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As artificial intelligence evolves, digital pets are making a comeback, and are more realistic and interactive than ever

Digital pets present an attractive option for many millennials and Gen X-ers whose lifestyles don’t necessarily mesh with owning a pet.

“Artificial pets also demonstrate how metaphorical thinking influences our sense of ethics,” writes BKC’s Judith Donath in her book The Social Machine: Designs for Living Online. “If we think of them as games, the time spent playing with them is entertainment and somewhat self-indulgent; if we think of them as animals, time spent playing with them is care-taking, an act of responsibility and altruism.”

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