Character-Based AI Interacts with Seniors, Provides Companionship
Another AI-driven sidekick on the market. This one is slightly different than its predecessors. The name is ElliQ and it is designed to keep seniors company while at home.
From washingtonpost.com we learned just how friendly and how anticipatory the algorithm can be. Here is a slice of what is being called a typical conversation with a senior woman.
“ElliQ, good morning.”
“Good morning, Susan. How did you sleep?”“I slept well, thank you.”
“That’s good. Would you like to do some exercise?
“Not now. I’m going to church. Maybe later?”
The AI, unlike a basic program, is anticipating a future point in time, as well as recognizing a previous stretch of time.
An Israeli company, Intuition Robotics, commercially released ElliQ after a long beta period. Billed as an AI companion for the elderly, ElliQ offers encouragement, invitations to games, gentle health prodding, music thoughts, and, most importantly, a friendly voice that learns a person’s ways and comforts them.
“This is a character-based person, an entity that lives with you,” said Dor Skuler, Intuition’s chief executive and co-founder. “People who use ElliQ expect her to remember conversations, they expect her to hold context … to deal with the hard times and celebrate the great times. These are the things I think we’re on the frontier of.”
Products like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa are designed as assistants for working people. ElliQ is designed as a companion, largely meant to converse and occupy the elderly. By promising that most elusive of human commodities — empathy — ElliQ could be a solution for senior loneliness.
This writer finds I automatically say “thank you” to Siri when she provides the information for the basketball game I’m looking for. She never says “you’re welcome” and that is somehow disappointing at times. Now ElliQ will not only say “thank you,” but she might ask you, “what’s for dinner?”
Based on the algorithm’s ability to respond, there really doesn’t seem to be a downside to ElliQ as of yet.
read more at washingtonpost.com
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