Soon AI Powered Robots Will Help Humans With Loneliness And Social Isolation, Study Shows

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A recent study suggests that AI robots have the potential to alleviate human loneliness by providing companionship to isolated individuals. This could help reduce the health risks associated with chronic solitude, considering one in 10 people experience loneliness frequently, which increases cardiovascular disease risk and chances of premature death significantly.

Having a best friend a solution to loneliness

Geriatrics and Psychiatry professor at Duke University and Duke Institute of Brain Sciences member Murali Doraiswamy said that according to existing evidence having a real friend is the best solution for loneliness. Doraiswamy added that until eldercare and social connectedness are prioritized, robots will be the solution for many isolated individuals that have no other solutions.

Researchers from various countries have noticed that loneliness is becoming a problem for both older and younger people. Factors like widowhood and retirement contribute to loneliness in older individuals, while younger individuals also experience feelings of isolation. To address this issue, a team of international researchers suggests that robots with advanced artificial intelligence could be employed as a potential solution in the future.

Social isolation and loneliness are a global issue that impacts at least one third of the global population. For instance, in the UK close to 4.4 million people don’t have real friends and they rely on online gaming and social media to kill loneliness.  Also, in the US there is a fourfold increase in the number of people without close friends over the past three decades. social isolation and loneliness have been associated with obesity, mental illness, and dementia, with loneliness considered as harmful as smoking to health.

Companion robots can help individuals unable to make friends

University of Auckland’s Psychological Medicine professor Elizabeth Broadbent argues that AI presents a promising opportunity to equip companion robots with enhances skills to enable them establish social relationships. However, it is vital to ensure rules are created so that they can be trustworthy and moral.

Interestingly, Elderly individuals are turning on tech to find companionship through services such as Papa app which can assist them in things such as shopping.

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