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World's First Robotic Psychiatrist

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World’s First Robotic Psychiatrist®: Security Robot Did Not Commit Suicide

Dr. Joanne Pransky comments on the security robot incident from a few days ago when a robot fell into a fountain, claiming that the robot did not commit suicide.

Washington, DC, July 20, 2017 --( “This was an accident,” says Dr. Joanne Pransky, The World’s First Robotic Psychiatrist®, whom Isaac Asimov dubbed “the real Susan Calvin” in 1989. “This is an unfortunate lesson that requires further investigation, but it’s not a suicide.

“The Knightscope K5 security robot is a pioneer in its implementation and use in real-world environments. The K5 is really a robot protagonist and the lessons and failures it experiences will be shared so that future technologies can avoid experiencing similar accidents.

“As much as I’d like to have robot patients that lie on my couch for a dose of high-tech therapy, the reality is that this is a prime example of anthropomorphism - humans attributing emotions to a physical object. In my 31 years of practicing Robotic Psychiatry, I’ve learned that the real ‘patients’ are the humans who may perceive their robotic companions to have similar response systems to people. I believe it’s the Human Operating System (HOS) and not the Robot Operating System (ROS) that will determine the successful implementation of robots into human environments.

“Advanced as the Knightscope K5 robot is to date, it’s symbolic of how technology is always an ongoing evolution. This is the nature of all technology. There are bugs/problems and they get fixed. No tech is ever 'finished'; it’s ever-changing. Who among us can go even a few days without updating the apps on our phones?

“This security robot is not best designed for the outdoor elements such as rain, snow or water. Technical modifications to the K5 could potentially be extrapolated and applied to future robots to navigate safely, for example, around indoor or outdoor hot tubs or swimming pool.

“The reality of the dramatized headlines regarding this robot accident indicate that the public and media are neither educated nor experienced regarding the realities of robotic technology. Even Dr. Asimov would have been proud. No humans were hurt and that’s the primary objective of robots – to protect and serve humans. This security robot just needs to learn to protect itself, even in unanticipated scenarios.”

Dr. Joanne Pransky, the World’s First Robotic Psychiatrist, is a world-recognized expert in robotics and the Goodwill Ambassador to the Robotics Industry. Pransky has recently launched the “edutaining” YouTube Show “Robot in Crisis.” She has been a co-founder and marketing director of the first medical robotics journal (The International Journal of Medical Robotics and Computer Assisted Surgery), a senior sales and marketing executive for a major industrial robot manufacturer, as well as an official judge on Comedy Central’s BattleBots. She currently serves as an advisor to numerous robotics companies and is an associate editor for Industrial Robot Journal. Her lifelong mission has been to prepare the world for the continually evolving human-robot relationship. Pransky speaks and writes on the societal implications of robotics, having published a noteworthy article on General Motor’s (GM) Robot Suicide.
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World's First Robotic Psychiatrist
Joanne Pransky

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