Computers start to evoke all kinds of human reactions, including civil ones.
“The concept of a person is arguably the most important interface ever developed. (…) As software becomes increasingly complex and entangled in our lives, we begin to treat it more and more like an interaction partner. Losing patience with software is a common sentiment, but we also feel comfort, gratitude, or suspicion. Clifford Nass and Byron Reeves studied some of these tendencies formally, in the lab, where they took classic social psychology experiments but replaced one of the interactants with a computer. What they found is that humans exhibit a range of social emotions and attitudes toward computers, including cooperation and even politeness. It seems that we’re wired to treat computers as people.”