Home Lifestyle Health Why Speech-Language Therapists will Never be Replaced by Robots?

Why Speech-Language Therapists will Never be Replaced by Robots?

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By now you must have heard the news of Robots coming to replace us for our jobs. But is it true? There are hundreds of jobs like shopkeepers, factory workers, lawyers, legal assistants, doctors, umpires, and more. Will people stop working and if it’s true then what professions are most likely to divert on robots?  

It is not a secret that artificial intelligence has invaded every industry. We have smart machines that are making our lives comfortable. But when it comes to the healthcare industry, smart machines have helped doctors navigate the root cause of many diseases, but the healthcare industry cannot be replaced with robots. 

There are medical surgeries to perform and then there are mental health concerns. Well, the simple answer is no. There are millions of people who rely on health workers and crave human attention.  One of the fields of medicine that won’t be replaced with robots is physical therapy.

Therapies Can’t be Done by Robots

Physical therapy covers a lot of disciplines that include speech and language therapy as well. All sorts of therapies include strong communication skills and empathy and robots may be super talkative; they can’t fathom what a human is going through. 

Speech and Language (ABA) Therapists in Chicago and Downers Grove emphasize that jobs that require personal and human touch won’t be replaced by robots because they involve individual, personalized attention. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when you have to deal with patients suffering from different speech and language disorders.

As robot technology is being revealed to all of us, we can say that they are using chatbot technology where the robot can listen and answer smartly but it can’t feel what you are feeling. 

All of these robots and smart machines require human training and after a while, they tend to optimize what the user will do and suggest things in repetitive tasks. This way their outcomes can be predicted but humans see things from a different perspective. 

The therapy takes place with the help of in-depth interpersonal skills and understanding which can’t be expected from a robot or machine.

However, a new program called Woebot has surfaced from Stanford researchers. They consider Woebot as a chatbot therapist. It uses a Facebook messenger to oversee a very common form of therapy called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). 

In this therapy, people try to reallocate their negative thoughts in a more objective light to get focused. Whenever they are bombarded with negative thoughts, they try to stop them and regroup their other thoughts. 

Woebot checks in with its users daily by sending messages like “How do you feel today?” or “what’s your general mood today?” types of questions. Now, this is programmed in it. and if the user is giving different responses, the Woebot will tailor suggestions according to the answer and act like a real therapist. 

People will use Woebot because they feel pressured by disclosing their true feelings to anyone but they will confide in a program that won’t judge them.

Speech Therapy is Not a Robot’s Cup of Tea

How do you handle a robot if you can’t speak to it properly? You can’t. The robots will take commands by listening to the audio voice and then act, but there are so many kids and adults around us who don’t speak properly and stutter. For talking properly, people need humans but not robots.

Speech therapists usually handle speech, language, voice, and fluency disorders but the treatment therapy can be subjective to every person. Now a speech pathologist might treat you differently if you have moved to the USA recently because you need help with your dialect while speaking English. The speech pathologists also work along with psychologists, social workers, schoolteachers to help people overcome their language or speech disorders.

Also, speech pathologists are supposed to diagnose a problem by consulting medical histories and conducting tests that are not possible for any robot. 

They are not as smart as humans. The human brain is complex, and it works wonderfully. It allows you to build connections and come up with a unique approach for every patient you see.

Robots Can’t Offer a Physical Therapy

No matter how advanced technology is used to manufacture robots, they are not going to replace the actual physical therapists. Robots have to be super perfect to offer support for physical therapies. 

People with any form of injury have a hard time speaking where doctors offer their assistance and only allow exercise and technique to speak that can be easily handled by a person. Unfortunately, robots can’t do that yet. 

Physical therapy involves putting pressure on jaws and mouth joints very delicately and then observing minute responses. These things have to be done by humans as robots can’t help you pronounce the word.

Robots Can Listen But Don’t Offer Anything in Return

There were a few previous versions of robots where scientists tried to come up with robots that can listen to people’s problems and be their listeners without any judgment. 

It was made for veterans who got back from the war and were battling post-traumatic stress disorder. The idea was that the veterans will confide in robots. It was before Woebot. But this approach wasn’t successful as robots didn’t offer anything in return, not even kind words. Having someone empathetic is necessary to let go of the stress and depression.

Robots Don’t Motivate You to be Consistent with Speech Therapy

Sometimes people join therapy but then they disappear in the next sessions. They don’t stick to it because they didn’t like the environment or didn’t want to change their behavior. Then, the speech therapists motivate you to come and have your sessions and you start coming back. There is no magic power to bring back a patient but more often, the therapists try to reason with the patient that it is for their own benefit.Robots and smart machines are already helping us, but they can’t replace speech therapists. Therapists have empathy that can’t be replaced with anything else.

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