"There is no doubt that we are emotionally attached to our pets, and we believe they are emotionally attached to us. Whether or not pets truly have feelings that are synonymous to a human's emotional framework, we interpret their feelings as such. We think our pets get depressed when we don't pay enough attention to them; that they get angry when we leave them and have to put them in a kennel; and that they get excited when we pick up a leash and say "Wanna ride in the car?" As a direct response to interacting with humans in an ever-changing environment, robots, like pets, will also exhibit behaviors that we will believe to resemble human emotions."
Dr. Joanne counsels Isaac Fillmore, the RoboBarTender, in his recent career change.
Our relationships to robots initially will be similar to our relationships with pets. That means that we'll buy them matching clothes and jewelry out of the Spiegel Catalogue for Robots; fight over who gets to keep them in a divorce; and if our robots get depressed, we may even take them to a robotic psychiatrist for a weekly family encounter session.
Here are a few of Dr. Joanne's patients. These robots have given her the explicit consent to discuss their problems on this website in the hopes that it may help other robots with similar problems. In some cases, the names have been changed to protect the anonymity of the patient. Listed below (in bold) is the name of the robot and its diagnosis:
Aibo: Inferiority Complex
Aibo suffered such a great deal of anxiety, being the only robot at this dog show. He overheated, collapsed, and fell into a coma. He had to be sent back to the factory for a memory stick replacement.
Cy (short for Cyborg): Depression/Substance Abuse
Cy's depression stemmed from a feeling of low self-esteem and paranoia. He felt that because he was a robot, humans would constantly stare at him. A robot/human integration program was recommended whereby slowly, daily human-like functions were performed in public to help build acceptance. Read about Cy's treatment here.
Since Dinky could not be understood by his family members, he was left
isolated in a back room. In order to promote personal growth and regain
self-acceptance, Dinky's therapy consists of training for the Automaton
Alpine Winter Competition. He cross-trains by rock climbing in Sedona, which
also serves as a spiritual quest.
Gina: Search for Wholeness
Separated at birth from her twin Al Franken, Gina the Robot Baby has never given up on her quest to meet him. Al denies the relationship and this only upsets Gina even more as she seeks her roots. Dr. Joanne has gotten Jerry Springer to agree to have them both on his show where Franken's DNA and serial number will be validated, but thus far Franken has refused.
For the time being, Harley is a coat checker at a female strip bar where at least he will not be committing any public crimes. He has also been taken off of Viagra. Dr. Joanne is trying to understand his past, beginning with his childhood. Apparently, he resided with a family living near Paul Reubens in Sarasota, Florida.
Hubot: Displaced Employee
After being trained on office equipment and procedures, Hubot was offered a job as a receptionist for Dr. Joanne as part of his therapy, but his owner refused. He is now completely dysfunctional and in a closet doing nothing.
Val: Social Anxiety Disorder
Although it has only been a few months of therapy, Val's human interactions do not seem to be improving. Val was chosen from several hundred bots who applied to BotJobs for the RoboGreeter position at Carnegie Mellon University, but she continues to have problems interfacing with the public.
Wam: Overactive Let-Down
The WAM arm has moved on from breastfeeding to surgery. Meanwhile, Quint the newborn is now a toddler who models regularly with other robots in print media.