Robotic companions are being promoted as an antidote to the burden of longer, lonelier human lives. At stake is the future of what it means to be human.
I was briefly quoted about the ethical dilemma:
Many in the field see the tensions and dilemmas in robot care, yet believe the benefits can outweigh the risks. The technology is “intended to help older adults carry out their daily lives,” says Richard Pak, a Clemson University scientist who studies the intersection of human psychology and technology design, including robots. “If the cost is sort of tricking people in a sense, I think, without knowing what the future holds, that might be a worthy trade-off.” Still he wonders, “Is this the right thing to do?”