"The phenomenon Weizenbaum was observing was later dubbed "the Eliza effect" by Shelly Turkle, which she defined as the tendency 'to project our feelings onto objects and to treat things as though they were people.' In computer science and new media circles, the Eliza effect has become shorthand for a user's tendency to assume based on its surface properties that a program is much more sophisticated, much more intelligent, than it really is."And now, an update.
It seems that my online wanderings keep leading me back to a theme here. Reading up (to stave off my unending appetite for to play the game Portal 2) on the trivia for the video game Portal, this little nugget popped up. It's regarding one of the props your character uses in the game, the companion cube:
The Weighted Companion Cube inspiration was from project lead Kim Swift with additional input from Wolpaw from reading some "declassified government interrogation thing" whereby "isolation leads subjects to begin to attach to inanimate objects"; Swift commented, "We had a long level called Box Marathon; we wanted players to bring this box with them from the beginning to the end. But people would forget about the box, so we added dialogue, applied the heart to the cube, and continued to up the ante until people became attached to the box. Later on, we added the incineration idea. The artistic expression grew from the gameplay." Wolpaw further noted that the need to incinerate the Weighted Companion Cube came as a result of the final boss battle design; they recognized they had not introduced the idea of incineration necessary to complete the boss battle, and by training the player to do it with the Weighted Companion Cube, found the narrative "way stronger" with its "death". Swift noted that reported psychological comparisons to both the Milgram experiment and 2001: A Space Odyssey are happenstance.I can't say that the world is trying to lead me to something for sure. But it surely is feeling that way.