ROBOT THERAPY: A DOUBLE EDGE SWORD
Robot Therapy is an Artificial Intelligence non –human therapist with Computer-assisted help. Over the last few years, mental health care has been changed evolving from couch in a one-to-one conversation to a text-based therapies through messaging apps, online therapy sessions, Chatbots that perform CBT therapy, etc. Ellie an Artificial Intelligence non-human Therapist created by funding from the US government agency can detect non-verbal cues accurately at a high speed, Low gaze attention, mirrors Facial expressions, as the patient answers, she nods too. In the 2020 COVID19 pandemic, the mental health crisis pushed us to seek mental health care and online services in the form of Artificial Intelligences that came to light. Although online robotic therapy is not an ideal type of therapy during pandemics when physical distancing is mandatory it can save many. If you google mental health online support, you will get thousands of responses in the form of online apps, websites, etc. An ideal therapist is the one who builds rapport, has unconditional positive regard, Empathy towards the patient which maybe doesn’t fulfill by the Robo therapist. Robots are used successfully in other sectors. The advantage of medical robots is immense. They don’t need the presence of humans near patients all the time. They benefit patients during emergency situations and can help in alerting staff in case the need arises. This helps medical personnel to devote manpower to other areas. Medical robots can fulfil the void of medical staff, especially during pandemics when the demand for manpower is high. In India, a Kerala engineer Jayakrishnan is working on a robot named Chhayya which would be the Indian version of Sophia (Created by Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics and gained citizenship in Saudi Arabia). Chhayya will assist in healthcare services that are required in the current pandemic situation. Chhayya can also assist in diverse service sectors like banking, retail, space, security, and hospitality, etc. another Humanoid robot named Grace can interact with people in Covid isolations. Problems that arise in seeking Robotic Therapy are the violation of privacy, the Empathetic approach could be absent, and there will always be a doubt whether the right treatment is provided or not, Rapport building is absent, Human interaction will be less. We need to understand that Artificial Intelligence is a programmed computer-based assisted service that can help us at the time of crisis but more dependency on them will not be fruitful in the coming future.