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Ask HN: Should nursing homes encourage residents to talk to chatbots daily?
2 points by amichail on March 19, 2023 | hide | past | favorite | 8 comments
Maybe this should even be required by law?

    Maybe this should even be required by law?
Look, if you want a boot on your neck THAT bad you can find people to solve that problem in exchange for cash.

Leave the rest of us out of it and stop waiting for robots to get you off.

> Maybe this should even be required by law?

Are you trying to legally mandate the progression of dementia?

Certainly can't imagine anything less helpful for old people with cognitive decline than encouraging them to trust in a machine that's persuasive, inconsistent and doesn't remember what you said to it an hour ago...

While I can see the potential benefits of incorporating chatbots in nursing homes (e.g., providing companionship, mental stimulation, etc.), I think it's crucial to consider a few factors before jumping on the bandwagon.

First, there's the question of technological accessibility and ease of use for the elderly population. Not all residents may be comfortable or adept at using these chatbot interfaces, so any implementation should be user-friendly and offer a gradual learning curve.

Second, chatbots should be seen as a complementary tool rather than a replacement for human interaction. Face-to-face socialization with staff and other residents is vital for the emotional well-being of seniors. Overreliance on chatbots could inadvertently lead to social isolation.

Lastly, privacy and data security should be a priority. We've seen numerous cases where tech companies mishandle user data, and we definitely don't want to expose vulnerable seniors to such risks.

In summary, while chatbots might have a place in nursing homes, it's essential to tread carefully and ensure that they're used responsibly and ethically.

I think the sentiment behind this post is very thoughtful, but am not sure what the real impact on people might be.

I'm particularly thinking of old people who might ultimately become more depressed having the realization of only talking to a machine, or an old person who didn't know they were talking to a machine eventually finding out. In some cases it might signal to old people to completely give up on life.

If we're talking about social changes brought about by AI, maybe some of the displaced jobs should go to people helping with other humans' emotional needs, which is the one place where humans should always have an edge.

Do you talk to chatbots yourself?

> Maybe this should even be required by law?

Why would we require tyranny just to solve this issue?

Yeah this is some insanity. Sure, provide chat bots as an option for them if they want it. But goddamn, let people live their own lives, don't "save them from themselves" with your ideas.

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