Should I say ‘please’ to a robot?

Placere (Latin) : to be acceptable; to be approved + Placare (Latin) : to soothe, quiet > Plaisir (Fr) : to please, give pleasure to, satisfy > Please (middle English) : to be agreeable

Please (Mod English) : if you please

While it seems that there is no obligation, there is, in fact, social obligation. Etiquette would dictate at least a dalliance with request compliance …

Etiquette, a personal version of the social contract … a method to lubricate the machine that runs on the cogs that are the billions of lives being led…

‘Please’ indicates a recognition of the life, of a fellow being …

Its use is dependent on the conversation of equals.

I was talking to Siri last night – setting an alarm …

The request made to this inanimate element is not open for debate – there is no question mark – there is an order given.

No ‘equal’ with which to converse. No ‘please’ required.


But – what does that mean? Will a technology-dependent society become used to ‘demand’ as opposed to ‘request’? Will such a society maintain social proprieties voluntarily?



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