If you attended the 2015 Global Sources Electronics Fair in Hong Kong, then I’m certain you met the responsive, talking lifelike humanoid robot. He was created with a flesh-rubber skin material and an abundance of facial expressions, designed to improve the customer experience in select industries. Attendees challenged him with simple questions such as, “how old are you,” “when were you born,” and “do you use a mobile phone?” The interaction was obviously entertaining for attendees and his creators, but I have a few questions for this guy that may stretch his knowledgebase.
Do you understand grammatical context? Can your non-human character identity deliver an empathic response at the appropriate time, or will your response be as robotic and calculated as your voice? Sure, this robot’s intended function is focused on the hospitality and academic industries, but the correlation was drawn concerning medical simulation. Can he actually differentiate between symptoms of an anxiety attack and a coronary episode? The two often appear with similar symptoms and
I’m having trouble believing at the onset of your symptoms, that he has the bedside manner to comfort and coach you when you are inherently fearful that you’re having a heart attack. I’m most certain I would want a human voice (with human empathic characteristics) to get me the right care, at the right time. I need an individual to care for my cognitive wellbeing as well as my medical symptoms. I guess the argument can be made that I want to be coddled, tell me I’ll be okay – I think that’s natural. I don’t think this robot guy can do that. Sure he can point me in the direction of the nearest amusement ride, or tell me everything I could possibly learn about a museum exhibit, and most certainly he’ll be fun for the kids, but for medical concerns, I’ll talk to my GetAbby app.