Paro

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    Cy-Fox





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    Paro

    Post by Cy-Fox on February 6th 2011, 3:06 am



    These two little furballs to the naked eye appear to be baby harp seals with pacifiers. But in reality, they are intricate robots created by AIST Corporation with a price tag of roughly $6,000. In its eighth generation, the Paro is being used to coax the elderly in relation to their feelings of isolation and abandonment.

    The Paro is capable of reacting to touch. It associates positive actions with the feeling of being petted by their principle and strives to act in this fashion. Negative actions are associated with being hit or other such feelings. It simulates emotion and is considered to be as close to a real baby harp seal with the exception of its obvious lack of biological constraints and having a reverse 'sleep cycle'.

    One must wonder though, while they're shown to succeed at the objective they were built for, why should we go to such an effort in comparison to providing flesh and blood animals for their care? A flesh and blood animal is considerably cheaper (if not free), but on the flip-side of the coin, they are limited by the needs of food, water, shelter and protection/response towards illness. But a real animal is a lot more authentic in their actions. There is no program that dictates their actions.

    Plus, one must consider whether or not having the elderly invest their emotions in a machine, substituting human contact, is really a proper course of action. Having experienced the death of my grandmother after being placed in a retirement home by a (in my opinion) unappreciative and lazy family, it really provokes a lot of questions about the way we're treating them. Pushing them away in itself is wrong. Pushing them away and dumping them on a machine seems all the worse.

    So tell me what you think guys. Cyberethics discussion ahoy!
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    NeoMetalSonic





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    Re: Paro

    Post by NeoMetalSonic on February 6th 2011, 11:30 am

    They look adorable
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    karkooshy





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    Re: Paro

    Post by karkooshy on February 6th 2011, 12:04 pm

    Placing elders in a retirement home is wrong all by itself if you ask me. When a person reaches a certain age, he/she expects their children to care for them much like they used to care for their children. Putting your mother/father in a retirement home is simply improper.
    However, if an elder is in a retirement home, and there's nothing they can do about it, such a toy could prove to be fun... I would play around with it, and I would chose it over a real pet... if it wasn't for the crazy price tag. You can buy an elder a good computer... or a phone (or both for that matter) for the same price... so that they can stay in touch with family members.


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    NeoMetalSonic





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    Re: Paro

    Post by NeoMetalSonic on February 6th 2011, 12:24 pm

    karkooshy wrote:Placing elders in a retirement home is wrong all by itself if you ask me. When a person reaches a certain age, he/she expects their children to care for them much like they used to care for their children. Putting your mother/father in a retirement home is simply improper.
    However, if an elder is in a retirement home, and there's nothing they can do about it, such a toy could prove to be fun... I would play around with it, and I would chose it over a real pet... if it wasn't for the crazy price tag. You can buy an elder a good computer... or a phone (or both for that matter) for the same price... so that they can stay in touch with family members.
    Provided they know how to use it

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