Can a computer really be a friend?


You: “Alexa, I'm lonely.”

Amazon Alexa: “I'm sorry to hear that. Speaking to a friend, listening to music or walking may help. I hope you feel better soon. "

Alexa's artificial core intelligence may be in the right place, but it is only so far or any AI can comfort someone who is alone.

Similarly, Alexa's answer raises questions about the type of role AI can play to “cure” loneliness, especially among older people. Loneliness was identified as the main cause of depression among people over 65 years of age.

AI promise

We heard for years about robots enabling colleagues to retain older people, but really no one, company. But AI does not have to be in the form of a physical robot. As we communicate more often with Alexa and a Google Assistant, could anyone really blame us as "friends?"


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