“Sorry to hear that. Talking to a friend, listening to music or taking a walk
might help. I hope you feel better soon.”
Alexa's artificial intelligence-infused
heart may be in the right place, but there's only so far it or any AI can go to
comfort someone who is alone.
All the same, Alexa’s response raises
questions about just what kind of role an AI can play to “cure” loneliness,
especially among the elderly. Loneliness has been identified as a leading cause
of depression among people who are over 65.
The promise of AI
We’ve heard for years about the potential of
companion robots to keep older people, but really anybody, company. But AI
need not take the form of a physical robot. As we communicate more often with
Alexa and the Google Assistant, could anyone really blame us for thinking
of them, too, as "friends?"
still worlds away, though, from the romanticized view of AI that was portrayed
in the 2013 sci-fi film "Her."And, frankly, the Hollywood
hype around social robots hasn't been all that great, with them mostly bent on
causing our demise.
And their own reality has been rather bleak,
mostly focused on their own demise.
Earlier this year, for example, the company
behind the Jibo “social” robot for the home that had
not all that long ago graced the cover of Time magazine as one of the best inventions of 2017, shut
down its servers. Other once-promising robotics companies
including Mayfield Robotics (known for the Kuri robot) and Anki
(Cozmo) recently met a similar fate.
robots still aren’t prancing around most living rooms, beyond the occasional
Roomba, we are increasingly forming some kind of bond with the AI’s in our
smart speakers, phones and other devices – yes, Alexa, Google Assistant and
“Alexa’s personality has helped to create a
place for her in the home of millions of customers – and we continue to find
ways to evolve her personality to be more helpful and useful for them,” says
Toni Reid, Amazon’s vice president for Alexa. “This includes responding to
sensitive customer questions or interactions such as 'Alexa, I’m
lonely,' 'Alexa, I’m sad,' 'Alexa, I’m depressed,' and so on. As
we prepare to respond to these interactions, we are very aware that these are
high-stakes answers and have worked closely with experts, such as crisis
hotlines, to ensure Alexa’s response is helpful."
can a machine fill in for a human?
While Reid says “AI can help make life
easier – and at times, more delightful – I don’t see AI as a replacement to
Indeed, it seems like a pipe dream to
suggest that a machine-based solution, no matter what human traits it picks up
or how chatty it gets, can properly fill the void when relationships end or
loved ones pass on.
World’s 1st remote brain surgery via 5G network performed in China Published time: 17 Mar, 2019 13:12 · A Chinese surgeon has performed the world’s first remote brain surgery using 5G technology, with the patient 3,000km away from the operating doctor. Dr. Ling Zhipei remotely implanted a neurostimulator into his patient’s brain on Saturday, Chinese state-run media reports . The surgeon manipulated the instruments in the Beijing-based PLAGH hospital from a clinic subsidiary on the southern Hainan island, located 3,000km away. The surgery is said to have lasted three hours and ended successfully. The patient, suffering from Parkinson’s disease, is said to be feeling well after the pioneering operation. The doctor used a computer connected to the next-generation 5G network developed by Chinese tech giant Huawei. The new device enabled a near real-time connection, according to Dr. Ling. “You barely feel that the patient is 3,000 kilometers away,” he said.
Beijing Orders Alibaba To Dump Media Assets That Rival China's Propaganda Machine BY TYLER DURDEN MONDAY, MAR 15, 2021 - 07:30 PM Beijing is reviving its crackdown on the country's biggest tech firms, reminding the world that the CCP is still focused on neutralizing any and all threats to its control of the Chinese economy and its people. Even after amending China's official ideology to include entrepreneurs among the protected classes represented by the CCP (in addition to workers, farmers and soldiers), Beijing, with President Xi at its center, has apparently decided that Chinese tech firms won't follow the American model after all. Instead, their growth and competitive capabilities will be curtailed for the sake of stability at home. After Tencent was censured and strict new requirements were officailly imposed on Alibaba-owned Ant Group that will prevent the company from growing , the Wall Street Journal reports that next up on Beijing's to-do lis
From Amazon to Wal-Mart, digital retail is producing more jobs and higher pay Written by Mitchell Schnurman, Business columnist May 30, 2017 Retail trade is one of the biggest job sectors in America, and the vast majority of those workers still clock in at brick-and-mortar stores. But the big growth is coming from e-commerce, which happens to pay a lot better, too. This is a promising development for retail workers who worry about thousands of store closings and the march of automation. E-commerce also offers a potential antidote to years of low productivity growth and income stagnation. “If this new pattern continues, it will raise real wages across the economy and rejuvenate the middle class,” said a report by economist Michael Mandel of the Progressive Policy Institute in Washington. By his definition, e-commerce includes online shopping, mail order and warehousing. That’s a more expansive category than usual and was created to capture the growth in what M
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