'That’s, at least, what certain experts predict. After all, it is only the natural step forward after social companion robots — a technology that is only gaining popularity as more people attempt to fill the void in their lives with a non-human “human.”
The concept of a robot psychologist might seem off-putting to some, but the fact remains that the technology is there, and it’s really only a matter of time before someone decides to utilize it to create a walking, talking, interactive humanoid thing that will heal us of our mental and emotional hurts.
Talk about a shrink without any kinks.
Or perhaps the kink is even bigger than we can possibly fathom. An article written in Psychology Today discussed the potential benefits and risks that may emerge from an automated mental health industry.
The concept, as unusual and disconcerting as it initially appears, does make sense. Some psychological services, such as the administration of tests, for example, can be powered by AI technology. This is really not that difficult to imagine. Mental health exams can be easily done on a smart device. This, in turn, would lower barriers to adoption, cost, access, availability, and a lack of perceived stigma. Patients would only have to open their phone, and find out if they are ill.
Recent estimates from Statista state that the average price to purchase an app in the Apple App Store is about 89 cents. This is significantly less than an average session with a psychologist, which can cost hundreds of dollars. Patients also have to wait in line to see their doctor, as opposed to merely opening an app.
Using an app would also lessen the fear of appearing “abnormal.” Mental health is still considered to be a taboo subject for a lot of people. Accessing an app would remove any sort of fear, and users can happily talk about their problems with some unknown entity.'
Read more: Will future psychologists be…robots?
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7 January 2019
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