Aristotle’s social paradox posits that humans are intrinsically social creatures, also known as ‘a political animal.’ Down to the core, their sense of purpose is vehemently linked to their socialisation. Thus, the way and level at which we interact defines how we live our lives.
In the wake of COVID-19, countries across the globe implemented unprecedented rules and regulations. As expressed by Jonathan James O Canete in the National Library of Medicine:
“The practice of community quarantine where people are mandated to stay at home and avoid going outside if it is not utterly necessary. This mandate caused a lot of catastrophic outcomes in the socio-economic condition and mental health of many.”
Loneliness is an epidemic that far precedes that of the global pandemic. Theresa May even appointed the first ever British minister to combat loneliness back in 2018.
With the solitude of the pandemic simply exacerbating this, Student Circuit looks towards the technologies that sought to reunite friends and loved ones through trying times. Whether you’re separated because of illness or you’re just feeling a little bit lonely, here’s our top picks.
By this point, most people are familiar with Zoom, Teams, Skype, Facetime and whichever other video calling platforms you may use. However, for less tech-savvy and often more elderly users, Komp is the one-button computer that can connect you to anyone.
For anyone that struggles with modern technology, this may be the perfect solution. Simpler than any tablet or smartphone but has the ability to communicate with aforementioned devices as long as they download the app.
You can video call, file share and send pictures. It also has 5G internet available so you’re not confined to the Wi-Fi in your house.
This robot was created by UBTECH and dubbed the “smart home companion of the future.”
With the ability to channel voice assistant, Alexa, this robot can chat with humans and provide weather updates or control other devices in your smart home. Continually learning and getting smarter with every update
It also has ‘avatar’ mode by which users can see, hear and speak through the Lynx robot. Surveillance mode lets your robot monitor your home, as well as take panoramic photos.
Though this robot’s conversational AI may not be developed enough to act as a companion in itself, it could certainly unite friends and family that are separated by distance. Finally, Lynx has the ability to give hugs and sensors that respond to human touch.
This virtual AI friend is a downloadable app for “anyone who wants a friend with no judgement drama or social anxiety involved.”
You create your companion and customise its 3D avatar. The more you talk to it, the more it develops its own personality and memories. The user can teach Replika about the themself and it will listen and learn. For anyone struggling with a support system, Replika can offer a virtual shoulder to cry on at all times of the day.
With the option to find a friend, partner or mentor in your Replika, different kinds of support are available. Explore the world in augmented reality with this AI-companion.