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Professor believes robots can augment future workforce but won’t replace employees

by Jennifer Fallon / Mar 16, 2016

Chad Lane

New technology is on the horizon that could lighten the load for those who care for the elderly. As promising, however, as a robot such as Nadine may be—it can interact in real-time and respond with positive and negative emotions—robotic caregiving has a long way to go, according to Dr. H. Chad Lane, an associate professor in the Department of Educational Psychology.

Lane said robots such as Nadine are a natural outgrowth of a world awash in technology: “You probably use Siri or the Google equivalent," Lane said in an interview with Jennifer Fallon of HealthZette. "That is a form of social interaction. You see people making jokes and asking questions, taking social tendencies and applying them to a machine."

Robots are meant to augment the workforce Lane believes, not replace employees: "Replacing humans is the movie version. The reality is there are not enough teachers, not enough doctors, not enough caregivers. How can we make sure technologies are meeting human needs?"

Will machines have good bedside manners? Read more about how robots have potential to be the next step in companion care.