Would you want a robot to be your relative’s carer? | Anna Machin

A plan to introduce robots into care homes ignores the medicinal benefit of human contact

As an evolutionary anthropologist I have spent more than a decade researching human interaction and it is not an overstatement to say that the nature of our relationships with each other is one of the most critical factors in our health, happiness and life satisfaction. People who have strong, healthy relationships show a reduction in rates of mortality from chronic illness of 50% – that’s on a par with quitting smoking and beats maintaining a healthy BMI. Having supportive friends reduces the risk of poor mental health but also contributes to recovery and a reduction in relapse among those who suffer from addiction.

The most we can hope for is an inter-species relationship akin to that between human and dog

Related: A robot wrote this entire article. Are you scared yet, human? | GPT-3

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