Robots are becoming empathetic.

The second and final part of this radio series takes us up a notch from what the robots look like to us to how they interact with us. Increasingly, robotics developers are able to design into their creations the appearance and behaviours of caring and empathising. Of course, this creates a virtuous circle with their human interlocutors responding more easily in turn. This truly lends robots to the professions of caring, teaching and even psychological evaluation. Indeed, the fine-tuning is such that the industry envisages the day of personalised robots. Ultimately, the question will not be whether a caring robot is capable of being built. Rather, it will be whether humans bother about caring themselves when a robot can be drafted in to do the job instead.

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