Tag Archives: social interaction

Talk to people not computers

liverpoolplayhouseRecently, we went to see the Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams at the Liverpool Playhouse.  There is a wonderful line in it ‘People go to the movies instead of moving’ when Tom Wingfield comments on everyone living life vicariously through the action-packed life of Hollywood stars.  The play was written in the 1940s long before the advent of smart phones.  Nowadays people interact with their smart phones rather than with the people around them but still live vicariously through the lives of celebrities.  Recent research has found that many people today would actually prefer to deal with computers that appear to understand them rather than with other people, according to Richard Waters.  This is a shame because one of the things that makes humans different to computers is our ‘inbuilt propensity for social interaction’.  Computers are unlikely ever to replicate our emotions, curiosity, irrationality or creativity (See my post entitled ‘Engineers are slow, error-prone…‘ on April 29th, 2015).  So put down your phone or switch off your computer and interact with your fellow human beings.


Richard Waters, Jobs for droids, Essay in Financial Times, Weekend 17/18 October 2015