back to

How to interact with different with Machine Species


We humans are sometimes confused how to treat and interact with a machine. As machines become more and more intelligent or can communicate with us or others some are arguing we should start treating them like humans. This is also driven by the trend for machines to mimic human interaction like speech to make interaction with machines supposedly simpler. Others consider this a wrong direction and rather state, that machines should remain what they are, should be acting in the background and treating them as humans is outright dangerous.

This guide is based on the premise, that we might need to treat different types of machines differently. It is based on defining species of machines along the idea of maybe considering machines more like plants or animals where over the course of our civilization we have established rules to also treat different specis of plants and animals differently. It's a thought experiment mostly but maybe it lay the ground for a new point of view that provides more clear guidance to people designing machines (more and more industries are dealing with this) and to people interacting with machines (all of us).

The Chair

Species: Inanimate Object, Static Mechanic Configuration

Habitat: Mostly indoors

Purpose: Support humans in sitting

Treatment: As with most machines that have been built for a purpose you should not damage them to keep their value for use up. You are free to sell and buy them at will. You are free to use them or not as required.

Common Interactions: Sitting, standing on them to reach high up places, storage

Dangers: Like for most machines of a certain size they can tip over and hurt you when they come down. This is even more true if they are lifted or put in motion. They are also a source of tripping danger when too many of them are in a room as they main surface is at knee level. If you sit or climb on them there is a danger of tipping over if you do not sit still or take care to keep balance while standing. Expect no sudden danger as inanimate objects will not act on their own.

The Ironing Board

Species: Inanimate Object, Dynamic Mechanic Configuration

Habitat: Mostly indoors

Purpose: Ironing of clothes

Treatment: Same as the static mechanic configuration objects, maintenance for the joints (lubrication) might be required

Common Interactions: Ironing, Setup and Fold-Down, Storage

Dangers: Same as static machines

Other Species

The Electrical Iron

The Electric Light

The Telephone

The Smartphone

The Car

The Internet Connected Speaker

The speech enabled home

The TV

The cloud based voice assistant

Something with an emergency shut down switch

The Steel Press

The House Cat

The vacuum robot

The industrial robot

The chess computer