Japan Is Building Conversation Robots for the Elderly. What Would Robots for Old Americans Look Like?

Confronted with an aging population, Japanese robotics developers are working on conversational human companions for the elderly. Some are extremely realistic and the technology is very promising. On the other hand, in the United States, there seems to be little interest in such projects. Instead, artificial intelligence and robotics are mostly being dedicated to replacing manual laborers and service workers. It probably won’t happen, buy what if America took a cue from the Japanese, who are far more forward looking?

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  • Why take the trouble to build robots in the image of people if you can get people to program themselves in the image of machines for a fraction of the cost?

    However, we are creating robots in the shape of animals – e.g. the Paro seal robot, not to mention the military grade Big Dog robots – as animals do not self-train so are more difficult to educate than humans 😉

  • We already have robots of the first kind. If I call my telephone company (Verizon) I get an automated voice-response system that always takes ten or fifteen minutes to get through, if I succeed at all. Obviously it’s not just for the elderly, but it’s likely that anyone with a job — or a life — will not have the patience to traverse this system.

    #3 is not needed as there are so many who want to volunteer for the work.

  • Sign me up, Ted – a brave new world indeed !…


  • To continue on the “we already have robots, Ted” theme:

    We already have VOTING robots, Ted, i.e. corporate-made (& proprietarily controlled), electronic voting machines & counting apparatus!!!

    But, of course, there is NO connection between the virtually total GOPness of the manufacturers of said voting apparatus and GOP total control of the federal government and ~60% control of state governorships/legislatures.

    It’s a replica of the guns “debate”: the problem is just too atrocious to mention or explore for fear of creeping politics. It is far better that bodies bleed out on the floor than political debate break out within the political system!!!

    This attitude signals the complete and total repression, if not, also, absence of any independent political thought in the US.

  • Japan’s already got sexbots to help out the elderly. Or so I’ve been told. Google it yourself. (But do let me know if you find any good deals.)

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