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With the advent of pervasive systems, computers are becoming a larger part of our social lives than ever before. Depending on the design of these systems, they may either promote or inhibit social relationships. We consider four kinds of social relationships: a relationship with the system, system-mediated collaborative relationships, relationships with a community, and interpersonal relationships among co-located persons. In laboratory studies, the design of pervasive computers is shown to affect responses to social partners. We propose a model of how pervasive systems can influence human behavior, social attributions, and interaction outcomes. We also discuss some implications for system design.
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