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Despite innovations that make it easier for seniors to keep living on their own rather than moving into special facilities, most elderly people eventually need a hand with chores and other everyday activities.

 

Friends and relatives often can’t do all the work. Growing evidence indicates it’s neither sustainable nor healthy for seniors or their loved ones. Yet demand for professional caregivers already far outstrips supply, and experts say this workforce shortage will only get worse.

 

So how will our society bridge this elder-care gap? In a word, robots.

 

Just as automation has begun to do jobs previously seen as uniquely suited for humans, like retrieving goods from warehouses, robots will assist your elderly relatives. As a robotics researcher, I believe artificial intelligence has the potential not only to care for our elders but to do so in a way that increases their independence and reduces their social isolation.

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