Humans and technology are intertwined within multiple autopoietic loops of stress, care, and intelligence. Our new paper suggests that technology should not be seen as a mere tool serving humans’ needs, but rather as a partner in a rich relationship with humans. Our model for understanding autopoietic systems applies equally to biological, technological, and hybrid systems. Regardless of their substrates, all intelligent agents can be understood as needing to respond to a perceived mismatch between what is and what should be. We take this observation, which is evidence of intrinsic links between ontology and ethics, as the basis for proposing a stress-care-intelligence feedback loop (SCI loop for short).