At age 18-19, during my social year and a half, I worked at a retirement home caring for the elderly. It was tremendously rewarding, but also brutal, physically and emotionally – for me, it was 18 months of laughter, soreness and tears, but for the career nurses and caregivers, the diminishing budgets and growing number of elderly globally is impossible to balance.
Enter care-bots, robots that help the elderly with activities, their meds and, maybe most importantly, as companions. ZoraBots, out of Belgium, is a leader in the field, and patients often get attached to Zora (he or she is up to the person interacting with Zora).
In Japan, the global leader in robotics and robot use, Sony released a dog robot, Aibo, that is making especially the elderly happy, providing companionship. Now also available in the US with the “first litter edition”, the package features the aibo companion robot, a 3-year AI cloud plan, an assortment of aibo toys, and a dog tag.
Maybe a bit out there, but definitely more and more part of the future. AI and Robotics, get used to them, and maybe even get attached.