Researchers Working On Caregiving Robots To Offer Social Interaction With Older Adults.

October 4, 2019

TIME (10/4, Purtill) reported on “a collaboration between the Robotics and Innovation Lab at Trinity College Dublin and Knollwood, a non-profit retirement home for military officers and their spouses” in which researchers and their robot Stevie “moved into Knollwood for months-long stretches this spring and summer” to learn “what aging people and the staff that care for them might want from a robot, and how AI could bridge the widening gap between the number of older Americans in need of care and the number of professionals available to care for them.” While staff and researchers expected residents would want the robot, Stevie, to do chores, residents generally “wanted the robot to stay and interact with them.” However, critics of caregiving robots are concerned about “the artificial element” of intimacy, in that, unlike people, the robots will not care about those who come to care for them. Yet, “ethicists who see potential for positive human-robot encounters argue that robotic assistance doesn’t have to come at the cost of human interaction.”

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Last modified on 10/09/2019

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