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The Evolution of the Doll with AI

Male and Female AI Hyodols sitting side by side one another

The Mobile World Congress always presents its fair share of oddities, and last week, the spotlight fell on Hyodol, a Korean company showcasing an unconventional AI doll for older adults. Despite its eerie appearance, this $1,800 doll serves a noble purpose: providing interactive companionship to lonely individuals or those in long-term care.

Embedded with a sophisticated language model, Hyodol can engage in conversations with its owners and offer helpful reminders about health-related tasks such as medication schedules and meal times. With its connectivity extending to a companion app and web monitoring platform, caretakers can remotely oversee both the device and its user.

Intended to combat the pervasive issue of loneliness among ageing populations, such technology has garnered attention for its potential to alleviate feelings of isolation. However, scepticism remains regarding its ability to foster genuine connections, prompting further exploration into its societal impact and ethical considerations.

While the market for social robots is growing, cultural acceptance continues to vary. Some are viewing these devices as comforting companions, and others as unsettling manifestations of artificial intelligence. 

Despite the ongoing debate surrounding their implications, these AI-enabled dolls continue to evolve - offering a novel solution to the complex challenges of human connection and companionship.


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