What do you do when something is not going well or like expected? And when you feel not good, depressed or you need any kind of suggestion on this or that (even strictly personal)?
In the past there were specialists. Health or spiritual guides that used their knowledge, experience, wisdom and kindness to help you solve your problems (parents included).
But in the future something may change. It’s already changing and this transition may make a ‘cold’ and ‘inhuman’ gadget, your therapist, to whom people can tell their problems and receive suggestions for a better and healthier life.
This is what’s happening with Apple and their ‘Siri’ App: the digital assistant developed by the IT company for their iOS, macOS, watchOS e tvOS devices (iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch e Apple TV, etc.). In other worlds, people’s best ‘friend’, ‘parent’ and ‘guide’ will be their smartphone or laptop, watch or TV.
In fact, according to Stanford University, in a study publish in 2016, more and more people are using ‘Siri’, or other personal voice digital assistants, to tell their problems. But the responses are inconsistent and incomplete when it comes to questions such as mental health, rape and domestic violence. Apple decided to use this trend – and lack – at their advantage and will develop the first digital therapist in the world, bringing ‘Siri’ to the next level.
For the purpose, the company started to search a Siri Software Engineer specialised on Health and Wellness. The position was posted on their official website on 6th April 2017 and the candidate will “play a part in the next revolution in human-computer interaction”, they write. The ‘lucky’ employee will “contribute to a product that is redefining mobile and desktop computing.”
According to the job opening, the engineer will deal with large scale systems, spoken languages, big data and artificial intelligence. Next time people will have a conversation with ‘Siri’, they may ask how to prevent a destructive life, how to cope with a stressful day or how to deal with something serious they have in mind…and receive a useful reply and support. Any Apple user will be able to
“turn to ‘Siri’ in emergencies or when they want guidance on living a healthier life.”
If the ‘RoboThespian’ or ‘Byrun’ humanoids will be able to act, walk, dance and interact with humans, what will happen if their technology will be combined with the new ‘Siri’ software? Maybe your next doctor will have just some metal under his (or her) white coat.
Will it be really useful and helpful? And what about being comforting, empathetic and caring?