Awakening Health, a collaboration between SingularityNET and Hanson Robotics, has created a new humanoid robot that promises to improve healthcare and offer care and companionship for elderly patients.
Grace, the robot nurse, aptly named, combines the accuracy of sophisticated robotics for processing and obtaining correct data in real-time with the empathy and compassion that, traditionally, only human touch can provide. She recognizes and responds to seven human emotions, speaks English and Korean well, and can mimic her interlocutor's facial expressions. She is, in some ways, the most sympathetic humanoid ever built.
Grace was created to be a friend for elderly people in nursing homes. Her primary role is to alleviate loneliness and improve the mental health of patients by connecting with them and offering a range of uplifting activities such as talking therapy and guided meditation. She may, for example, listen to older adults' life tales, record them, and relay them to others, or she can assist patients to connect with their relatives online.
Grace may also do basic health checks for patients, such as checking their temperature, pulse, and blood pressure, and relaying this information to their healthcare professional. Her powerful AI algorithms will also help physicians and nurses make a more accurate diagnosis of neurodegenerative illnesses.
What Is The Purpose Of A Robotic Medical Assistant?
According to Age UK, one out of every eleven NHS positions was empty in 2017/18, and £5.5 billion was spent on temporary personnel to replace vacancies and other short-term absences. They also noted that a lack of preventative treatment was contributing to an increase in the number of older persons using A&E services. Emergency admissions from nursing homes grew by 62% between 2010/11 and 2016/17, while emergency readmissions to hospitals within 30 days after release increased by 22% between 2013/14 and 2017/18.
This information is not limited to the United Kingdom; a comparable increase in demand for elder care has been recorded across the globe. And the problem has only gotten worse since 2019.
The COVID-19 epidemic has shown that healthcare staff is often overworked, while patients suffer from isolation. While scientific improvements are assisting in the battle against COVID-19, bigger flaws with the healthcare system are unlikely to be resolved anytime soon.
New problems need new solutions, and AI and robots have immense potential to improve the medical field. While AIs like Grace will never be able to replace a patient's family or the abilities of experienced medical professionals, they may make a significant contribution to the patient's psychophysical well-being.
Moving Towards Achieving Singularity
The bulk of AI research has concentrated on solving domain-specific, highly particular problems; on the other hand, robots like Grace are designed with artificial general intelligence (AGI) in mind. The objective of AGI is to create systems with intelligence equal to, and eventually superior to, that of the human mind – the great ambition of AI's progenitors.
True AGI will transport mankind into the era of technological singularity, a period in time when AI entities will finally attain increased independence from the original dataset they've been trained with, giving birth to a new type of super-intelligence that exceeds human intellect.
While Grace is still a long way from becoming a self-contained, thinking entity, she is a significant step in the right direction. Grace, Hanson Robotics' most renowned humanoid, has achieved a higher level of autonomy and has a greater potential for generalization beyond the data she has been taught with. This enables her to engage in settings for which she has not been trained and to react to a wide range of events in the same way that a person would.
Grace's hardware and lower-level operating software are also based on the Hanson Robotics platform. Sophia, on the other hand, is designed to engage in a broad range of interactions, while Grace is only focused on healthcare. Her smaller emphasis has enabled us to take a different approach to her program, which includes some more powerful AI technologies that were easier to deploy in her restricted domain.
Grace's software uses the OpenCog AI systems in more sophisticated ways than Sophia, including delicate interoperation between OpenCog and a range of neural vision and language models. Because of the different software architecture, Grace performs some different types of reasoning and perception than Sophia currently does.
Grace and Sophia, on the other hand, are both fast-developing systems. Grace will be upgraded to the new OpenCog Hyperon system in late 2022 or early 2023, which will be a significant step toward universal intelligence.
Meanwhile, SingularityNET and Hanson Robotics are initiating a Sophia-themed AR/VR metaverse project, adapting the software powering Grace for Sophia in both her robot and avatar forms, as part of an effort to have Sophia manage a wide range of AI systems in the metaverse.
Nurse Robots Are Here To Stay
As AI continues to improve and penetrate, robots will increasingly play a role in our daily lives in the future. Within a decade or two, AI will be as pervasive in our daily lives as electricity, with a delicate blend of AGI and limited AI systems assisting us in all aspects of our daily lives, including healthcare.
Humanoid robots will play an important role in situations requiring a deep emotional connection, but the overall activity of the AI matrix will extend beyond any hardware device or interface. To ensure that these new strong brains serve society as a whole, it is critical that they be governed and directed democratically and decentralized, rather than by a single government or company.
SingularityNET's main purpose is to use blockchain to build a decentralized infrastructure for global AI systems, including those powered by humanoid robots. This will enable us to realize the big AI ideal of providing everyone with access to loving, caring AI creatures.
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