Thank you for those insights Howard, and for the rich references!
Indeed embodied agents are going to be critical to creating real natural intelligence, and your point about the necessity of dialog in building higher level functions and maintaining culture is so well put.
I believe the incredibly intimate nature of a sim, and the level of trust we’ll have to have to allow it to record and learn from all our personal data, will have to be so high that only a dialog-based pedagogical system that we feel empowers us will be acceptable to us.
Perhaps not at first however. In a dystopia I can imagine, we’ll use somewhat dehumanizing and manipulative sims at first, provided by major corps that seek to maximize income, attention, and other things from us, just because we need them to compete, just like most of us need (expensive and dangerous) cars in order to survive, in cities with poor public transportation. But once we’ve got a basic income, I feel reasonably confident in predicting that most of us will elect for sims that we trust even over sims that make us more competitive. We shall see.