Taking Care of the Aging: Robots, Artificial Intelligence Step In

What’s the Importance of Artificial Intelligence with Robot Caregiver Development

Artificial intelligence is evolving rapidly, with new features continually rolled out.

Robots with the ability to read human emotion are becoming better. So good, in fact, that by 2022 AI will understand a person’s emotional state better than their family, according to the Gartner research group.

Powered by virtual personal assistants (VPAs) and AI-focused conversational systems, developers want to make casual interactions with humanoid robots a more comfortable experience, especially for senior citizens.

Here is what Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner, said in a statement (available here):

“Emotion AI systems and affective computing are allowing everyday objects to detect, analyze, process and respond to people’s emotional states and moods to provide better context and a more personalized experience. To remain relevant, technology vendors must integrate AI into every aspect of their devices, or face marginalization.”

How Robots are Helping in Japan

In Japan, where an aging population meets a tech-savvy culture in a topsy-turvy social clash, the deployment of robots care givers offers new hope. The Japanese government, anticipating a 370,000 caregiver shortfall by 2025, streamlined funding for elder care robot development.

Besides offering its own citizens a service, Japanese companies want to emerge as a leader able to export its customized robots to other countries. China, Italy, Germany, and several other modernized countries predict future problems with a growing elderly population.

“It’s an opportunity for us,” said Atsushi Yasuda, director of robotic policy at the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, in a statement to Reuters. “Other countries will follow the same trend.”

It’s worth noting that robotics won’t solve current social issues in Japan, but should certainly be able to augment nursing staff shortages – and help patients enjoy just a little bit more autonomy.

( Image courtesy of Koki Kataoka, Yomiuri Shimbun )

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