Silicon Valley’s desperate search for love

Most of [my] work at MIT and before that has been on robotics and autonomous vehicles. But now the dream is to create a system that you can love and that can love you back.

Lex Fridman

As a fellow computer science student I’m always saddened by Silicon Valley crowd’s desperate quest to find/create love within the machine. It seems the world would be spared a lot of technological missteps if they’d foster such ‘systems’ in the analog world, in the form of families and communities instead.

Trying to engineer technological substitutes for human love and connection strikes me as a fundamentally misguided endeavour. As fascinated as I am by the science and engineering, I think the work of technologists should be to develop systems that support and strengthen civilisation. One of those ways could be to automate necessary but dangerous, difficult, or mind-numbing work so that we can spend more time with our loved ones, create communities, engage and play in shared creativity, connecting on a physical level – all those most human things. Another could be to protect the environment. Build shared and sustainable prosperity for as many people as possible.

There are so many valuable goals. Building a machine capable of love is necessary for none of them. In my view it’s a massive distraction.