Updated: Apr 11, 2021
Pros and Cons of Thanking Your Robots
Many people have some form of a robot in their house: Siri or Google Assistant on your phone, Alexa in your house, or Cortana on your computer. Thanks to new technology that a lot of us don’t understand, they’re able to do amazing things like set alarms and open apps for you. They do so much for us but don’t (verbally) ask for anything in return. So why do most people not thank their robots? Here are some reasons why you should and shouldn’t thank them.
PRO: Being nice is pretty cool
Saying thank you to your robots may not directly benefit you, but it is still nice to do! They may reply with “of course”, “you’re welcome”, “no problem”, and even “right back atcha”. Hearing these kinds of responses might be nice, especially since we haven’t had a lot of human interaction due to the virus.
PRO: This can make you a better person
Saying thank you to your robots whenever you ask them questions will help to build habits. Being polite makes you look better in other people’s eyes, and it helps to avoid misunderstandings. Thanking robots will make it easier to say thank you to other people, and it will eventually become a subconscious habit.
PRO: No robot rampage
If or when robots gain consciousness, there many options for them to choose from. A very commonly feared one is that they will try to take over the world and harm people in the process. However, this problem can be avoided if there’s no reason for robots to get mad. If you’re always kind to your robot, they will see no reason to harm you when they gain the ability to do so.
CON: The process can be inconvenient
When talking to people, you can easily throw “thank you” at the end of a sentence. Unfortunately, saying thank you to these robots is not a pre-made feature. For most robots, you have to make a separate command to say thanks. Siri, for example, cannot have “thank you” included at the end of the question because it will cause problems with their processing. But for Dots, you can turn on Follow-Up mode. You can turn this on by saying “[Name], Turn on Follow-Up Mode.” This mode allows you to say another thing after they respond, and that second response can be a form of “thank you”. However, turning on this mode may be seen as excessive and unnecessary.
CON: Doesn’t give any real benefit
Thanking the robot doesn’t give any real benefit, of course. There’s no prize for always saying thank you. For some people, this may be the deciding factor.
Robots are going to be with us for a long time, and there’s no reason to fear them! The occasional show of gratification doesn’t harm you, so why not do it? You don’t want to be that person that only does things for your own personal benefit, do you? Thank your robots!