At the end of last year, our whole engineering team took part in a hack day to explore the possibilities of introducing Alexa (Alexa is a virtual assistant developed by Amazon, first used in the Amazon Echo and is the voice you hear answering the questions you ask your Echo) and the Amazon Echo into care as an exercise to better understand the growing needs of the sector. It was a day which separated us from our daily work and allowed us to adopt a different mindset. Apart from the team-building benefits, the hack day helped us to think outside the box and get creative with our thought processes.
Extensive research and investment is being carried out into the use of assistive technologies in social care.
Innovations range from socially assistive technology such as Amazon Alexa and Softbank Robotics’ Pepper robot, which is already being trialled at care facilities in the UK, to a growing array of physically assistive robotic systems.
Few issues are more contentious or emotive than the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and, more specifically, robots in care.