Jack Uldrich
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Robots’ More “Socially Aware” Future

Posted in Health Care


Many people, myself included, expect robots to become more popular in the coming decade. One reason I’m optimistic is because social scientists (such as cultural anthropologists) are discovering how to make robots more acceptable in a variety of settings. According to this article, some hospital workers love robots while others hate them.

The difference is that the workers who hate robots hate them because they are unable to adjust their behavior to the appropriate situation. For example, if a doctor is talking in a hushed tone to a patient’s family in a cancer ward, the robots should also be quiet—but often it isn’t. As computer and sensor technology as well as algorithms get better expect many of these problems to be mitigated. The result: more robots in hospitals; aging facilities; schools and even our homes.

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