While standing next to Samsung's new softball-shaped robot Ballie at the CES tech show this week, a company spokesperson told me the personal assistant prototype may one day be able to roll over to me and call 911 if I've fallen down.
My dark-yet-immediate reaction was to wonder whether the newly-announced "artificial humans" from startup Neon a few booths over would be able to do the same. If no one else was around, could I lean on a somewhat realistic-looking avatar -- one I'd built a relationship, even a friendship, with -- to know when I'm in need of medical assistance?
It was a bleak realization that so much of the tech I'd seen at the annual electronics expo painted a dystopian picture of life alone. There was the cute robotic cat that responds to your commands and an even cuter toilet paper robot that delivers you a fresh roll when no one else is around to help. Meanwhile, the Lovot robot exists to give people hugs. Click here to follow the rest of the story -->