Ray Bradbury, in his short story, "I Sing the Body Electric" (which was made into a TV movie, "The Electric Grandmother"), makes the point that Attention is not just a surrogate for Love, it's arguably indistinguishable from Love.
Our robots are not only becoming adept at paying attention to our needs, they are developing the art and science of conscientious care-giving in a way that is not only Alive Enough, it's Compassionate Enough as well.
The frontier of Affective Computing (or Emotional Computing) is to code up the Empathy Function.
Sherry Turkle and her MIT colleagues, Cynthia Breazeal, Rosalind Picard, and Tod Machover (among others) are making that happen.
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