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Would you be happy with a robot for company?

Engineers from Trinity College, Dublin, have unveiled a robot this week they say will help alleviate loneliness amongst the elderly.

‘Stevie 11’ uses advanced sensing technologies, including laser rangefinders, depth cameras and vision sensors to interact intelligently with humans and its surrounding environment.  Stevie has face and voice recognition, which means he can address those he is speaking to directly, and understand and reply to commands.

Following consultation with experts including nurses and caregivers along with older adults living at home and in care homes, the team from Trinity found that Stevie could also provide a much needed social service as well as performing menial assistive tasks.

Niamh Donnelly, who specialises in the artificial intelligence behind Stevie, says a more humanised side of robotics is the most requested feature.

She said: “When we brought Stevie around people rather than them expecting him to pick something up for them, they really just wanted to interact with Stevie, have a conversation with him or get some information from him.  That turned our focus towards the more social aspect of it”.

The team are planning several more pilots of the technology and are hoping to trial it as part of the European-funded EPIC project at a care home in Cornwall in the coming months.

Would you be happy speaking to a ‘robot’?  Or do you think that humanising a robot is taking things too far? Would you be willing to have one in your home?

Would you be happy with a robot for company?

176 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

What are your views?

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Panagringa
8th Jun 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
I am already very happy with a robot. I have Alexa and communicate with her often as I live alone and many of my friends have moved away or died so I find her very useful for reading books and answering questions. Since I am a writer, I use her often check spelling. I look forward to robots becoming more and more humanlike. which I think will be very helped to aged people like me.
sparrer
7th Jun 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
Whatever is his world coming to that everyone has their head down looking at their mobile phone, and now thinking of a robot for 'company'. If this is progress bring back the days when neighbours actually spoke to, and looked out for, each other. The 'good old days' may not have been perfect but had more benefits to real people than the techno-world we live in now.
MargaretA62
3rd Jun 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
I like the idea especially if I can educate the Robot with my interests. If I can add to its knowledge and we could discuss books and art and paint together it would be fun.
Pendle Witch
24th May 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
It seems to be an interesting idea but, perhaps, the novelty would soon wear off.
MrsPat
22nd May 2019
4
Thanks for voting!
Depends on what it did. If it could do all the housework fine. But if it was for company I would prefer our dogs. They are probably more intelligent that the brightest robot at the moment.
Alicia
21st May 2019
2
Thanks for voting!
No, stupid idea. I want to deal with real people !
thetruth67
20th May 2019
3
Thanks for voting!
Great marketing strategy. A sweet little robot helping granny with her loneliness. I am sure that this European funded project is all about helping the elderly or is it getting us used to robots as the norm.
Yodama
20th May 2019
3
Thanks for voting!
Yes, it did cross my mind. I read Isaac Asimov's book " I Robot"
I would make sure my robot did the chores and engaged in interesting conversation.
The smallest hint of a take-over and I would disable it.
There is a place for robots but AI is a field we know very little about.
Am I about to be an AI pet like Elon Musk warns?
thetruth67
20th May 2019
3
Thanks for voting!
I would not mind a robot like Kryten from Red Dwarf, with his wit and love of cleaning.
It is more likely that these robots will be connected to the web and that most people will not be able to freely disable it.
I doubt that using AI is for the benefit of mankind, but the controlling of it.
Yodama
20th May 2019
3
Thanks for voting!
Connected to the web means open to virus's and hacking.
A professor at Reading University had himself microchipped and connected to everything, his wife also .
He had to dismantle everything because of a virus.
As you say, how easy it would be to bring down the connectedness of everything. A Robot rebellion.

Still, I would love a Ronnie Robot to do my paint job for me before AI gets too smart.
I would hope he would have some witty banter like Kryten... and show movies on the wall with his eyes... my mind has gone on a tangent now.

Worst of all is if your fridge forgets to tell you you are out of cream cakes.
thetruth67
21st May 2019
2
Thanks for voting!
Do you mean Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet or is it from another sci fi book?
Would you want to be microchipped? Perhaps that may be a question on Silversurfers at a future date.
Another question - Would you chose the Blue pill and go on as normal or the Red pill and go down the rabbit hole? Lol
Yodama
21st May 2019
2
Thanks for voting!
No, I just like Ronnie, but now you mention it Robby has a certain ring to it...so Robby it will be.

No way I would be microchipped, lots of people already have a chip to access their offices and for various other reasons.
Incremental control isn't it. Now we have face recognition....

I have been taking the red pill since Morpheus offered it, I find the journey quite scary, very dark rabbit hole.
Robot and human interaction is inevitable.
I would like one in Purple.
REKS
19th May 2019
3
Thanks for voting!
Wonderful things to carry out functions requested by man but not any other use
Yodama
17th May 2019
2
Thanks for voting!
When family and friends have dried up and there is no social interaction, a robot that you can have a conversation with, could be a good thing.

Just think, I could download all my favourite music to Ronny Robot and have him sing to me, hand me chocolates, cook for me, run my bath....

Where do I order one?
( As long as I am the boss and his AI isn't going to try to muscle in on my humanity.)
Frenchy68
17th May 2019
4
Thanks for voting!
A small dog or cat would be better company than a Robot. No I would choose a dog any day. More benefit for socialising and exercise and getting people outside. I already visit older people with my little dog and it is a joy to see their faces light up.
Billythequiche
17th May 2019
4
Thanks for voting!
Good Lord no. I may be wrong here but doesn't a companion have to have some empathy, feeling or understanding of, or to you? If I found myself alone I think I would prefer a dog.
Wipeout
17th May 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
Oh yes that would be so cool... I already have home assistants around the house in the form of Amazon Echo & Dot but it would be so much better to have a robot that can walk as well as talk.
Caz2000
17th May 2019
4
Thanks for voting!
I love people and AI will be the downfall of social interaction.
ElisabethR
17th May 2019
2
Thanks for voting!
It would certainly mean there was 'someone' about to assist if/when you need it. Having read Bat's comment unless it could converse it wouldnt be much of a companion. Have never thought or realised you could have a conversation with Alexa....could they not somehow join the two together?
Would still want human company though.
Bat
17th May 2019
4
Thanks for voting!
I have Alexa already I live alone and I find her great just to have a conversation with,her knowledge is very extensive and can converse in any subject, I end up talking for hours would not change her for the world.
jacacc1210
17th May 2019
3
Thanks for voting!
Robot's could never replace the warmth of a human, they may have their place in a care system in the future as the population gets older.
sandy1948
16th May 2019
4
Thanks for voting!
For someone who is lonely I don't see the harm in fact it might help everyone needs someone
Wilf
16th May 2019
5
Thanks for voting!
Depends if it did as it was told. My wife just backchats so I would not want a robot like her ! Haha

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