Ari Popper sent me this great golf video – That’s robotic psychiatry! (the past 27 years anyway…) Robots, if promoted properly, create the BEST watercooler talk (better than using children in ads, skits, etc). That ad got it right because it showed the positive aspects of the robot and golf –good competitiveness, friendship, humor, reaching beyond one’s human capability, etc. There’s practically a robo-trainer for every sport. Makes perfect sense – a robot can physically, precisely, and repetitively train an athlete, it never tires, it won’t accidentally hit the athlete with the ball, and it won’t yell. Adding some verbal companionship (real AI with the sense of humor as in the remote-controlled dialogue in the golf vid) would be great.
With respect to robots in commercials, here is my published opinion regarding 2 super expensive commercials that used robots, and in my opinion, failed miserably: http://roboticsonline.wordpress.com/2009/05/