Monday, November 2, 2009

Robots that Care

Apropos the theme of our next meeting, I was delighted to see this piece in the 02 November 2009 New Yorker featuring work by Maja Mataric (who spent some time in the Computer Science Department of our beloved Brandeis University). Maja and her students are building robots to help the elderly, work with autistic children, etc. I especially enjoyed the criticism of this work by Sherry Turkle: essentially, "people should be doing this, not robots". Having spent many hours volunteering in a nursing home as a youth, I can attest to the fact that what old people need is human, not robot, companionship.

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