Dr. Randall Reed is a Professor of Religion at Appalachian State University in North Carolina USA. He is currently working on the intersection of religion and technology. He is co-chair of the American Academy of Religion Research Seminar on Artificial Intelligence and Religion . His latest article (co-authored with Laura Ammon) is entitled “Is Alexa My Neighbor?” and is forthcoming in Journal of Posthuman Studies: Philosophy, Technology, Media.
The things that make us uncomfortable about the interaction is what is sometimes referred to as “the uncanny valley.” Most often this applies to robots who are supposed to look human, but can’t quite pull it off. But it seems appropriate to this interaction as well. You reach the uncanny valley when you get close to “almost human” in looks or interactions.