Robots intended to assist in healthcare settings have undergone successful testing by professionals for the elderly population. The Spring robot greeted patients, assisted with daily duties, and engaged in simultaneous conversations with several people.
During early trials at Assistance Publique Hopitaux de Paris in France, the Spring (Socially Assistive Robots in Gerontological healthcare) units greeted patients, responded to inquiries, and provided instructions.
Robots are said to be capable of holding a conversation with patients in need with a focus on the elderly population in healthcare environments. The conversation is said to have a natural approach to it which keeps the patient and the elderly population in a good state of mind.
The robots are equipped with Artificial Intelligence (AI) that are able to comprehend conversations and reply accordingly to what is being said to them. It also holds the capability to hold conversations with multiple people at the same time.
Researchers are hoping that robots would be able to assist them with routine tasks at hospitals to allow for some free time for the hospital staff and also to ease patient anxiety. Professor Anne-Sophie Rigaud, who is the head of the department at the hospital stated that older adult patients. Professor Rigaud stated that the elderly valued information and companionship.
“Our patients are increasingly interested in robotics and the evolution of hospital services, which they see as the logical evolution of our society,” she said. “We believe that the ARI robot could in future become an essential element of patient care in hospitals, thanks to its capacity for social interaction and guidance.”
When you could see the connection between the elderly feeling comfortable around robots for purposes of reducing anxiety and sparking a conversation is genuinely sad. This should be a wake-up call for everyone. Robots that can carry human-like conversations are not only available in hospitals but also in elderly homes. Why should we allow for normalization by relying on robots to take care of and keep the elderly company? Is this becoming the new norm? Is AI going to take care of the elderly while we carry on with our lives until its our turn? Why should we allow AI to come between families and ruin family ties? Why should we allow AI to take care of our parents and grandparents when we are physically able to be there for them regardless of our reasons? AI is a great source of help but let us not allow it to take over comforting the elderly population in hospitals and homes.
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