The reason robots are such a slippery slope, according to Turkle, is that they take advantage of a deeply human instinct. When it comes to the perception of other minds, we are extremely gul lible, bestowing agency on even the most inanimate of objects. After children spend a few minutes playing with a Tamagotchi — a wildly popular ‘digital pet’ — they begin to empathize with the ‘needs’ and ‘feelings’ of the plastic device. And it’s not just little kids: Turkle describes the behavior of Edna, an 82-year-old who is given a robotic doll called My Real Baby during a visit with her 2-year-old great-granddaughter. When Edna is asked if the doll is alive, she scoffs at the absurdity of the question. But then the doll starts to cry. Edna cradles the robot in her arms and gently caresses its face. ‘Oh, why are you crying?’ she asks the robot. ‘Do you want to sit up?’ When her great-granddaughter starts whining, Turkle reports, Edna ignores her.