Can Robots Combat Loneliness?
Robots cannot substitute for those we have lost, but they are increasingly finding their way into care settings and the homes of elderly people struggling with isolation and loneliness. Meet Pepper, described as “the world’s first social humanoid robot, able to recognize faces and basic human emotions… optimized for human interaction.” Robots that respond conversationally, tell jokes, sing and dance, and lead exercise routines have proven to be comforting companions, helping people to feel their lives are more meaningful. In the face of an epidemic of loneliness, with its dire consequences for physical and mental health, robots turn out to be loyal friends.
- 2022 Health