A Thing Like Me Analysis

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Nicholas Carr is “an American journalist and technology writer” who attended Dartmouth College and Harvard University. Over the past decade, Carr has examined and studied the different impacts that computers have on our life and the “social consequences” of this new technology (Carr 123). In “A Thing Like Me” by Nicholas Carr, the author claims that technology is overpowering and dominating our lives. Carr expands on this idea further by defining it as people using “tools that allow them to extend their abilities” (Carr 124). To help with his argument, Carr uses a historical narrative about the creation of computer software, named ELIZA. Carr uses the creation of ELIZA as a way to get his point across to the reader. The creator of ELIZA, Joseph Weizenbaum, programmed a system into the computer that essentially allowed ELIZA to be able to have conversations with virtually anyone. …show more content…

The software application would start out by “[identifying] a salient word or phrase in the sentence and analyze the syntactical context in which it was used” (Carr 124). ELIZA would then respond to user’s, but for the most part, her responses were just “open-ended questions or comments” (Carr 125). However, Weizenbaum began to realize that users were becoming emotionally attached to her human like qualities. Often times, patients wished she were a real human being that had a thought process. Eventually, studies were done and ELIZA became the equivalent of a “therapeutic tool which [could] be made widely available to mental hospitals and psychiatric centers suffering a shortage of therapists” (Carr 127). In “A Thing Like Me” by Nicholas Carr, even though it is not written, the author suggests that tools and technology are replacing human interactions and directly result in separation from the outside

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