men due to the practice of aborting female babies. There are a lot of young men in the country now who will never be able to find a human partner. Their problem could be partially addressed in this way. / For example, there is widespread abduction of young women in Eastern Asia who are then sold as slaves in areas where the number of marriageable girls is not enough. This and similar crimes could be addressed in this way.
· Read the two paragraphs in this section covering triadic relationships. Which sentence best expresses the main idea?
· Read the last paragraph of the text. Which sentence best qualifies the first sentence?
Refer to the film you have watched and the text to write an argumentative essay on whether or not to allow robot lovers. Alternatively, you could write an essay discussing the advantages and disadvantages of robot lovers.
EMBRACING THE ROBOT; KEY AND TEACHERS’ NOTES
This text addresses a very controversial issue which will probably cause a great deal of heated debate and thus lead easily to an argumentative essay. It is strongly recommended that the viewing of the film be included in the lesson plan should the activity be done in class.
1. From the beginning to the end of the paragraph beginning “Contrary to critics…” / The introduction / The thesis statement
· 1 and 3
2. At the end of the paragraph beginning “This seems to scupper…”
· Mutual commitment
· Certain behavioral patterns, free commitment
3. At the end of the paragraph beginning “Put differently…”
· Certain behavioral motions that are suggestive of this
· After “… but only appear to do so”
· Certain behavioral indicators that are suggestive of this
· Doubt the sincerity of the robot’s behavior; designed and programmed
4. At the end of the paragraph beginning Gutiu thinks…
· We are programmed, by evolution and culture, to develop loving attachments to one another; It might be difficult to reverse engineer our programming
· After “…saw the moral error in this practice”
· (The idea of) representing and reinforcing a pornified ideal of female sexuality (has a lot of people worried.
· This will enable users to act out rape fantasies and confirm rape myths
· Representing women sexual commodities to be bought and sold
5. At the end of the paragraph beginning “The picture is much the same…”
· The first
· Representationally problematic
· Consciousness raising around the problems of gendered harassment and inequality; a greater sensitivity to the representational harms that could be implicated by this technology
· Empirical studies on the effects of robot lovers
· Complex socio-behavioral phenomena are likely to be casually over-determined, and subject to many different contextual and individual variations.
6. This is the last section.
· The first (there is no mention of trafficking in the paragraph)
· It is a mistake to always think of robots as replacements for human lovers; we could also view them as complements to existing relationships.
· The last