Whether or not you’re making me happy, it’s an issue for many Americans.
Since the Great Recession we’ve come to accept that robots will be replacing workers, and at the same time we’ve become known for our excessive aversion to science fiction.
But, until now, robots haven’t actually invaded homes or even countries, just spread out from agencies around the world.
Robots can tap into another tech application called “disability communications” by helping people communicate with those they’ve lost.
Disability communication allows disabled people to make contact with those who would normally have difficulty sending or receiving messages.
The path to using “disability communication” isn’t always clear. For the past several years experts at Microsoft in India have been experimenting with “disability communication bots” for wheelchair users to voice their thoughts and needs. These bots are a couple of years old but are still impressive in both capability and design. This work raises a crucial issue, though: if there’s a limitation with how well these bots communicate with wheelchair users, it could make them ineffective.Image Credit: Microsoft
I asked some colleagues and engineers at Microsoft about the potential difficulties with disabled communication bots and their usefulness to robots. They have all shot down the idea that this issue could block disabled communication. I don’t think it does.
On the contrary, my colleagues on the other end say that because users need control over robots, this would likely come in handy as early as three years down the road.
That said, things are further down the road.
We’re still in the very early days of this new tech. Take the ball and run with it, but don’t be overwhelmed by bots.