Robotics and the Rarity of Care


Robotics and the rarity of care: Adoption issues of social robots in healthcare.

Presentation at Social Robots in Healthcare Workshop organised by the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision, 20th July 2017

What does being cared for feel like?—Considered, understood, comforted, calmed, elevated. How is care different from being treated for health, stabilised, improved or healed?—Better vital signs, systems functioning, less disease or infection, more energy, more mobility, less pain, clearer thinking. What factors affect the feeling of being cared for? E.g. do the particularities of your relationship with your carer matter? If so, how and why? Do you feel more cared for when you care about your carer? To what degree do the intentions vs. actions of the carer matter to feel cared for? E.g. if someone important to you nevertheless cares for you in a haphazard way, does it make you feel more cared for than a more objective professional who cares for you in a systematic and thorough way? The irony about care is that we can feel cared for even when we get sicker and we can feel more cared by less competent person who is more important to us than a more competent person who is less important to us. Can robots make people feel cared for?–If ‘yes’, then adoption. The adoption of social robots in healthcare is in some way dependent on the experience of feeling cared for. Is part of feeling cared for is being prioritised by the carer; that the rarity of care is a factor in feeling valued and cared for?

Presentation slides (.pdf)

Cognitive Decision Scientist

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S. Kate Devitt

Research Associate, Institute for Future Environments and the Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology