Part 10 in the 11 part series Anthropomorphism and Design.
The hidden danger with interactive products is that they will become so good at fulfilling our needs that they start to replace actual humans. This is not a futuristic scenario: In an increasing number of locations, from supermarket self-scan checkouts to online bookstores, automatization has replaced human contact. Eventually this may lead to us becoming alienated from other people, which seems to contradict today’s rapidly increasing communication possibilities. Anthropomorphic products have the potential to support, stimulate and enhance human contact, but they may also eliminate it.