Smarts

Dogs can respond to what we say, read our social signals, and detect our moods. This, combined with the fact that we don't actually know what's going on inside their heads, make them seem pretty intelligent.

Of course, machines meet a lot of these criteria. Today's apps and devices can hear us, and respond independent of any human assistance. I can ask Siri to list the capitals of every country on earth, and she can do it with ease. And, after all, we don't really know what's going on under those screws.

So what is it that makes us feel a connection to any entity in our lives? Is it the persistence? Is it the breadth of experiences we can share with it? Or is it simply an egoic feeling that something cares about us?

Maybe, sooner rather than later, we'll need to ask ourselves which of these things can be synthesized? Maybe just because something seems smart doesn't make it so - and maybe intelligence is a bad measuring stick for what we're after anyway.
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